Konami has officially lifted the lid on its most anticipated annual release in the UK – Pro Evolution Soccer 2011.
Due out in the autumn on Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii, PSP and PS2, the 2011 version delivers what the publisher describes as the most radical revamp in the series' history”.
Perhaps most exciting is the addition for the first time of an Online Master League that allows players to take their self-assembled squads online against rival managers.
Gameplay wise, a new power bar has been introduced that allows players to determine the exact strength and placement of every pass and shot with ‘absolute precision' including long balls into space, short passes to feet and one-twos.
Konami says the game is now tougher than ever, while the Champions League and Europa League licenses remain, as does the face of Barcelona's Lionel Messi on the cover.
New AI routines have been designed that give a far greater level of overall control to players. More specifically, the press release reads: No longer will assisted AI intervene during matches; users will now need to sense and react to threats; and passes will not automatically reach the nearest player. Instead, all-new routines facilitate complete control both of the player and their chosen actions in every respect to give the player sublime control over every movement.”
Dribbling and close control are now also said to be far tougher to master, with Konami claiming that the days of making streaking runs through the centre of the park are over”. Feints, tricks and turns can also now be mapped to the right analogue stick.
Animation and physics have also come in for a rework, with acceleration and inertia specifically said to be more realistic than ever with jostling and blocking playing a far bigger part. Tacking is also a lot more varied, as is player's off-the-ball behaviour and stances. Over 100 hours of motion capture footage has been gathered throughout the development process.
The back-end has been revisited too, with a ‘drag and drop' mechanic implemented across the wide range of team management features. Along with new AI routines for keepers and referees, commentary has been completely changed to try and avoid the repetition of old.