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Breaking Down the Early PES 2019 News

PES 2019

Breaking Down the Early PES 2019 News

This is the time of year where normally sports news, and in general, excitement remains fairly dormant. Thankfully there’s this thing called the World Cup this summer. Mixed in with the summer transfer window and PES 2019 news, and suddenly the summer months don’t seem that dull.

Last week, the team over at Konami dropped some early PES 2019 news on us, and as usual, the community was quick to chime in. With that being said, let’s break down the early news.

“AUTHENTIC LEAGUES: Huge addition of licensed leagues (ICYMI: Konami and UEFA Champions League Parting Ways, PES Will Not Lose Any Team Licenses)”

When news broke regarding Konami parting ways with the official UEFA Champions and Europa League, many wondered how this would impact the already fragile ethos that is PES licenses. For years, Konami incorporated this license into Master League yet somehow struggled to feature all of the clubs participating in the two popular club tournaments — leaving the editing work up to the PES die hards. It’s for this reason that skepticism and confusion regarding this tidbit are warranted. Without knowing the specifics regarding the cost of the UEFA license, one can only speculate that this newly freed money will be allocated towards other precious licenses. Unfortunately due to exclusive deals, the English Premier League won’t be featured in PES 2019, but perhaps strong leagues such as the German Bundesliga and perhaps Spain’s La Liga will be featured once again. It’s no secret that licenses play a huge role in footy game sales, and Konami rightfully led off their list of features with a mention towards licenses. In the past, licenses were hammered out right up until release so as of right now all we can do is sit and wait.

“NEW MYCLUB: Every element has been redone, from how you sign players, to special versions of players released throughout the year”

PES’ rival to FIFA’s highly successful Ultimate Team, MyClub, looks to be the mode that sees the most changes this year. With esports dominating the sports gaming genre, Konami has fully committed their resources towards making this mode an attractive feature for years to come. The introduction of “high performance players” sounds intriguing if these “boosted stats” and “new skills” aren’t overpowered. Legends are always fun to play with so I’m keen to keep an eye open for whom they roll out during the course of the year. Perhaps some classic Master League players like Castolo and Minanda?

“MAGIC MOMENTS: Player individuality taken to the next level with 11 new skill traits, score great goals with improved shooting motion and animation and see stamina have an impact with Visible Fatigue”

Moments of magic have always been a staple of the PES series. In fact, no footy game was able to better replicate individual moments of brilliance that get you out of your seat and playing into the wee hours of the morning. Unfortunately, as PES progressed these moments became all-too-common. Whether it be shots from distance or countless back heels up the entire pitch, the individual moments of flair have been far too common. Where PES once reigned supreme regarding individual playing styles, the last few years have been disappointing when it comes to the uniqueness of certain players, perhaps as a result of removing traits and player cards. Hopefully these new “player styles” and “11 new player traits” will create more recognizable differences among players.

Player individuality, especially when it comes to the AI looks to be addressed. Hopefully the likes of Messi, Neymar and Ronaldo are as dangerous in PES 2019 as they are in real life. Dribbling looks to have been worked upon, hopefully respecting the laws of physics (momentum and inertia) and player individuality. The past few PES iterations have seen burly central defenders being capable of dribbling that would make Messi jealous. Shooting, another sore point for the franchise, appears to have been improved upon although the feature notes seem to focus more on goalies. Hopefully “more varied animations” includes more mishits and scuffs as pure contact is all too common in PES 2018, leading to overpowered shots that find the target far too often. As always with shooting, any changes need to see the same done to goalkeeping to maintain a fine balance. “Visible fatigue” sounds like a much needed tweak, especially online where opponents will press you for all 90 minutes, a feat not even possible by Guardiola’s best Barcelona sides. Injuries, far too uncommon in PES, need to be taken into account as fatigued players are more prone to certain types of injuries than well rested players.

Quick substitutions, introduced in FIFA 18, go hand-in-hand with fatigue and are a great little feature when playing online as you often don’t have the time to always make the proper subs within the allotted time frame.

