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whatshot PES 2012 (Pro Evolution Soccer 2012) PS3 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -
PES 2012 (Pro Evolution Soccer 2012)
Reviewed by
Peter Bourke
on
PES 2012 (Pro Evolution Soccer 2012) PS3 Review. If you haven't played a soccer game for a few years, I would recommend that you check out PES 2012 because it offers both a sturdy single-player and multiplayer engine that has a considerably amount of longevity and replay value.
Rating:
4.4

Gameplay 8.8
Graphics 8.5
Sound 8.0
Value 8.9
Distributor: Mindscape
Classification:
G
Review Date:
October 2011
Reviewer:
Peter Bourke

8.8


PES 2012
(Pro Evolution Soccer 2012)

There are two franchises that come around like clockwork every year and each franchise has their fanboys and haters. The franchises in question are Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) from Konami and FIFA from EA Sports.

Impulse Gamer has been reviewing both these titles over the years and needless to say, both games are quite well made with more tweaks implemented every year. Although FIFA 12 is just around the corner, Mindscape were first on the ball and soccer fans... I now introduce you Pro Evolution Soccer 2012!

With official licensing, Konami has the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League licenses but unfortunately EA Sports have the licensing of the more popular side of the sport with their FIFA series. However it's good news for Manchester United fans as they are included in PES 2012!

In terms of new additions to the series, PES 2012 features the following tweaks and improvements and although I did use the word simulation, PES 2012 does have the option to be played as either a mindless arcade experience or for those that want more realism, a simulation soccer title

Key Features

Active AI Recreates movement and team ethic of real football. Players will intelligently create space, and make themselves available whilst visibly calling for the ball.

Jostling Utilise player strength to win the ball in one-on-one situations. More realistic animations show the challenges between two jostling players, with players falling depending on how they are challenged.

Off the ball control Highlight any player at any time to strategically position your players. Goal kicks, corners, free kicks and throw-ins now let you quickly take control of any player off the ball, enabling clever runs which create space for an attack.

Referee AI Greatly enhanced to improve decisions made and to ensure fewer interruptions to play. Refs will intervene only when truly necessary, and advantage will be played more frequently in offside and free kick scenarios.

Pass Support Choose from one of five settings, from full support right up to the full veteran setting which switches off all assistance so that the direction, weight and speed of every pass is at your disposal!

Check out the video for the revolutionary new control of your players!
 

For those new to the PES series and the new gaming mechanics of the game, the title contains a Training Challenge which basically acts as a tutorial and takes you through the variety of different soccer manoeuvres or defences. Training Challenge also has a difficulty setting and awards the player on their performance via trophies and is definitely a fun and useful way to learn the system behind PES 2012.

In regards to the gameplay modes, the modes are still similar to last years PES such as the licensed UEFA Champions League, Become a Legend, Community and other fun soccer modes. I quite enjoyed the Become a Legend mode which allows you to take a soccer player through their sporting career which does add a sense of ownership.

But for those that want to manage, the Master League allows you to put on the shoes of a manger as you take control of all management aspects of your team from player drafting to tactics. This is actually quite in-depth considering that this game was not really designed for soccer management.

In single-player, the AI, depending on what level you play can be quite realistic and does give you a run for your money. It's also quite balanced without being overtly challenging or easy. It is great that you can rely on your players (sometimes) to set up the ball where it should be as they attack and defend against your opposing team.

The new defence mechanism employed by the gaming mechanics ensures that your team don't just stand around like dummies and wait for the player to do all the work but rather, they assist in the overall strategy, assisting the player either get the ball or keep the ball.

However if you want more control, the gamer can take control of their players through teammate assisted or manual controls.  Teammate assisted still has some AI influenced, however for full control, manual is the way to go but is definitely more tricky to master. This basically allows you to control an off-the-ball player completely with the left stick moving the player with the ball and the right stick moving the player off the ball. It does take practice but if you can master this, you do up the odds of your victories.

Online modes offer both ranked and unranked tournaments and I'm always surprised at how good some of these online players are. Apart from the usual suspects of gaming modes, there is also an Online Master League which allows you compete for money as you try and make your players into an A-Team.

Controls, controls and more controls. Controls are an integral factor to PES 2012 and the innovative control system of this soccer game has been well mapped onto the PS3 DualShock controller. It does help if you have a degree in the video games (kidding) because there is so much options available to the player from a variety of different bursts to dives and so much more.

The highlight is the responsiveness and accuracy of your player and their ball handling skills. As you use the analog stick to move your player with the ball, it's fun attempting to dribble past your opponents and then setup an amazing goal via the off the ball control. Everything just seems to flow like a real game of soccer.

I also like the passing system of PES 2012 which uses a power metre and gives a great indication of how far or high the ball will go. It did take a little time in mastering the passing but the power metre gives additional gameplay options. There are improved defence mechanics as well that when you have the ball and by pressing R2, you can perform a variety of soccer ruses and tricks via the right analog stick that would even confuse Beckham with your fancy footwork. Mastering the Feints and Tricks will definitely take a long time as there are around 50!

Graphically, Pro Evolution is a decent looking game in FULL HD, however it is missing that final polish that the FIFA series have had for several years. This is not to saying that PES 2012 is a bad looking game, it's just missing some of the final touches and effects.

Player animation is smooth and they move with this uncanny realism, especially when you get close-up to the action. There are however times, when the animation seems to skip a move but it's not that noticeable. Facial features like most games have that "undead" glaze to their faces but even so, it all comes together well.

Ball physics are perfect and the stadiums look amazing with some good attention to detail. Add in lighting and weather effects and most gamers will be pleased with Konami's latest attempt. Sound effects, music and commentary are just as good as previous games and it seems that Konami has this down pat. Commentary does get a little repetitive though.

Final Level?

In conclusion, Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 is not an overhaul of the franchise but offers some useful and interesting gaming tweaks. Generally, PES has its fans as does FIFA and most fanboys will stick to one or the other, unless the developers do something horribly wrong. Thankfully Konami have not.

If you haven't played a soccer game for a few years, I would recommend that you check out PES 2012 because it offers both a sturdy single-player and multiplayer engine that has a considerably amount of longevity and replay value. The highlight is the innovative control system that gives you some amazing control of the soccer ball as you kick your way to victory! 





 

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