PES 2012 continues Konami's determination to listen to its fanbase and make key improvements to the aspects the audience demands. Thus, the focus for PES 2012 is to ensure the highest level of playability, challenge and realism for the game, whilst also improving the level of control offered to users. Fundamental changes to all areas of its AI have been made following user feedback. Similarly, teamwork is central to how the game moves and feels, enabling fans to replicate anything they would see in a real match.
- Active AI: PES 2012 strives to recreate the movement and team ethic of real football, and Active AI plays a vital role in this. Players will no longer flock to a ball, but will make intelligent runs to create space and draw markers, while others will make themselves available, instigate runs, and visibly call for the ball. In the box, support players will make diagonal decoy runs, full backs will overlap on the wings and midfielders will provide support from behind the ball. The new Active AI routines ensure the flow of a match is more natural, with specific routines for both attack and defence. Hold-up play implemented last year has been improved for easier control with more effectiveness. Defending as a unit plays a key role, and players now hold a tight line, check on the distance between each other, track back as a unit, and fill in for each other. As individuals they also make better decisions to close space, block and tackle
- Jostling: Physicality is a key component in PES 2012, with player strength one of their key individual attributes, and having a vital effect on how they can use their strength to win the ball in a one-on-one situation. Players now fall depending on how they are challenged, with more realistic animations used to show the challenges between two jostling players
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