PES Next Gen – A Whole New Level

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July 15th 2020 will be a date remembered by PES fans for a long time. And rightly so. These are exciting times for those of us who continue to play Konami’s football series as well as those who grew up loving the series. Sure, there is still much we need to learn about next gen PES and there’s no doubt that people will have a thousand and one questions until we find out more but what’s most exciting is this; PES 2022’s early reveal ushers in a brand new style of marketing with a key plan now set in place – a dedicated vision that’s looking at the long term goals of the series instead of the yearly development cycle that has seemed to stifle the franchise since PES 5 & 6.

This is a big deal. Formulating a plan so early in a games development means PES 22 is being treated as a true next gen title. Similar to games teased 2-3 years in advance at events like State of Play, E3 or Gamescom, PES 2022 is being given time to develop instead of simply being forced into a 9-10 month development cycle. There’s no doubt a next gen PES 21 could have been rushed onto PS5’s this holiday season and it probably would have suffered the same issues as previous transitions. This looks like Konami are trying to avoid that very such problem. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve seen hundreds of tweets, posts and messages discussing PES. Rumours of big Spanish partners, anniversary events and more but I don’t think anyone had seen this coming. The trailer itself looks incredible with a beautiful tease of Messi. But it’s the fact something like this has been released that excites me more.

This might seem like a slightly over exaggerated take but for a PES game, we are into uncharted (yet ridiculously exciting) waters. PES 2021 has not even been officially detailed (full news will come very soon but we do now know that this year’s PES will be a streamlined offering in the form of a “season update”.) but this reveal already sets the ball rolling regarding the future of PES. Honestly, regardless of your gripes with PES over the last few years, the fact that this teaser has come so early should prove that PES is a priority and that it’s future is being fully planned. The idea for this teaser wasn’t conceived last week.

We’ve got a next generation teaser showing us in game visuals and concrete confirmation of a new engine – 12 months in advance. The excellent Unreal Engine will be game changing for the future of PES with unlimited possibilities that should see PES 2023, PES 2024 and beyond noticeably improve each season. This was a hugely requested change and it’s great to see it come to pass even if it was expected after years of rumours.

This feels like the start of a new era. It just feels different. Yes, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype and it’s foolish to think that PES 22 will be a perfect game that pleases every single fan. But it’s the direction, decision making and commitment to transparency that deserves massive praise. This is a brave move. This is a huge move. And it probably surprised even Konami’s fiercest critics. There’s so many positive factors with this reveal that even the most disillusioned of fans will be intrigued.

Most of us know that the transition to next gen consoles has rarely gone well throughout the decades. PES 2008 was a low point in the series and PES 2014 was so barebones that many wished the FOX engine had been left to bake a little longer in the oven. Taking these steps to ensure that development is of the utmost importance by doubling the cycle just screams that a new dawn is coming in how PES is treated going forward. Nobody is handing PES 2022 the title of the best football game ever because it’s far to early to tell but credit where credit is due, this is a huge, surprising and exciting start to next gen PES.

PES has become very easy to criticise and very hard to praise but this reveal and information should be praised and appreciated. It’s a wonderful step in the right direction and that should be celebrated. 2020 has been a very difficult and strange year for all of us so it’s great to have a good surprise if you are a PES fan and a football fan. Again, nobody is saying that this is the finished product and game of the year awards should be handed out. But it’s the fact that next gen PES is being developed as a top tier IP with progress already much further along than even the biggest PES dreamer could have imagined. Now let’s hope we see some more content soon to make that wait a little bit quicker. Roll on the Unreal Era.