PES2019: 1st Impressions

It is here. Another year has flown by, and PES2019 landed on the doormat earlier than expected today, before 11am, which must be something of a Royal Mail record in the modern era. Younger readers won’t remember, but there was a time when your post would always arrive before everyone had even got up. 7.30am was considered late to get your post. Nowadays, 10.40am is early. How times have-

Oh, right, PES2019.

Hmmmm. Well, the TL;DR version: I’m pleased, I’m content, I’m as impressed as I always am on Day 1 of a new PES. But –

I’m not completely blown away by PES2019. Not yet. And this is probably a good thing.

I have never felt comfortable with how excited and borderline-hysterical I always get on Day 1 of a new PES, considering how things subsequently end up, particularly in recent years.

nuPES has done its best to destroy the legacy of Pro Evolution Soccer. I cannot forget, or forgive.

Session 1, if I was giving it an overall Satisfaction Score, would rate only something like a cool 7/10. (Note for skim-readers: this is not any kind of score for the game. It is only a score for my overall Satisfaction level after 1 session on Day 1.)

Playing 7 or 8 Exhibition matches in a row isn’t what I want to do with PES2019, anyway. The real test will come over the next few days and weeks as Master League gets going.

If I had to pick one reason why I am relatively cool after 1 session, it’s that it didn’t take many matches for things to feel more or less like PES2018 again. The same urgent, end-to-end rhythms.

Visual Fatigue, as expected, is nowhere in evidence.

It plays a great game of footy. I got hammered by the AI on Top player – see above. I did have John Stones sent off early in this one, and I did spend most of my time messing around, taking long shots, playing speculative passes, and the like. But I still got my backside handed to me.

The AI overall has been a pleasant surprise. It scored a wonderful volley from outside the box, which is in the brief video at the bottom. #AIthatweneed

AI-committed fouls so far feel as if they have been nerfed, relative to the demo. My sequence of AI-committed fouls over the first 5 matches went something like 0, 2, 1, 2, 1.

So there was only one match with none, an improvement on PES2018. But the demo had given me a reasonable expectation that the levels of fouls seen in the demo would scale up proportionally to longer matches. That expectation has so far not been met.

A warning for all potential 4K TV purchasers: you will likely spend as much or more time fretting over and tinkering with its settings as playing or watching things on it. At least to begin with. I went through this first session of PES2019 with the display menus open on the TV and the PS4 at least three times in every match. And still wasn’t quite settled by the end of it

My final match I switched the Passing Assistance from my customary PA1 to PA0, Unassisted – or ‘manual’ as it has come to be known to PES players.

Every year I think ‘this is the year I ascend to Manual Nirvana and become as one with the gods’. Every year I play with PA0 for a match or two, then go back to PA1 and forget all about it.

I really enjoyed the PA0 match I played, more than any other in previous years. We will see.

PES Day is a major highlight of the year for me and always feels special – and so does this one. I think after so many years of frustration over nuPES, I’m wary of offering PES2019 my hand at this stage.

This is a game that I will cautiously feel my way into. It will have to win me over. I will not roll over to have my tummy tickled.

The plan for tomorrow is to install an Option File and start a Master League. I will probably use an all-new bespoke club, instead of my usual Coventry City. I feel like ringing this changes this year.

Friday’s post will be up at midday as usual. Happy PES Day, one and all.

Clip 1: a good move is almost finished off spectacularly by Rashford. This was me testing the mechanics of the game. I do love a volleyed goal from a dropping aerial through-ball.

Clip 2: the AI scores a stunning volley from a cleared corner. One of its 7 goals against me in that thrashing.

Clip 3: my very first goal scored in PES2019. A standard header from Kane, in my first match.

Updated: 29th August 2018 — 20:01


  1. Shed – nice one! Very PES-ish.

    NG – good to hear and I am getting good vibes as well. Fouls are good and provide well-needed interruptions to the “flow”. I find myself surprised regularly that certain fouls actually get called. Free kicks in shooting range feel very nice indeed. It makes the no-fouls matches, which are still there, stand out more in a negative sense though.

    And – whisper it – am I seeing actual player individuality? I noticed a lot of my passes going astray, especially aerial passes. “Good”, I thought until it seemed a bit random relative to my aiming…a bit of fooling around saw my midfielder with a high passing stat (Lasse Schone) having a bit more success. Could be coincidence but regardless of that, I like the increased passing error. Works both ways as I’m seeing it from the CPU as well (on Professional of course).

  2. Hi all, great to see the blog going strong I still pop along often but don’t post much at all. So………….after buying 2018 and trading it within a week (then buying it again months later ….to delete it again) I picked this up on release being a sucker…I LOVE IT!!!!!! Fix the annoying low cross by the A.I and it’s golden for me. A note on Shopto, the let me down

  3. Shed – I’ve heard enough reports in the wild of people getting penalties that I think there will be some. Not many – I’ve already had two challenges in the box waved away that should both have been pens, I think – but some.

    Tommy – your resistance is remarkable. I’m guessing you’re one of those people who has to have every update and every kit and every badge installed everywhere before starting anything?

    #1 – very interesting so far isn’t it? But can it last? Just how nervous will Patch 1, whenever it comes, make us?! The no-fouls matches are now very annoying, and I’m hearing that Rivals matches, as I always found them to be from their first introduction, are atrociously fast and uninterrupted.

    Metz – I remember well how you quit PES2018 in disgust a week after release last year. Like a mobile game, you said, with justification. Re. ShopTo and SimplyGames, more people than ever this year saying they were let down. The Bank Holiday played a part in it I think, their stock arriving quite late in the day Tuesday.

  4. NG – read that as well. I thought they were actually better than regular matches on PES2018 (horrible in PES2017 though) – but then I never really got on with that game from the get-go to be honest, in hindsight.

    Luckily I can back up each .exe on PC though IF patches ruin it…which I will be doing.

    As always gameplay is better using the ML defaults and that is no different this time around. Glad to see the defaults are proper cack as they should be. Started a trial ML with Monaco, had to play Barcelona in the ICC. Great match, I was never going to win but I got off a few pot shots here and there. I got fouled, players got tired.

    By the way: Visual Fatigue doesn’t seem very “visual” but I definitely noticed player performance going WAY down when they go into the “red” stamina-wise. Good!

    I get the suspicion this one is a grower in addition to the good first impressions, and that there are “layers” to this years’ edition.

Comments are closed.