PES2020: 1st impressions

I’ll go with list format for this year’s 1st Impressions. No time to ‘write proper’.


  • Anxious wait for the weekend postman, then a savage exultant feeling. ‘He’s delivered all right!’
  • I’m at work. All day. It’s busy. Which is good. I snatch occasional reads of forums, and comments on this blog. Why is life so unfair?
  • Weekend PES releases are NOT good.
  • Just about every online retailer’s customers are also receiving the game today. Simply Games is still a great service and I’m a spoilt brat of a First World child for complaining. But without their usual day-earlier-than-anybody-else bonus, it’s back to the cheaper ShopTo next year for me.
  • Nighttime playing a new PES? No, I don’t like this at all.
  • Straight to patch 1.02. I considered mucking around with internet connections and staying on vanilla. But I prefer the less complicated life.

  • First match – of course – my traditional England vs Scotland. Youngsters today don’t know how big a deal this was in the 1980s and before. Oldest International in the world. And most importantly, my annual orientation point for every new PES.
  • Regular difficulty for game 1. Everything out of the box. PA1, Basic Shooting.
  • Worried as I’d spent all Saturday reading about game speed and seeing videos where the ball staggeringly moves along at a billion mph or so.
  • So I was braced for an unpleasant shock… which didn’t come. Speed to me seemed the same as the demo.
  • NB: I only played the demo for about 2 hours all told, spread thinly across several weeks. Half of that was messing about with PA0 on the PC demo just this past week. So I’m not the best person to judge this.
  • Passing and shooting, lovely. Context and stats based. Shooting is very PES2011-like, in that it’s very sensitive to button pressure – but also has contextual weight and oomph in a very pleasant and peculiar way.
  • I sent so many long- and mid-range attempts high, wide, and not very handsome. In all recent PES games those shots would have been contenders.
  • My first goal came in Game 1 soon enough: an attempted R2 placer from Barkley got a weird tip onto the bar from the keeper, then the post, and fell to Kane, who ‘knuckled’ it in?

My second goal was in the second half:

  • Neither anything truly special, but I don’t ever remember scoring a special one in my first session, so that’s fine.
  • I’m sure the great goals will come. Some of the things that can happen are truly amazing.
  • FOULS – I got 0 in match 1. Moved to Top Player for Match 2, when I got 1. And 0 again in match 3. NOT happy with what seems to be a straightforward reversion to type for nuPES. Funny thing is that I’d take PES2019 levels of fouls now – about 1.25 per match would be an improvement. Left a bit of a nasty taste in the mouth, this, as it enables a button-mashy thoughtless defending that the demo was at pains NOT to allow.
  • But I’m going to wait and see before losing my shit over this one.
  • I spent a very enjoyable 15 minutes in Training, trying to score a long-ranger with England versus Neuer – and failing. I enjoyed a mess around with manual here too.
  • OVERALL feeling, positive, but with this being a weekend release (effectively that’s what it is) my usual PES routines are disrupted and it’ll be Monday before I get a proper in-depth hands-on.



Updated: 8th September 2019 — 13:02


  1. Caved and traded the Xbox for now my second PS4 pro couldn’t settle without the option file! While in CEX I saw The PES 2,3 and 4 for 50p. I adored 4 at the time, I lived in Spain that year and it was my life that game. PES2020 ordered for £35.

  2. Metz – those early Golden Age PES games are still just about playable today. Only PES2 feels ‘old’ (that replay music will never feel old).

    No fouls enabling dizzying nonstop gameplay is my only real concern with ’20 right now. And with only 3 matches under my belt. I’ll need 100 matches to know.

  3. Game has “slowed down” now I’m playing with lesser teams.

    I still think the animations are smoother or something, leading to the illusion of increased speed. Maybe I didn’t play with the big teams enough on the demo.

    Sneaking a look at ML, checking out some settings and that. They’ve removed the ‘likelihood of signing’ indicator which is interesting (I currently have negotiatons set to ‘hard’ so not sure if that’s a factor). Also the “real world player values” is good. i.e. 41 year old Buffon is only worth 900k. No more selling off close-to-retirement players for a massive lump.

  4. I have to say the game looks really good in motion. Liking the goals there NG precisely because they’re fairly plain.
    I went and caved , pre ordered through cdkeys. 33 euros, not a bad deal. I think I played less than 10 games on the demo in total so I’ll be going in relatively fresh.

    Only thing I’m not liking so far is the apparent lack of fouls. Even though you could see that coming from miles away. Still don’t understand why they don’t give us a slider. No issues for anyone then. Onliners included.

  5. Did anyone get some thumb stick covers in their box? Noticed a YouTube unboxing which included them. Want some as struggle with the PS4 controller without them.

