This post is a review from the PES 2011 demo.
In PES 2011, you can definitely feel an improvement in the game engine. The players are smaller, more proportionate to the field. The controls are sharper, you can feel more control in your passes. The power guages are now above the head of every player, and every single pass requires the use of the guage. There is less assistance from the AI on through passes, meaning you have to manually guage the direction and power required. You have to take more care in finding your target, and it also gives you the freedom to make unpredictable passes to your teammates making forward runs. I’ve played a couple of games, and after a few initial wayward passes, the passing moves look more realistic and helps in spraying passes through the smallest of gaps in defence.
Crossing and Shooting
These are generally unchanged in PES 2011. However, players are able to take shots from more angles and in tight situations. Improved animations and player intelligence allows players to make more snap shots and volleys, whereas in the past they will just ignore your commands.
Players in PES 2011 are able to make more intelligent runs during the build up of your attack. After passing the ball, players will move forward into a good position to carry on the attack, instead of just dumbly charging forward to an offside position. You can produce interesting attacking moves with the pass and move options, leading to a satisfying team goal.
Dribbling trickery in PES 2011 now requires the use of analog sticks. Directional buttons no longer perform tricks. Players perform tricks by pressing L2/LT and moving the right analog stick is a series of directions, similar to FIFA, which means we have to relearn the entire series of dribbling tricks all over again for PES 2011. However, there is always the Link Feint, which we will touch on soon.
Diving is still present in PES 2011. This time, it is easier to execute the dive, by pressing LEFT and RIGHT analog stick together, though i believe it is still hard to convince the referee.
Free kicks and corner kicks remain largely unchanged in PES 2011. I guess there’s nothing much for them to improve, but it seems most of your free kicks will appear to be just close to scoring, as long as your power is somewhere in the middle. Probably PES’s way of providing us with the ‘Ooooh’ moment.
Are you asking about penalties? Well, I have not been awarded one yet so far, in the PES 2011 demo version. I did, however, tried out the system by conceding a penalty and changing sides to take the kick. And sadly, the system is still similar. Pressing down directional button and shoot, with accuracy and power determined by the duration you hold on to the buttons, without any form with visual gauge. Well at least you can still apply your existing PES penalty skill.
Throw in are now determined by a power guage too, which is very useful. Estimate the amount of power you need, and more often than now it leads to an accurate throw, be in a quick short one or a long ‘Rory Delap’ throw into the box.
Goal keepers make less mistakes now, or at least in the few matches in the demo version.
PES 2011 now employs a drag and move option with your controller, making it faster and more convenient to select your desired options, and moving your player into your preferred position in the field. You can employ 1-touch option for gameplan, where AI chooses a suitable formation for you, or you go for manual, which i believe most of you will.
In strategy, you assign preset strategies, which you can activate and deactivate mid-game by pressing ‘Select + Preset Buttons’. A few interesting ones. ‘Swap Wings’ – Where play is switched from one side to the other, to take advantage the unmarked opposite flank. ‘Long ball’ – Quick ball played from defender to striker. My favourate “CB Overlap” is still present.
Under PES 2011 Team style, you change the settings for Player Support, Support range etc. However, the points are from 0 – 20, instead of the previous 0-100. Finally PES realised there is no need for 100 points when there are only 3 distinct settings for each slider options.
Link Feints – A new feature of PES 2011. You can have 4 Link feints. For each link feint, you pre-assign up to 4 dribbling feints, locked to 1 side of the right analog stick, e.g Right Stick UP. In the game, by pressing L1/ LT + Pushing Right Stick UP, your player will unleash all of the assigned tricks in sequence. You do not have to manually execute each of the tricks. Just watch your player perform.
Now the thing is, once you start, you can’t stop, until the sequence is over, or when your player loses possession, or dribbles out of play. Thus, you have to choose your sequence carefully and use them appropriately at the right time, or else you might end up running straight into your opponent, or dribbling the ball out of play!
There are 2 settings for executing link feints, Fixed Stick Configuration, and Player View configuration. Fixed stick configuration means that for each time you push the Right stick Up, the same sequence is executed, regardless of where your player is facing. On player view configuratio, you assign feints relative to your dribblers view. For example, Link Feint A is assigned to player’s front. So, in the game, when your dribbler is facing left, to activate Link Feint A, you have to push Right Stick Left; when he is facing up, you have to push Right Stick Up to activate Link Feint.
For me I prefer Fixed Stick configuration as I find it easier to remember the tricks. However, if you pre-assign tricks to specifically dribble past players when they are on the left of you, on the right of you, or straight ahead in front of you, a Player View Configuration may make your dribbling easier in PES 2011.
Management Edit allows you to set orders before a match, at different time frames in a match, the gameplay strategy to utilise depending on the situation of the game. For example, when your team is trailing at from 45 to 60 min, your players will automatically adopt a ‘Quick Counter’ Mindset. When your team is leading towards the end of the match, your players will play ‘Possession Game’ to keep the ball and stall time. All these strategies are preset before the match, which saves you the trouble of tweaking whenever there is a change of scores.
The hexagonal players stats diagram is back! And player skill cards are still present.
PES players might need some time to get used to the new camera, which swings around the action to provide a more realistic broadcast view.
The controlled passing is helpful for you to spot small gaps in defence and pick up players making intelligent runs into the box, but you will require more accuracy and a good guage of power. That said, I find that top players are very much easy and control, and majority of their passes are accurate, without much effort from me.
All in all, PES 2011 feels more realistic than PES 2010. You have more freedom over your actions on the pitch, aided by much smarter AI teammates. PES 2011 is easy to pick up for PES veterans. After a couple of try out matches, and you should be recording victories with ease. The difficulty level has not increased by much. Seasoned players wil no doubt be online looking for challenges. As this is still the demo version, lets hope that minor bugs can be fixed, a few more improvements made, and the online competition be free of errors to ensure a more competitive and fairer challenge for all PES players.
Main image credit: Konami