Lastly, ball physics, which were pretty solid in PES 2018, seem to have been improved upon. Not only first touch, which was pretty well implemented after the latest PES 2018 patch, but ball trajectory should now be determined by your body position and posture. This was once a strong point of PES that seems to have fallen by the wayside over the years as Konami attempted to make the game more fluid and responsive. The aforementioned changes to shooting should see some additional benefits from any changes to ball physics.

“THE BEAUTIFUL GAME: Photo-realism with stunning animation flow in 4K HDR.”

Visually, PES 2018 was as good as it’s ever been on the PS4. Player faces were stellar and updated throughout the year while crowds were finally given a little attention. This year it looks like 4K will finally be available to those on the Xbox One. With their photo-realistic approach, Konami seems to have focused on details and lighting, which varies according to time-of-day and the stadium you’re playing in. Snow has also been added (back-in I might add) with a supposed  impact upon gameplay. As long as it’s not overdone and there is an ability to change the game ball, it should be a welcome re-addition. Lastly, the crowds have been enhanced to offer a more stadium-like experience, something that has been missing in the past. Enhanced crowd noise is a welcome addition, but bringing back the custom chant editor from days past would bring the immersion factor to a new level.

“ML REAL SEASON: Experience life as a real manager with 3 significant changes: ICC pre-season, in-depth transfer system and new league licenses.”

Last, but certainly not least is Master League news. For years Master League has seen incremental additions or far worse, elements that quite frankly no one wanted (think Magic boots and all other RPG elements). The ultra popular International Champions Cup has been added, finally giving managers a chance to learn and fine tune their squads before the real season starts. Transfers in specific negotiations have been tuned but specifically how remains to be seen. Hopefully there is an added level of realism as transfer fees and unlikely targets/destinations ruined the summer and winter transfer windows.

“Authentic Leagues Update

After letting the UEFA license go, Konami promised new licenses and yesterday they dropped news about the inclusion of seven league licenses. In this license/exclusivity world in which footy games occupy this is a pretty big win for Konami. Sure, none of these leagues are considered major in the grand scheme of things but they are important nonetheless. Konami has always struggled to license lesser leagues which in turn hurt their UEFA license as they were dependent upon editors to create realistic tournaments. While there still might be a few minnows left out, inclusion of these smaller domestic leagues should free up valuable editing space while also expanding the player pool. With the inclusion of these newly acquired leagues, it’s up to Konami to increase the authentic and generic stadiums to create a realistic experience. Famous stadiums like the Rangers’ Ibrox will hopefully be included in the final product. Gameplay changes cannot be overlooked as the team over at Konami will need to replicate how these lesser sides play, a feat they’ve struggled with over the last few years as many of us, myself included find ourselves scratching our heads when we see Division 2 clubs back heel their way down the pitch with the panache of a Guardiola managed side.

 

With an August 30 release date, PES 2019 looks to be a step ahead of its competitor with this early press release. While the additions sound good on paper, it’s how they actually play out on and off the pitch that really matters. Konami has built an early hype machine before, specifically last year with its highly popular beta only to let consumers down with the final product. Areas such as licenses will most likely go down until the final weeks of the game’s release, but gameplay and offline features are two areas that have my attention. As we dive into the summer months with only the World Cup offering a distraction, Konami has the time and stage and to build momentum and hopefully address the community’s never-ending list of concerns.

What must PES 2019 announce to generate excitement and facilitate a purchase come late August?

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  1. Excellent article, thanks KG.
    The license news is somewhat underwhelming. I will enjoy playing a full season in the SPL, but really, I can already get that with a decent option file. Actually, I'd love nothing better than if PES were to go the Fire Pro Wrestling route: Make every team, player, league and competition in the game fictional, just give us ultimate customization control. The current option file system is working just fine (sorry Xbox owners), but it also has room to improve.
    As far as the on-pitch action, Konami just needs to keep doing what they're doing. Yes, I see the same overabundance of backheels and lack of fouls as everyone else, but honestly, I also see a game that is pulling away from its competitor year-by-year in terms of strategy and gameplay. The last three years of PES have been a joy to play, hopefully 2019 makes a great series even greater.
    Turbojugend
    Excellent article, thanks KG.
    The license news is somewhat underwhelming. I will enjoy playing a full season in the SPL, but really, I can already get that with a decent option file. Actually, I'd love nothing better than if PES were to go the Fire Pro Wrestling route: Make every team, player, league and competition in the game fictional, just give us ultimate customization control. The current option file system is working just fine (sorry Xbox owners), but it also has room to improve.
    As far as the on-pitch action, Konami just needs to keep doing what they're doing. Yes, I see the same overabundance of backheels and lack of fouls as everyone else, but honestly, I also see a game that is pulling away from its competitor year-by-year in terms of strategy and gameplay. The last three years of PES have been a joy to play, hopefully 2019 makes a great series even greater.

