Pro Evolution Soccer 2016
Konami and developer PES Productions are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Pro Evo series with big promises across the board.
Last year's game was a good debut on the new-gen systems, but it was only a first step into a new environment for the franchise. With a little experience under its feet and the pride of 20 years of virtual football behind it, PES Productions has loudly announced its intentions to go for glory.
The game is touting a "total revamp" of its Master League mode from its transfer system to its menus, and this kind of approach seems to be the overall spirit of the game. The developer is promising three-times more animations, a new collision system (including left stick jostling that factors in players' body sizes), new ball physics, and more celebrations as just the tip of the iceberg.
The video below shows off a few of the changes, including more intelligent A.I. teammates who will utilize space and make runs better. For example, ubiquitous give-and-gos are now initiated without the need for player button inputs.
You can also see the game's emphasis on more keeper save animations – noticeably lacking last year – and one-on-one deke moves. Interestingly, the latter was downplayed in PES 2015, so I'm curious how the balancing is being handled. Is this in deference to cover star Neymar? Will players like him be too powerful? How will this reconcile with the new collision system? Here's hoping the results are as rich and varied as they potentially could be. Perhaps as a nod to good defense, a perfectly timed tackle in PES 2016 leads to better counter-attack opportunities.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 also boasts a dynamic weather system that will not only make your matches look like they should, but players will also slip accordingly – particularly if they're not super skilled or are trying to defend a particularly tricky attacker.
The notable myClub online mode is also receiving attention via mode-specific players, a menu overhaul, and a player-leveling system.
Finally, Konami has announced that it has renewed its UEFA Champions League and Europa League license for another three years.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 comes out on September 16 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC – a week earlier than rival FIFA 16.