Juventus is their new flagship

Written by: Lars Erik Ødegaard

Today, at Gamescom, I got the chance to speak with one of the developers behind PES 2020 as well as testing the stunning game for two full matches.

At the presentation, KONAMI was eager to show how realistic their animations were. The animations are created using 3D- scanning and modeling off the players, the inside/outside of stadiums and even the player tunnels. And one can’t deny that the resemblance is striking. At one point during the presentation, they showed how they made the players from the licensed clubs roll up their sleeves in order to do close up photographs of their shoulder tattoos. Something that felt a bit overkill, knowing it will be covered up by the kit during the entire gameplay. 

Licenses, of course, has been one of the key elements as a means to grab the audience for both FIFA and PES. And this year is no different. As earlier reported, KONAMI has this year signed an exclusive rights agreement with Juventus, Boca Juniors, and Club Atlético River Plate. KONAMI has also secured licenses for some of the biggest powerhouses across the top 5 leagues, including Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Manchester United. In addition to this, KONAMI has secured the licenses for the Euros 2020, and the Italian top division Serie A. 

Multiple changes in the gameplay from the PES 2019 was also announced. The camera angle is slightly reduced, achieving a more “broadcast-like” feeling. And the FC Barcelona club legend Andrés Iniesta was hired as a game advisor, which have led to more alternatives in attacking such as increased finesse in 1v1 dribbling and turning a fake shot to pass. Another new feature in the upcoming soccer game is that the AI’s, both teammates and opponents will behave differently around different players. One example given was that when Messi has the balls, his teammates would get into better positions. Which would enhance the feeling of having a better overview when playing with Messi. 

A brand-new mode is also added for PES 2020. Matchday, where fans can take part in club rivalries as they appear during the season. Each week you can align yourself with one of the two sides. Where your abilities on the pitch contribute towards the victory of your team. As the week enters the final phase a Grand final will be held, starring the best performing players from each side.

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After the presentation, I got to test the game hands-on. It should be noted that I am usually a regular FIFA player, and have more or less played FIFA since 2001. I gave PES 2019 a try last fall, but quickly gave up since my beloved team (Manchester United) was referred to as “Man Red” and their kit did not even resemble at all. I know it may sound like a minor problem, but my experience of PES 2020 was completely enhanced by the minor fact that they got the team name and kit this time.

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Playing PES 2020 when you are a regular FIFA player can be frustrating, in the beginning, it was a series with misplaced passes and bad touches ending up in dangerous attacks for the oppositions. But after playing a couple of minutes, I was able to gain some control over the mechanics. But each successful pass felt like a victory. The game feels a bit paced down adding a more realistic feeling to the mechanics. Overall, if realism is what KONAMI aims for with this title, I think they have achieved it! Pro Evolution Soccer 2020 makes you focus more on the movements and passing itself, instead of over the top skill moves. It captures the essentials of the beautiful game people all over the world tune in weekly to watch on tv. I would not be surprised if I find myself being a PES player this year.

PES2020 will arrive on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on the 10th of September 2019.

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