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PES 2011 gameplay details revealed

Konami title boasts all-new features; Lionel Messi is cover star

Konami has formally announced Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 - and revealed a slew of new in-game features.

The title will be released on PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Wii, PS2 and PSP in Autumn - and Konami reckons it's undergone 'the most radical revamp in its history'.

New features will include a power bar for each player that allows them to determine the exact strength and placement of every pass and shot.

Meanwhile, Konami has done away with assisted AI during matches - meaning passes will not automatically reach the nearest player.

"It was time for PES to transform, and PES 2011 represents the most ambitious redesign in the series' history," commented Jon Murphy, European PES Team Leader for Konami.

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"We've continued to work closely with the fans to pinpoint what it is about football that PES didn't do. Total freedom was the priority and all-new animation a must.

"PES 2011 does both - indeed, they are directly linked to each other - and while the new game is recognisably PES at its heart, it is also the most radically improved version ever."

In addition, a specially-designed control system has been introduced that Konami reckons will 'allow total control over every element of play'.

The full list of new features is:

*Total Control: PES Productions has enhanced the 360-degree passing ratio, offering reworked control over every pass, shot, throw-in, through ball and lofted through balls. Konami claims that this 'allows users to pass the ball into space, and move their play with total freedom'. Players must precisely weight their passes and second-guess the runs of their team-mates and exploit their movement. Players even can apply pressure on opponents to force them off the ball.

*Shot & Stamina Gauge: In addition to the generic power gauge, the Shot & Stamina meter details the player's exact level of fitness. Constantly sprinting will affect the player's movements and will have an adverse affect on his stats, with passes going awry and a loss of pace.

*New Defender AI: Defenders now hold their positions, no longer chasing any ball that enters their area; preferring to close down the attacker and force them into a mistake.

*Animation and Player Physics: PES Productions has 'totally reworked every element of in-game animation'. The physicality between players has been improved - which Konami says was a priority requested in PES forums. Jostling and blocking now looks stunning, while there is a larger variety of convincing tackling styles. Ambient animation also adds to the in-game atmosphere, as players behave realistically when off the ball, and walk and run with a variety of individual styles.

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*Speed of Play: The new controls means that PES 2011 enjoys a 'more considered pace of play', according to Konami, which varies dependent on situations. Players can dictate the pace via slow build-up or exploiting available space to surge forward. It is harder to make long runs from midfield, and successful play will depend on making quick passes to make room.

*Aesthetics: Facial animation has been enhanced, while over 1,000 all-new animations which have been recreated from the ground up using over 100 hours of motion captured footage.

*Tactical and Strategy: The PES Productions team has implemented an all new 'Drag and Drop' mechanism that can be used in every aspect of team management, not just substitutions or formation changes.

*Feint settings: PES has always offered a wide range of subtle skills, feints and turns, but PES 2011 allows users to map their favourite move sequences to the right stick, making them more accessible than ever before.

Master League Online: PES 2011 will mark the online debut for its Master League element.

Elsewhere, both referees and goalkeepers have been improved in both aesthetic and AI terms, while an all-new commentary process has been implemented.

The game will also see the return of Lionel Messi as its cover star, and the expansion of its UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League elements, and the addition of the Copa Liberadores from South America.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg for PES 2011," concluded Murphy.

"We have some significant announcements still to come regarding game modes and gameplay functions. The first footage of the new game perfectly showcases the new animation and freedom elements that beat at the heart of the new game. We are confident that PES 2011 will both surprise and delight football fans. They are going to have to relearn how they play, as this is a very different game, but I am confident it will blow them all away."

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