    That idea is insane. If you make option files that’s different, if not then I’m pretty sure the guys that put all the hours in making option files would highly disagree. The more licensed teams and leagues Konami adds, the less work those guys have to do, for free I might add. Let Konami do their job.
    As for changes that I would like to see. I wish Konami would add an option to disable the 1st summer transfer window in ML. That would definitely help get rid of the ridiculous transfers that occur at the start of your ML. Also have injuries occur on more than just bad challenges, but also on good challenges, collisions, and player fatigue. One more thing that I want is letting us set up the group stages ourselves in the now unlicensed European competitions in ML. If Konami can do those things and improve other issues like online gameplay, then I would be a happy camper. Oh yeah, almost forgot. Bring back stadium creator.
    Turbojugend
    I see the same overabundance of backheels and lack of fouls as everyone else, but honestly, I also see a game that is pulling away from its competitor year-by-year in terms of strategy and gameplay

    Totally agree, in fact what I tell people all the time when they ask is that the major difference between the two each year is that the major competitor is a gorgeously produced experience that feels like you're playing a slightly oversimplified and slightly cartoonish but incredibly beautiful video game. And PES feels like you're watching a real life football match that you're controlling. Despite the fouls, and any other issues people might have. In my opinion, PES could have no licensing at all and the community would put something together that would be better than FIFA in every way. Most people in FIFA who argue that the licensing is their deal breaker play the popular teams they like in the leagues that are best known and most popular. So they see stadiums, player faces for even some bench players, uniforms, etc. Try playing in ANY other lesser known league and you quickly start to realise that idealised depth FIFA is argued to have in realistic presentation doesn't go very far. But I'm not knocking it, I play it every year as well as PES and it does what it does very well. I just don't put it in the same league as PES.
    you guys are right about the strategy type of gameplay PES offers when compared to FIFA.
    I have played both this year like usual. I mainly buy fifa because I play some clubs and with online friends sometime and with most guys i know in person. it's hard to convince everyone to play pes sometimes. although I have convinced some over the years. any ways, I started this year playing PES first for awhile before I played FIFA and at that time I mainly played PES online as well... and then switched to FIFA after a couple of months.... I will say the thing I miss most about PES that is way better is the tactics and setting up your team and formation basically.. that whole area of the game to me in PES is like a game in itself almost to me when compared to fifa which is boring in that area. maybe it's because I play the game my entire life and I just like that aspect of the realism better. The stuff you do in PES in that area is much deeper and fun to play around with. to me in FIFA it's very basic and boring setting up your teams and you use formations online..If you like tactics and counter or strategy PES is for sure better in that area no doubt. FIFA is good for the casual and the big fan of the real alike who can pick up and up and play and learn it fast. FIFA is more about who is better with joystick and moves when competing against other humans as PES is more about who is smarter at countering what tactics at times.. or at least that does play in to it more. I had my own online league this year in both and I enjoyed the PES more simply because that reason. BOTH games have it's problems but one of the reason some of my friends got annoyed with PES is because it has more automated stuff that happens that is out of your control and they get so upset that they lose because of it.. calling it a garbage game.. and at the same time the AI in PES helps you more basically on D well when compared to FIFA which is more about who can work the joystick faster and control everything..you have more control the outcome at times. This is just my opinion. it comes from mostly playing online in both and others offline. I downloaded the world cup mode for fifa last night and played one game. I was brazil vs Germany and played on legend default sliders and speed. Lost 1 - 0. it was fun and okay but now I think i'm also going to put PES back in and start a master league something I never even did with it this year yet really and try to enjoy it more. any recommended gameplay settings?
    stevostl
    you guys are right about the strategy type of gameplay PES offers when compared to FIFA...
    One more thing I wanted to add (having read your post and agreeing with you especially on the thing about people not being able to figure out how to fully control their player and then saying it sucks) the fact that although I think I DID know about it, I seem to have completely forgotten about Fluid Formations until yesterday when I came across it by accident. I now have to find a tutorial or something because I completely forgot how it works. But that's like opening up a whole new section of the game I had forgotten about. I honestly think, because I don't really care much about the images and artwork, that PES2018 would be better than FIFA for playing a World Cup this summer as long as I can find a good patch or option file with all the latest uniforms and squads.
    Actually a second thing, just occurred to me... one of the things I love most about PES that you can't do in FIFA unless you edit some of the ini files is run too far. In FIFA I feel like I can turn on a dime with ANY player of ANY skill level. And one thing I love about sports games is when I have to be as careful with my controls as players do in real life. Even with Cristiano Ronaldo, if you're racing down the flank top speed, you do actually have to calculate space to stop and turn because your momentum CAN actually make you go too far or you DO manage to stop but you lose the ball because you overrun it. Along with that is not standing in the right place and kicking a ball with the side of your foot, passing too quickly and not getting enough force on the ball, deking too fast with a player with lesser skill and losing control of the ball... all those things are the kind of thing I love seeing in sports games. Same type of realistic physics you find in MVP 2005, NFL 2K5, NHL 2K8. PES is a rarity in modern sports games for its commitment to realistic physics. Although to be fair, in the essential things, FIFA is fine, it just lacks refinement in depicting realism and I get that it does that in order to be pleasing to a wider range of people's abilities. They want kids to play it as much as adults and that means you need to make it easier to pick up and play. And increasing the difficulty level i FIFA doesn't make the game more realistically challenging it just seems to crank everyone's intensity. Harder shouldn't mean "more aggressive" and "faster", it should mean more intelligent.
    tinpanalley
    In my opinion, PES could have no licensing at all and the community would put something together that would be better than FIFA in every way.

