A peek behind the curtain: to preview an established annual sports game is something of a farce. You sit down in a whitewashed room, buoyed only by the gentle waft of supermarket pastry, and play a few scant matches of a game that fans will eventually sink hundreds upon hundreds of hours into. It doesn’t really make sense in the usual “this does this! That does that!” preview format, because a sports game’s quirks and brilliances rarely become clear until you’ve hammered the thing for months.
In the case of PES, there are two options here. I could analyse what I played against each of Konami’s own bullet-pointed new features, buzzword-y shout-outs like “Adaptive AI” (unprovable), or weirdly straightforward stuff like “Goal Keeping” (I’m absolutely positive that was in the last one – yes, I checked, there are several goalkeepers in it).