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Pro Evolution Soccer 2012

When Konami set out to top their previous installment to the “PES” series, they decided to improve upon the predecessor rather than rebuilding the game. “Pro Evolution Soccer 2012″ refines the already realistic formula by addressing issues that tend to distract from the immersing elements of the game. In particular, the AI is much smarter than before and will make more varied and thoughtful decisions. On defense, your teammates are more efficient at working together and will force opponents into mistakes rather than simply putting pressure on the opponent in possession; and offensively, teammates will execute trickier plays like the give-and-go and also generate more movement and opportunities on their own. With defense playing more conservatively, the offense becomes more surgical with their passing to capitalize on defensive breakdowns.

The gameplay is generally stronger and allows players to create more open space on the field. The first way “PES 2012″ accomplishes this is by giving more control over the speed and direction of passes, so that you can pass ahead of the play and allow teammates up the field to retrieve it once after breaking coverage. If you’d rather sit in the driver’s seat, you can take control of a teammate that doesn’t have possession and make the moves and bursts of speed against the defender yourself, then call for the pass from the AI. This enhanced up and down component of progressing toward the offensive zone opens up the play for a greater representation of scoring styles. The “catch-up glitch” from the preceding entry is gone, so one-on-one showdowns against goalies or defenders are more likely.

Speaking of goalies, computer-controlled goalies have always tended to be inconsistent and unable to step up against high-probability shots, but they will now display more varied blocks, catches and animations which also contributes to more realistic, higher save percentages.

Players will notice right away the heightened realism that subtly tinges most aspects of the game, whether its improved jostling, fine-tuned physics, far more responsive and fluid controls, and even officiating; referees can discriminate between calls better and can book offenders after a play has stopped. Stepping into the cleats of your favorite team, you may be surprised to see them stay true to their identity, though individual players may feel the need to break from form and back down from confrontation or else stir up trouble at the wrong time. In effect, the match seems to focus less on you as a phenomenal dynamo and more on the team efforts of both sides.

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Rating: 4.5/5 (35 votes cast)
Pro Evolution Soccer 2012, 4.5 out of 5 based on 35 ratings

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