Having been lucky enough to be invited to the PES 2019 Press Tour ( Thanks goe out to Asim, Bibby Graham and the rest of Jelly media ) i got up at silly o clock ( 4 am ) headed to the airport and climbed aboard the B.52 that was waiting there for me ,i was off to Glasgow to the PES 2019 roadshow, and i was looking forward to it .
So having arrived in Glasgow i checked into the hotel then met up with PES Worlds' Chuckyboy, jumped in a cab and away we went to Celtic Park. When asked by the cabbie if we'd been to Celtic Park before i regretted saying "No" Eventually we arrived at the Stadium, we walked around the stadium the long way to get to the entrance due to poor info and we were in.as we then went on a wonderful tour of the City, at one stage i thought he was going to show us every ground in the SPFL as we went past Easter Road . There were tvs all in a row and a cracking view of the pitch. There were sandwiches tea and Iron Bru on offer, today was going to be a good day. I then met up with the other PES World lads Jordan and Dan, Ultra vires from P2E made his grand entrance and we were all set to go. There was a quick press release, showing the faces of SPL players that'll be in game on release ( 30th August Europe 28th US of A ) After a bit more info we were free to play and play we did! I know you're saying 'stop blathering on you aren't interested in the where's the why's and the how's....HOW DOES THE GAME PLAY?'
I get the message i shall tell .......................
I like the new menus the darker colour is less intrusive on the eyes like 18's colour fest, i know a few are moaning about them but they are functional and serve a purpose not sure what else you need really .I especially like the pre game team line up screen nothing amazing but it does look nice.
Again all pretty much of a muchness, same advanced tactics as PES 2018 few little editd on the buttons bit, apart from that you're not getting blown away here, then again if you want in depth tactics play football manager. The screens are the same, i did like the player likenesses on your squad like 2018, im hoping in 2019 that players wont have that greyed out head as i feel that spoils it a touch, but we'll have to wait and see.
LIGHTING / GRAPHICS
Konami have made a lot about lighting this year as it was outsourced and rightly so, it looks amazing! the combination of light and shade are less intrusive, players look superb especially the ones with faces. The details on the players boots are amazing, its just a lovely looking game and at some angles it looks almost real. There's not much point in trying to describe it as it wont do it justice, but the pics below will give you some idea.
I've said this every year for the last 3 games and i'll say it now, i always reserve full judgement on gameplay once i've played it online as that's where i and most players play the game. However playing this game offline was a joy, it felt like PES of old where you always had that 2 week re learning curve of the new game to get used to the new things, the subtle changes in passing and shooting in this game is no different and Its said every year but this feels slightly slower, as the saying goes its Pro Evolution not Pro Revolution so, where to start .....
Liking this, i played PA1 and manual on this demo, don't see the point in playing anything else and it had a little learning curve and wasn't as on point as 2018, it felt like a slightly assisted PES 2018 manual, when you got it right it was crisp and direct but slightly off and your chasing the ball or its intercepted breaking up that move you had planned in your head so don't think your passing blindfold here and its hitting the recipient because you'll be getting frustrated very quickly. You need to pick your pass and you'll find you will be taking a touch sometimes to set yourself in the right position to make the pass, no 100 mph no look impossipass that we saw in 2018, power is key you, need to get that right. You may find at first it passes a bit short but you'll soon be back in the swing of things. Chipped through balls have more variety, long press and it does the normal way, low power and the player ( not all but most ) will scoop the ball into the air, it looks great as you crack a volley first time. Crossing is again not as on point, obviously using L1 will help but a standard cross can be to far in front or to quick for the attacker to get to. I liked the crossing although being on P2E im not a spam crosser so didn't really give it a good going over. Like i say it feels familiar but enough of a change to feel new but as always with PES after a few weeks it'll probably be comfy like your favourite jumper and PES 2018 will be a distant memory.
Some new shooting mechanics were promised this year and yes its seems to have happened. I didn't manage to see or do one of the new ways of shooting, a rising shot but a couple of low knuckle type shots were seen and they look smart. Shooting from distance is nothing like 2018 now, if your player has low shot power no point in trying from distance as it wont have the power to fly in any corner let alone the top corner, the keeper will gobble them up all day long. Scoring is difficult but not impossible, keepers still good at 1 on 1 situations but the cheeky chip is still possible but same as passing you have to be set the correct way to maximise your chances of scoring, again a learning curve is required again for the average player.
I'm no dribbler so i'm sure there's others out there that can give you a better run down of this but i did notice that dribbling with CB's should probably be avoided especially if they are lumps and turn like an oil tanker, as with players who aren't high rated at dribbling the ball just doesn't stick close at all and will be lost quickly. Sprinting at pace isn't without danger even for the best dribblers you'll need to mix it up to keep full control of the ball, however get a bit a bit of space in front of you and your player is quick enough you can burst away from slower players. Skills are the same im not very good at them, i nearly pulled off one of the new moves, so very close. Dribblers will like the pace of the dribbling i think so ill be looking forward to seeing those that can do what they do.
Being a demo its hard to cover everything that will be in game but its safe to say there's plenty of subtle and bigger changes to keep the most ardent PES player happy. There are still some niggles, ref blowing up for silly fouls, advantage doesn't seem to be played as much and defenders still sometimes take that second touch but not nearly as much as PES 2018.
Goalkeepers are more of the same, harder to beat from distance and still prone to mistakes but the balance has nearly been struck between the 2 so they can still be game savers and like 2018 having a good goalkeeper will be important.
Physicality is more prominent, a big CB will out muscle a smaller CF same as in MF its refreshing to see and may change how you tactically approach each game depending on the opposition.
Stamina will be a killer, we ran one player into the ground on purpose and after 75 minutes he was on nothing, tried a sprint and pulled up, hobbled then walked, he chased another pass and he pulled up again and hit the deck rolling about, looked so good and subs will play a big part in this game as will not sprinting all game .Unfortunately i didn't capture it on video but its definitely in there.
The new quick sub function is handy and also easy to use, it could be a welcome addition saving time for that straight swap.
There are some new things i picked up on which i have tried to show in this video so hopefully you can see what i mean.
16 seconds - Lots of new flicks including this one i know some appear in 2018 but they look more fluid in 2019.
19 seconds - As said earlier scooping the ball on a low powered chip pass.
22 seconds - Loved this little move. the player clips the ball away and it back spins on the spot looks so good in game.
38 seconds - This was great as well, a little adjustment in the players stride to hit the ball better on his stronger foot as well as winding up for the shot, saw this a few times.
1.16 - Finally ball slow down, knock it down the wing the ball doesn't continue at the same speed till it goes out, it actually slows so you have a better chance of catching it
1.30 - Looked to me a different animation for the cushion header
1.37 - i know these are in 2018 but they seem a bit easier to pull off in 2019
1.47 - My attempt at one of the new skill moves ( more luck than skill ) so close lol
1.54 - not seen this in 18 so may be new , a stooping header
last clip just a flowing move showing the game really.
I didn't capture everything that's new plus if i tell you all about it It'll spoil it for you finding out or seeing it for yourself that first time feeling will be gone before its started .
All in all an enjoyable day seeing faces in the community, i've still more games to upload. The game, yep im liking what i've seen , its not without its faults, then again what PES isn't but its an improvement on 2018 and that's all we can ask for really. The real test is when the game is out and we try it online , then we can see if its the best PES ever.
Any questions get in touch with Ray over on Twitter.