The new Teammate Control system will give users complete control over secondary players while the runner has the ball and works in two ways. First up, users press the right analogue stick in the direction of the player they wish to control. The Assisted mode allows the user to activate a second player by depressing the R3 button, and allows users to get to grips with the greater level of control via effective running movements. Greater control is offered by the Manual mode, wherein the user has complete freedom of movement of the second player, and can make shuttle runs, find space, and shake off markers before calling for the pass from the player still with the ball. The player will then revert to computer control when the R3 button is released, and can also be used to override any AI runs the player wants to cancel. Both can be affected at any time, so players can make moves without waiting for a pass to be completed.
PES 2012 has already added a wealth of new AI elements. The Active AI system ensures that players track attackers more effectively, but without compromising the shape of the team, while one-on-one situations offer greater control as defenders press and jostle to win the ball, as attackers can use upper body feints and movements to bypass and wrong-foot their man.
Series Producer Shingo ‘Seabass’ Takatsuka and his Tokyo-based team have also confirmed a secondary batch of additions, many of which have been added following consultation with PES and football fans from all over the world. Penalties in PES 2012, for instance, have been completely reworked and now use a camera from behind the taker, with players determining the position, power and placement of each kick. Shooting has also been enhanced, with the various attributes of each player taken into account with the timing, pace of the ball and position of the striker’s body to the ball coming into effect to produce less wild, ballooned efforts. Shot feints also return, with player moving so the goalie commits to the save, whilst the player can reposition for a clearer effort.
Alongside these additions to shooting movement and reaction everywhere else has also been greatly enhanced. Valuable time has been shaved from player reactions, and overall improvements to the animation via flow-block motions and changes to the player hit point elements have led to a three-frame improvement in response times, meaning players are quicker to chase down balls, amend and tailor their run, or take on a defender. The speed with which players turn has also been streamlined, making quick movements more fluid and natural. Vitally, control is no longer totally lost when losing possession of the ball, with players recovering quickly when stumbling to reclaim the ball, or close the ground when tracking back.
All skills can also now be refined in the return of the ‘Challenge Training’ mode. A hugely popular part of PES lore, Challenge Training gives the player a series of tough tests which they can use to hone various skills. The mode allows users to work hard on their attacking and defending skills to improve their main game. Similarly, there are dribbling tests and set-piece challenges that necessitate hitting a series of targets, and punishing shooting tasks are used to push the player as they put in the hours that will make all the difference on field.
The aesthetic style of PES 2012 has also been refined further, with the overall movement of the players now more fluid than ever. Such is the new level of graphical finesses that you can see players sweating, their neck muscles tensing as they call for the ball and bark orders to each other, and the muscles in their mouths and around their eyes contract to show the emotions the players are experiencing. This is further enhanced via dynamic lighting in the game which creates shadow and reflects from their eyes in true real-time.
Attention to detail also extends to the circumstances surrounding each match. Players limber up before a match, groundsmen prepare the surface as the players wait in the tunnel, while managers can be seen patrolling the touchline as camera cranes pan to cover the action. The players also pick up the ball in readiness of a throw-in, and general physicality is enhanced, with players reacting to how they are challenged, stumbling or falling depending on the severity of the tackle.
“The addition of Teammate Control is something we have been working on for a while now, and we are delighted that it will make its debut in PES 2012,” commented Jon Murphy, European PES Team Leader for Konami Digital Entertainment GmbH. “We have been building to create a control system that truly lets the player do whatever they like on field, and the ability to manually control a second player while simultaneously running with the ball opens all kinds of attacking options. Coupled with the Active AI advancements that ensure supporting players make shuttle run and find space, and I think we have made a huge step towards producing the most advanced football title to date.”
In the coming weeks further details will be revealed, including the evolution of the Master League and the new face of the game. PES 2012 is due for launch in the Autumn.