  6. You may consider this ML spoilers, so feel free to delete if you like nG…

    I was messing around and set the starting transfer budget to small – £2.2m.
    Then I restarted and set it to large – £94.5m! With the defaults! Ludicrous.

    Also did an experiment with transfer difficulty set to hard, and then easy. On hard, negotiations failed imediately, but on easy they came back with a counter-offer.

    You don’t get the ‘chances of signing’ indicator anymore on any setting, all you have is the sports director comments.

  7. I read that challenge mode is gone so these settings are there for the purity challenge. Small, low & hard on FUMA with the defaults and first transfer window off.

    I’m a little disappointed from what I’ve read about the changes made to the game but will try not to judge until Tuesday. I’m off on hols for two weeks from next weekend so no ML until October, hopefully by then all the mods will be available and an option for demo spec gameplay on PC. Fingers crossed because I need that defending.

  8. METZ – hello again by the way, and no, I did not get any thumb caps in my box, I doubt anyone else did either, might it have been a promotional pack? I have the thumb caps on both my PS4 controllers, and they’re absolutely necessary.

    Tommy – no worries, I am not one for multiple starts of Master League in order to get the right settings so it’s good to know these things in advance. I’m pretty certain to go with hardest everything and Professional to start with.

    #1/Cook – it’s most worrying for you PC people as it’s likely the baseline Steam version will be the patched console version, so no option to revert to vanilla and as we all know fan-made patches are not ideal. I’ve still not played enough to comment directly, but I will get a nice session in tonight and again tomorrow. There was a comment on the forums after the demo came out that has stuck with me. ‘Konami just aren’t brave enough to have this as the retail game.’

  9. NG – not too fussed about that , I’m just going to take the patches and thus the game as it is. If it is not to my liking at some point I will look into adding community gameplay patches at a later stage. But I will hold off on doing that for longer this year. Lesson learned from last year.

  10. Hello, I need to comment more as I still keep up to date with the blog every week but dropped PES19 quickly along with FIFA19 for that matter. Yeah they are essential, my thumb slips off the stick. Just signed up for PES Universe option file, PES world won’t be ready at launch.

  11. The only decision I have now is what transfer frequency to set low, normal or high. I want there to be transfers, as this is true to real life. But I also don’t want to be playing against the same starting 11s season after season. What constitutes low, normal and high in Konami’s mind? This is obviously an unknown quantity right now. I always used to set the old PES games to high, and it never seemed that bizarre. I’m hoping there might be some more info available before I start my ML, from others who have ventured in already, over the coming days. I’m also thinking that sticking with normal is probably the safest bet.

  12. Hmm, not liking such huge variation in those numbers/likelihood, I’d have preferred it all to be hidden inside the overall difficulty. It just encourages you to think ‘did I set it too easy’ if you sign a big name early doors. Smacks of the need for house rules.

    I’m still trying out the exhibition, lots of very nice player touches, but then I’m only trying out the top teams, I doubt the defaults will flick the ball with the outside of the foot like salah. I presume its last year’s names? No return for Colin coynborough??

  13. The overall pace of the game hasn’t changed from the demo, but responsiveness on the ball has been improved so can give the illusion of the game moving faster, south american teams the pace feels slower than a premier league match, again down to stats and responsiveness.

    Also took a few screenshots from the end of match stats, various random matches using different teams in different leagues, will upload later tonight, but each shows around 4-5 fouls for and against me, admittedly the ‘bump’ fouls of the demo have been toned down, and thats a good thing, any physical contact in the demo was given and it was annoying and unrealistic.

    Constantly passing and moving the ball on will not bring many fouls as you are reducing the time carrying the ball therefore reducing the opportunity window for there to e physical contact.
    Use of the shield the ball mechanic, double-tap speed burts to dash past defenders, has brought plenty of fouls and shooting range FK’s for me.

    Yet to score a FK, had a few whistle wide and a few good stops from the GK so this seems improves, also I’m playing with power bar off, so this adds an extra difficulty layer to FK’s.

    Finesse dribbling with RS and Slow dribbling with R2 also helps draw fouls.

    Played a Merseyside Derby last night before shooting out to see IT 2 at the cinema, Mo Salah doing what he does:

  14. I was absolutely shattered after work yesterday and only played 1 (ONE) match so I’ve still not had what I think of as a proper session on the new PES. That will be fixed today! A Custom Cup and maybe a cheeky look around in Master League with a temporary club. I think I will wait for Thursday after all to start my real one.

    Paul – that looseness of the ball when Salah knocks it aside is still there in bucketloads in the pitiful 4 matches I managed to play over the weekend. I’m sticking with the camera angle too.

    Uncle Turf – just leaving it on Normal should suffice to reassure you surely? Or why not on Hard – I’m probably going to go for that option. No more revolving door of silky AMFs.

