PES 2020: Six things we learned playing Konami’s ambitious new game

We were invited to the Allianz Arena to try out PES 2020… but were we impressed?

by Louis Hutchinson

After years of lagging behind FIFA as the leading football game franchise, Konami has stepped up its game with PES 2020.

With all-new licensed teams, players and leagues, PES 2020 looks and feels like an industry-leading console game.

Konami recently announced a partnership with Bayern Munich, with the Bundesliga champions a part of the game for the first time since 2016.

To mark the occasion, we were invited to Bayern’s Allianz Arena to have a hands-on experience with the new PES. ambitiously called eFootball PES 2020.

Quite the mouthful… Here are the six things we learned.

Insane Graphics

The 3D scans of the players look eerily similar to their real-life selves.

Both the PES legends and Bayern players have intricate details of tattoos, hairstyles and skin blemishes. Talk about upping the game, Konami…

 Yes, that is what Ronaldinho looks like in-game

Every licenced team has had the scanning treatment – so there’s plenty of  decent player models dotted around.

Take Bayern winger Kingsley Coman, for example. Look closely and you’ll be able to pick out individual strands of hair. Yes, it really is that good.

 This screenshot was taken during the capture session… pretty impressive

Sadly, the majority of the players from unlicensed teams haven’t been scanned, and the difference really shows. 

READ MORE: Manchester United will be in PES 2020

Iconic celebrations

PES has brought back some of the hilarious and brilliant celebrations, as well as some signature celebrations from the best goalscorers in the world.

 All of the celebrations in PES 2020 have been wonderfully realised
Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski runs towards the corner flag with his signature celebration.
 Watching Legends perform classic celebrations is a real joy

PES Legend Gabriel Batistuta and his memorable machine gun celebration.

Over the years these nostalgic celebrations have been swept under the carpet and newer ‘trendy’ celebrations have taken over. It’s certainly a nice touch from Konami to add some old school celebrations. Watching Batistuta do his machine gun celebration never gets old.

First touch mechanics

 Serge Gnabry is Bayern Munich’s PES Ambassador

Konami has changed the ‘cheesy’ style of one-touch play that let you pass your way through a team just by repeatedly pressing the short pass button.

Instead, the focus now is all about timing, with the type of contact depending on how well the pass was timed.

Controlling the ball from long passes depends on the quality of the player’s ball control. Nobody in PES legends or Bayern Munich had a poor first touch from simple long balls but you can imagine that lower quality players are likely to suffer with maintaining possession whilst under pressure.

This adds a whole new level of tactics to gameplay. Do you risk a quick ball or play it safe?

READ MORE: FIFA 20 Bayern Munich player ratings predictions

Defending and Shielding

 The Allianz has been beautifully recreated in PES 2020
We’ve already touched on the graphics, but it’s the animation that really shines this year.

Realistic shielding of the ball and slide tackles make the game feel even more authentic.

Contesting headers against players who are considered aerial threats is now more of a 50:50 scenario – it’s no longer just about who is the tallest.

Cover stars

It goes without saying that the Bayern squad looks ace in PES 2020.

The three known PES 2020 cover stars so far are Scott McTominay of Manchester United, Lionel Messi of Barcelona and Serge Gnabry of Bayern Munich.

Konami also confirmed that the Allianz Arena will be exclusive to PES 2020. Yet another stadium that will only be available in PES.

Ronaldinho will feature on the Legends Edition of the game.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about PES 2020

The PES 2020 demo will be landing on July 30 – so we’ll be able to have a more detailed hands on for you then. But in the meantime, over to you EA… we’re expecting big things from FIFA 20.