    Exactly. As for putting the onus on option file creators, one solution is to do away with the option file system completely and create a hosted server solution where creators can upload their individual teams, players, etc. This would completely open the floodgates for all creators, so that you could download the exact version of Everton that you want, etc.
    2K currently does this with the NBA and WWE series and it works to perfection. FIFA did it for years with Creation Centre, until they moved to current-gen and likely decided it wasn't making them any money. The Show has it for DD logos. Even the old NCAA games had it (Teambuilder), so the precedent is there and has been for years.
    (And yes, I am a creative content creator for sports games. Not PES per se, but I've done loads of stuff for FIFA, NBA 2K, The Show, and others).
    I honestly think, because I don't really care much about the images and artwork, that PES2018 would be better than FIFA for playing a World Cup this summer as long as I can find a good patch or option file with all the latest uniforms and squads.

    that sounds like a great idea.. I will look for a world cup patch :)
    Actually a second thing, just occurred to me... one of the things I love most about PES that you can't do in FIFA unless you edit some of the ini files is run too far. In FIFA I feel like I can turn on a dime with ANY player of ANY skill level. And one thing I love about sports games is when I have to be as careful with my controls as players do in real life. Even with Cristiano Ronaldo, if you're racing down the flank top speed, you do actually have to calculate space to stop and turn because your momentum CAN actually make you go too far or you DO manage to stop but you lose the ball because you overrun it. Along with that is not standing in the right place and kicking a ball with the side of your foot, passing too quickly and not getting enough force on the ball, deking too fast with a player with lesser skill and losing control of the ball... all those things are the kind of thing I love seeing in sports games. Same type of realistic physics you find in MVP 2005, NFL 2K5, NHL 2K8. PES is a rarity in modern sports games for its commitment to realistic physics. Although to be fair, in the essential things, FIFA is fine, it just lacks refinement in depicting realism and I get that it does that in order to be pleasing to a wider range of people's abilities. They want kids to play it as much as adults and that means you need to make it easier to pick up and play. And increasing the difficulty level i FIFA doesn't make the game more realistically challenging it just seems to crank everyone's intensity. Harder shouldn't mean "more aggressive" and "faster", it should mean more intelligent.