  15. NG – that Salah knocking it aside is the R2 trap and LS away from defender mechanic, whereby you can cushion the ball into space, when trapping the ball to protect it from tackles, used to great effect in that first goal, to make room to wrap the left peg around iot and get that bend on it.

    My camera angle is custom stadium cam, Zoom: 7, Height : 0, Angle: 8
    But also the Broadcast cam is beautiful too, similar but they removed that annoying disorientating zoom-in now, I will probably flick between the 2 angles throughout ML to give a more varied stadium feel.

    NG – time permitting of course, before ML starts a proper, fancy our traditional online match one night?

  16. Fair play then Paul, I am a triangle short passer, I rarely run with the ball at all so unlikely to draw them if that is the prompt.

    NG – got to be hard, until Abbeyhill suggests applying an embargo for three years minimum. Guess it depends on defaults and development. Rice has proved to be invaluable in 2017, I’ve never valued him before but a revisit with a harder chance of signing players shows his worth beyond stats.

  17. Oh and I won France ligue 2 in season 2 by a canter. Big goal difference. It does seem an easy pes but I’m going to keep it ticking on.

  18. Paul – liking those impressions there and am now getting properly hyped for the game. I know you’re not giving the game any free pass whatsoever so good indication of the game’s quality in my view. Forums are already going through the usual cycle of excitement, despair etc and the game’s not even officially out yet. Good stuff.

  19. Hopefully, mine arrives in work today, probably sat all weekend in a holding cell.
    I’m also going with PesUniverse I think this time If I can get signed up. It seems to be busy.
    Then the choice will be to build a dynasty as Cryuff or the insanity of Maradona. Such a cosmetic and superficial change has excited me more than I expected even if it is only an avatar.

  20. #1 – I said I’d approach PES20 with no expectations, and I have done, so far its exceeded my expectations, but I liked PES 19 the first week, then when I started a ML and experienced the LCS and abysmal AI, it all came crashing down, so PES 20 hasn’t been given the official seal of approval yet, that can only be decided once balls deep into a ML Mode.

    Having said that, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every one of of the 16 games I’ve played on exhibition mode so far, and the AI seems very good, playing the ball backwards, sideways, keeping possession, shooting from range, varying their attacks.

    It’s looking good.

    Lets just hope the big teaks dont all sell half their squads before the first transfer window in ML this year.

    Turf – Seems obvious to me but if you are constantly playing short passes and not holding on to the ball with any one player for any amount of time then you are severely narrowing the opportunity to get fouled, couple that with the fact that 90 mins of ebb and flow of real football has to be condensed down into a compacted, virtual 10 mins, and you can see why fouls are few and far between.

    Not saying you should play any differently at all, just that a dribble/maintain possession approach naturally yields more fouls.

    you still get the bump and nudge fouls here and there, although these have been toned down from the demo, which I like as the demo was actually infuriating to play because Konami implemented this new physicality system, but it was null and void as the merest breath in the demo was called a foul.

  21. Paul – What an earth happened to the AI midfield for that second goal? You had the freedom of *Generic Konami Stadium* there. I’m marking the AI down a point for that.

    I played around with the stadium camera last night, and I still don’t love it, but I want to! I don’t sit that close to the TV so it’s feels like I’m playing from up in the gods, and zoomed in the camera feels sluggish. More fiddling needed.

  22. Minor thing that needs fixing – the referee doesn’t signal for throw-ins now. I’ve got so used to glancing at the ref whenever a throw-in was in doubt. Now he doesn’t indicate which way it’s gone.

    Paul — it’s not just the glancing fouls that are gone. Multiple full-on barges that take your player out are gone as fouls too, and they really need to come back. If there was a button to restore the fouls from the demo, glitchy or not, I would press it and leave it pressed. The problems ‘with’ being much more acceptable than the problems ‘without’.

    It’d be tomorrow or Weds before I get any chance to play online and I’ll let you know. And it would have to be early evening, 6-7ish. Cannot do any other time.

    Uncle Turf – so long as you and abbeyhill and other Purists are not playing on full manual, Purity can only be a distant dream.

    Hoping to see Rice in the roster of Defaults – but will he be nerfed? Always possible.

    #1 – spotted a commenter on EvoWeb saying he was confident he could restore the fouls on PC if the relevant values were still present in the code. Interesting!

    prsgame – I won’t mind Lothar or Diego at all. I think I’ll pick Lothar.

  23. Paul – true that, I remember you being impressed with pes19 initially so we’ll see how it goes. Good first signs though. I’m getting that football gaming itch again, that’s been gone for a while now.

    NG – interesting indeed! I must’ve missed that, I usually follow the modding news pretty closely over there. Modders tried but only half – succeeded (imo) to increase fouls last year.

