Wednesday 8 September 2010

Pro Evo Demo

It's been a couple of years since I've loved a Pro Evo game and certainly not since the advent of PS3's and the Xbox.  This generation of consoles seemed to have perplexed Konami, they looked stuck in the past, delivering their, all be it classic, formula, dressed up for the new breed of gamer but feeling like something old and out of date.  EA stole a march with FIFA, establishing themselves as the leader of a pack of two.  Not just in the way their title was packaged but with the gameplay as well.

Today, for Playstation Plus users the demo of the latest Pro Evo has been released.  How does it fair?
It's immediately clear that this really is the new engine that Pro Evo so desperately needed.  The graphics look right, the classy camera that moves from low down at pitch level to high in the stands at the start of each match is a nice touch but it's under the hood that Konami have really delivered.

Every pass has genuine weight to it, indicated by a nice, unobtrusive, power bar.  It looked garish in the trailers but in game it works a treat.  You have full directional control over passing too.  There's no tap X and the ball lands at a team mates feat, if you don't direct the pass it's just as likely to end up with the opposition or aimlessly drifting over the touch line.  It's a big adjustment, not just from Pro Evo's previous incarnations, but also from FIFA.  I hate to say it, but it feels grown up.  Almost simulator like.  It's a control system that's going to take getting used to and early suggestions are that to get the most out of it you're going to have to put some work in.  But that's how Pro Evo used to feel, with each new release adding greater depth.

There's a couple of minor issues, that may well be overcome with the full release.  Because of the new passing system the ball is often loose and the game sometimes seems unsure whether it considers you to be in possession or not.  This led to one awful goal being given away as Carlos Puyol attempted a slide tackle with no one near him missing the ball altogether when my intention was for him to just punt it up field.

However that's a minor niggle.

Replays are shot through with some great blurring effects and the graphics, on the whole, are comfortably on a par with the last FIFA.  

It's an impressive demo, and frankly, there's no one more than me who would like to welcome Pro Evo back into the fold as the premier football game.  EA may well have to go some to top this.

Great stuff, I thoroughly look forward to the release of the full game.

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