With the World Cup now firmly in the rearview mirror, soccer fans can now settle into the business of supporting their club of choice. After all, as any fan of the beautiful game knows, there’s no international tournament that can compare to the start of a new season.
Landing mere weeks after the close of the World Cup, Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 (or PES19, as fans would have it) provides fans and players with a fantastic soccer simulation to get stuck into. The game’s demo debuted a few weeks back giving players a taste of what to expect. Here’s what we know so far.
To kick things off (pun intended) player knowledge plays a big factor.
Knowing whether a player is right or left-footed has a big impact on whether a shot on goal hits home depending on the angle it’s taken from – and the foot it’s delivered with. Player momentum is also key; knowing that a striker like Olivier Giroud is a hold-up player and that Lionel Messi is a fast-footed triggerman can make the difference between winning and losing a game.
Dribbling feels fantastic. The ball feels loose and light on players’ feet and, once again, knowledge of a player’s skills comes into play here. A full back trying to dribble his way out of a tricky situation just isn’t going to go down well, but put the ball at the feet of an attacker, and all of a sudden PES19 becomes a tense and exciting experience.
Ball physics are present and correct. Whether the ball is on the ground or in the air, if a scramble for possession ensues the on-pitch action looks and feels like the real thing. Players won’t be able to button-mash their way through a game using ping-pong passing up the pitch. They’ll need to take note of the player they’re passing to, their physical position and whether or not they’re marked before planning their attack from their own goal to their opponent’s. Miss-cues are possible in PES19, just as there are in real-life soccer matches.
The game’s AI has also received an upgrade from last year. Player can’t simply waltz towards the penalty box and tip-tap their way into an easy score. Defenders now bunch to close down lanes of attack and make sensible tackles when an opening presents itself. While this may sound daunting, if one is prepared to put in the work, PES19 offers a more satisfying rush than most when one scores a goal.
On top of all this the game looks visually stunning. Players look like their real-life counterparts (even down to their tattoos), pitch textures look life-like and the crowds and stadiums capture the experience of being at a game (or watching it on TV).
Speaking of which, Konami has put the work in to add more authentic licenses with some of the soccer world’s best known and much loved leagues. Roping in the likes of teams and stadiums from Belgium, Scotland and Argentina, PES19 makes an unshakable claim to satisfy soccer fans. The game now boasts over 4000 teams and over 10 000 players.
PES19 aims for authenticity of play throughout. This really is a must-buy game for soccer fans.