    ha, you just said a lot of what I wanted to try to say ... everything you said is right on and why a lot of people like to play fifa (besides licenses) though as well because you can do that and control your player easier. this is the reason why it's easier to score goals and fifa is a goal scoring game when compared to pes. when I first moved to FIFA this year.. I was scoring goals like crazy when compared to PES I would have 0 - 0 or many 1 - 0 games against friends. I think the biggest reason for that has to do what you said.. how easy it is to shoot and finesse shot in fifa when compared to pes.. and also because the computer AI defenders in fifa are no good compared to PES which is very good as far as helping you..
    Turbojugend
    Exactly. As for putting the onus on option file creators, one solution is to do away with the option file system completely and create a hosted server solution where creators can upload their individual teams, players, etc. This would completely open the floodgates for all creators, so that you could download the exact version of Everton that you want, etc.
    2K currently does this with the NBA and WWE series and it works to perfection. FIFA did it for years with Creation Centre, until they moved to current-gen and likely decided it wasn't making them any money. The Show has it for DD logos. Even the old NCAA games had it (Teambuilder), so the precedent is there and has been for years.
    (And yes, I am a creative content creator for sports games. Not PES per se, but I've done loads of stuff for FIFA, NBA 2K, The Show, and others).

    I've been saying this years about PES. College Hoops 2K8 had it and that was 10 years ago! The entire option file loading process isn't hard once you get the hang of it but it's still tedious and could be easily replaced by a simple file share process.
    In regards to the tactics, you will see people online in PES change their tactics as opposed to FIFA where they will only change the lineup. I like that aspect about PES BUT their tactics system needs big changes IMO. It's very rigid and a lot of their tactics cancel each other out. Over the years all of the options and layers they've added have become over-complicated, especially when combined with the removal of A LOT of individual player attributes/cards/etc...
    I think both games need to add resources (resources aren't always $) when it comes to tactics and player ratings. An increased focus on getting these 2 areas right has a HUGE affect on gameplay and creating an on-pitch experience full of variety and authenticity. Hell, I know 3 guys on OS that could help out a lot in this area.
    Great discussion though!
    Okay, I'm just wildly speculating here, BUT:
    If we have two league announcements left, and one of them is not Bundesliga, what are the odds of MLS? We've got the Zlatans, the Schweinsteigers, and apparently the Rooneys, and the EA contract is not exclusive as far as I am aware. Is there even the slightest possibility of seeing MLS licensed in PES 2019?
    Turbojugend
    Okay, I'm just wildly speculating here, BUT:
    If we have two league announcements left, and one of them is not Bundesliga, what are the odds of MLS? We've got the Zlatans, the Schweinsteigers, and apparently the Rooneys, and the EA contract is not exclusive as far as I am aware. Is there even the slightest possibility of seeing MLS licensed in PES 2019?

    Don't think so. I remember reading somewhere that EA pays BIG money to the MLS for exclusive rights.
    Ahh, you may be right. Came across this on another website, regarding the renewed EA/MLS deal from last year:
    "FIFA will retain the exclusive rights to the league (MLS) image rights, stadiums and players."
    Oh well. As you were.
    Turbojugend
    Okay, I'm just wildly speculating here, BUT:
    If we have two league announcements left, and one of them is not Bundesliga, what are the odds of MLS? We've got the Zlatans, the Schweinsteigers, and apparently the Rooneys, and the EA contract is not exclusive as far as I am aware. Is there even the slightest possibility of seeing MLS licensed in PES 2019?

    I wouldn't be surprised if they added in more Latin American leagues . Especially seeing as they added the Chilean league last season, could add in maybe Peru or Uruguay . That's an area that's a bit under valued in a way , so I can see them pushing into that market to attract more sales. Though, I can see the Greek or Turkish league being one of them too
    Any word on Serie A, Ligue 1 and Eredivise? Team names and kits. No big problem for me to edit the league name...
    Real player names for PL and La Liga is still in I suppose? And teams in Brasil and Chile should be in too?
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