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Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 Preview

Eduardo_Reboucas By:
GENRE Sports 
E Contains No Descriptors

What do these ratings mean?

Futbole Excitante!!!

[That's not a misspelling of the Spanish. Our dear Eduardo is Portuguese. ~Ed.]

The Pro Evolution Soccer series has been steadily losing ground to FIFA. But from the looks of it, the 2012 edition of Pro Evo might just take that yearly battle at least as far as the penalty kicks. For the soccer (*cough* futebol *cough*) layman, that means that from the limited time I spent with it at E3, Pro Evo 2012 looks very good.

click to enlargeKonami is touting a huge overhaul in the way your matches play out with a set of new features for PES 2012 that sets it apart from last year's game. Special attention has been given to your teammates' artificial intelligence. For instance, the way computer controlled players keep up with you as you pass them the ball has been significantly improved. If you're a more tactical player, the so called "dummy runs" now work as a distraction tactic in real-time, where your computer-controlled players create diversions to give you openings for goal opportunities.

The one feature that has me scratching my head as of this writing, since I didn't actually see it in action, is what Konami calls "zonal defense". As it was described to me, it's basically a feature that makes the rest of your team "flow" across the pitch in a more natural way, closer to an actual match of soccer.

Graphics-wise, Pro Evo 2012 looks on par with recent sports game releases. Player models from the team I got to play, Netherlands, were spot on with their real life counterparts. Stadium crowd chants are also very realistic at this stage in development.

Konami says the game is around 70% complete and is staying tight-lipped on more details. As we get closer to release, we're bound to get more information, like which leagues will be in the game, especially due to how much money Electronic Arts has been putting into closing exclusivity deals with soccer leagues from around the world. Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 is currently set for a fall 2011 release.

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