PES

PES 2019 Demo: First impressions

The new season is upon us! What better way to celebrate by firing up the console, downloading the Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 Demo and seeing what’s in store.

Alastair Pusinelli by Alastair Pusinelli

As the new season approaches, so do the new football video games for the campaign. Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 looks to get the new term off to a flier with the Konami title coming out at the end of August, getting a jump on its biggest rival, FIFA 19, which comes out at the end of September.

Gamers got their first taste of PES action with the Demo being released on August 8. RealSport dissects what’s on the PES 2019 Demo, and what it means for the full game at the end of the month.

Playable modes on the demo

Just three modes are available to play on the PES 2019 Demo.

Exhibition is the mode you will be most familiar with. Here you can hone your skills against the COM or take on your mates. All matches are 5 minutes long with no extra time. You can customise the number of substitutions, the condition (form) of each team and turn injuries on or off.

Quick Match is an online friendly match. Your record on here will not transfer on to the full game. 

Co-Op is a strange one. Here you can play a three on three cooperative match, but if you don’t have enough players, the COM will fill in the rest. Our advice is to only play this mode if you have plenty of friends playing, otherwise you will be livid at the COM’s performance. 

Available teams

There are 10 club teams and two international sides that you can play as on the PES 2019 Demo. All of these have full licences. 

The big hitters are current La Liga champions Barcelona and Champions League runners up Liverpool.

You can play the Milan Derby della Madonnina on the PES demo, with both AC Milan and Inter Milan at your disposal. Other big European teams include Schalke and Monaco, with PES 2019’s fully licenced Brasileiro Serie A represented by Sao Paulo, Flamengo and Palmeiras. There is one other South American team, Colo-Colo of the Chilean Primera Division. 

On the international scene, you will be able to play as Lionel Messi’s Argentina and newly crowned World Champions France

Stadia

On the demo, you are only able to play at Barcelona’s Camp Nou and the home of Schalke, the VELTINS-Arena.

Fear not, as other stadiums have been confirmed for the full PES 2019 game. These include the Emirates (Arsenal), Stade Louis II (Monaco), Johan Cruyff Arena (Ajax), Celtic Park (Celtic), Ibrox (Rangers), the Sukru Saracoglu (Fenerbahce) as well as ten grounds from South America. 

Best players on the PES 2019 Demo

A statement at the beginning of the demo says that the ratings on the game are based on May 2018 performances, meaning that these ratings are not final, and are subject to change ahead of full release. Not only that, the squads still reflect the end of last season. So Andres Iniesta and Paulinho both still appear for Barcelona, and Fabinho is yet to make his move from Monaco to Liverpool

Player

Position

Team

OPR

Lionel Messi 

SS

Barcelona/Argentina

94

Mohamed Salah 

RWF

Liverpool

90

Antoine Griezmann

CF

France

90

Luis Suarez

CF

Barcelona

90

Sergio Aguero

CF

Argentina

88

Phillipe Coutinho

LWF

Barcelona

88

Paulo Dybala

SS

Argentina

88

Marc-Andre ter Stegen

GK

Barcelona

88

Gerard Pique

CB

Barcelona

88

Gonzalo Higuain

CF

Argentina

88

N’Golo Kante

DMF

France

87

Sergio Busquets

DMF

Barcelona

87

Leonardo Bonucci

CB

AC Milan*

87

Virgil van Dijk

CB

Liverpool

87

Samuel Umtiti

CB

Barcelona

87

Mauro Icardi

CF

Inter Milan

87

Hugo Lloris

GK

France

87

Kylian Mbappe

RWF

France

86

Paul Pogba

CMF

France

86

Raphael Varane

CB

France

86

Roberto Firmino

CF

Liverpool

86

Andres Iniesta

CMF

Barcelona*

86

Paulinho

CMF

Barcelona*

86

Angel Di Maria

RWF

Argentina

86

Nicolas Otamendi

CD

Argentina

86

Samir Handanovic

GK

Inter Milan

86

Nabil Fekir

AMF

France

86

Sadio Mane

LWF

Liverpool

86

*Denotes player has since moved club

Initial thoughts

PES 2019 will take some getting used to, with the impression from the demo is that there will be a greater difference between the elite gamers and the novices. Last year’s Pro Evo was great to pick-up and play for the first-timer, with your players able to shimmy round opponents with the ball, and while you can still do this on PES 2019, you will need finer timing. 

The first great feature is substitutions on the fly. During every stoppage in the game, you can make a substitution without having to pause. You can scroll through your entire team and select the replacement although you can only make one substitution at a time.

Crossing remains a key attacking asset and is really effective when you whip the ball in early or to the back post. The biggest reason for this is unintelligent goalkeepers. Unless you tell your goalkeeper to rush out (triangle/Y), he will stay parked on his line, making it incredibly easy for the attacker to slide the ball away.

To balance out the goalkeeper’s lack of positioning, it seems there is a lack of method in finishing. You can be through one-on-one and the ball can be put unexplainably wide, yet long shots will often trouble the goalkeeper or go narrowly wide.

The greatest concern is that your players can be lethargic on the ball. With PES meant to have a more realistic pace about it, you actually need to think faster as it’s easy to be caught in possession. This is incredibly dangerous when playing online, as any latency in connection could put you in jeopardy, with errors aplenty for both sides. 

This is just the demo of course and could just be some early teething problems for PES 2019. Three weeks remain until the full game is to be released, giving Konami time to rectify any issues. Updates to the game can occur after release as well, so expect PES to be back to its best sooner rather than later.

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Alastair Pusinelli

First console: GameBoy Color / Favourite Game: Assassin's Creed 2 / Currently playing: Football Manager 2020

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