By: Matthew Rondina
Rejoice football fans, the new season of Pro Evolution Soccer is here and Konami has marked PES 2019 ’s upcoming release with a playable demo. WGN is here to give you an in-depth look at all the changes to help you keep a leg up on the competition.
Let’s hit the virtual pitch and see what big changes are in store for both the casual and pro scene.
The Beautiful Game
The first thing I noticed right out of the player’s tunnel is the stunning graphical upgrades PES 2019 has added. From the stadium, to the players and the actual pitch – this is a stunningly life-like environment you’ll love to play in.
A lot of buzz words have emerged around the graphics engine powering PES 2019, call it what you will, it’s delivering some stellar visuals. The version of the PES 2019 demo I played on the Xbox One X is one of the finest virtual pitches I have ever laid eyes on.
Konami has added Enlighten Global Illumination which makes both natural and artificial stadium lighting more dynamic, giving the game a new level of realism. No matter the weather, or time of day, player models look very natural and near match their real-life counter parts.
PES 2019 also features 4K HDR visuals running at 60fps on all capable platforms, this means the game will look better than ever on the Xbox One X, PS4 Pro and PC.
To that end, textures look absolutely unreal as well, players’ kits feature a variety of fabrics, and the grass looks incredible, a massive upgrade from PES 2018. A flat plane of green has been upgraded with grass so rich you could count each blade in replays if you feel so inclined.
PES 2019 has been touted to feature dozens of changes to gameplay and dynamic animations in order to give players more control on the field. But how does this all feel while actually playing the game?
In the demo, player movement feels very responsive and the AI provides good pressure against human opponents.
Konami has added a layer of sim to the traditionally arcady feeling franchise, which has slowed down the rapid shooting and passing for a more realistic and calculated feel. I found this forced me to strategize my next pass more to ensure the receiving player was properly positioned.
A player’s first touch has added a short ball control animation that helps the play feel more realistic. Instead of being able to instantly fire the ball, it takes a little more time to release a pass or to shoot, just like the real game.
Players’ animations are far less predictable, the new variety added will always keep you guessing about your opponent’s next move. The no look pass can be especially tricky to deal with, as I found myself fooled a few times, sending my defence scrambling.
One new added feature that I was looking out for was visible player fatigue, which wasn’t as easy to notice as I hoped. It can be difficult to see the signs indicating their level of exhaustion, unless you are really looking for it.
I am hoping that in the full version of the game more noticeable animations will be included to clearly indicate a player in need of a sub.
With that being said, it is a welcome change as it cuts out the stamina gauge, trimming down the player HUD, putting me closer to the action.
All in all this was a great football experience with incredible graphics and gameplay.
Mark your calendars the full version of Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 kicks off on August 28 on Xbox One and PS4 in North America, August 30 on PS4 and Xbox One in Europe, and August 30 on PC worldwide. Game on!
About the Author: Matthew Rondina
Matthew has been involved in all things gaming since the 8-bit era. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry who has been passionate about technology and gaming for over 20 years. Follow Matthew’s gaming adventures on twitter and join in on the fun!