  24. Tommy – Everton were 1-0 down and chasing the game, that counter attack came from an Everton corner, and I hit them on the break whilst they had a lot of numbers up, saying that, upon watching it back, although I’m happy with why I had all that space, what I’m not happy with is the fact that the Everton players chasing me, were barely chasing at all, IRL those players would be sprinting, busting a bollock, to get back at Salah, in this example they just jog back behind him with no real gusto shown for making a tackle, it’s these areas of the AI that are still lapse and need improving.

    NG – As I mentioned, I’ve had a fair few fouls, they have definitely been toned down from the demo, but I have genuinely had numerous falls from being tackled, barged, clattered into etc.

    Will play a game and post the stats from it after, later tonight.

  25. #1 – I don’t remember Paul being that impressed with 19 initially (or ever)! As he himself often said though, he was a disappointed PES fan, and a renewal of the series would always bring him back.

    My first non-fatigued, fully-focused match just now, a Custom World Cup with Turkey on Professional. The shooting is fantastic in this game – so deep and contextual, is this the most reworked shooting we’ve had in PES, ever?

    On the fouls front I also had this:

    ” alt=”” />

    PES2019 levels of fouls would be acceptable to me. Still too many with zero fouls, but regular ones with – that would do.

  26. nG – Rice is there, more or less the same Jim Rice we know and adore. It’s hard to tell for sure with the ability hexagon changing this year. Arcas has been nerfed, down to a 72ovr, but I always found his stats are in the wrong places to make him a good player. Slight improvement for Goios this year. My plan is to try and train Giorza up as a CMF/DMF this year as he is about as much as a left back as I am a monkey.

  27. Tommy – Luigi Giorza has always been a cb. The only player in pes history who I have struggled to know their true position is castolis. Trust me, as a cb he’ll do a job and then bring in some decent cash when his wage demands get silly.

  28. turf – Do you know what the parameters are to train someone up in another position? How many games out-of-poisition, etc? I put him in DMF for a whole season in my simulated ML and nothing happened. I’m assuming simmed games don’t count towards his training…

    Luigi, eh? I’ve been calling him Luca. Luigi it is.

    Luigi Giorza
    Quentin Arcas
    Jim Rice
    Anthony Hervey
    Eddie Castledine
    Anthony Redmond
    Luke Vrany
    Kyle Vasilj
    Nico Grenville
    Ryan Javis

    I don’t have names for the rest.

    How many did I get wrong?

  29. The main thing for me this year, was not to approach PES20 with past resentment or pessimism, or expect too much from it, just almost as a neutral, first timer if you like and take it for what it was, always in the back of my mind that if it was pants, it doesn’t matter, because FIFA 20 is the one for me, after last years enjoyable FIFA CM.

    BUT….. PES20 is undoubtedly the best looking, bets feeling, most realistic football game to date, the way you can replicate realistic movements, the new animations, even the much improved AI, unless it all comes crashing to an unexpected halt during ML, I can’t see me playing FIFA 20 until very late in the year.

    The main factor in all this is the looseness of the ball, loose passes from the AI, overhit crosses, Poor control touches, all leading to unpredictable patterns of play and variation, it no longer feels like every match is a clone of the one before, and that is massive for me.

    Itching to get the Dog & Duck ML up and running now.

  30. OK… suddenly I start playing it as if it is a new game and not like PES2019… with proper attention and focus… and the fouls count goes up. Uzbekistan fouled the shit out of me just now, 6 free kicks, and a great game. it really is true that you have to try to beat players to get fouled by an AI. They’re not going to come looking for you if you play pass-and-move (which is 99% of my game). The well-drilled defences in 2020 though seem to force more of a taking players on approach. Loving it. Feel like I’ve arrived at PES2020! I knew a weekend release would be bad for me.

  31. NG – YESSS Exactly, pass and moves just encourages the COM to standoff and block passes etc, rarely will they approach you, hold the ball longer, work space, play it around (which you have to do in PES20) and you will draw them in, then deft little touch, speed burts etc will draw fouls, you almost have to frustrate and agitate the COM into wanting that ball back.

    And do yourself a favour, if you haven’t already, go into the PS4’s video and display menu and turn HDR output OFF then watch the difference, the turf and colours pop.

    PES is dog awful at optimising HDR, it looks so washed out on it, and your YT uploads will be sharper and better quality too.

  32. It’s here. Wife’s been told.

  33. Tommy – I’m a serial default seller so rarely get chance to build an association with one. I tend to bond more with season one signings and regens. For example, Peter crouch – whenever the commentator says ‘crouch’ I can’t help add the rugby referee instruction of ‘touch, engage’, consequently that’s him nicknamed for me. I guess I’m more of a nicknamer – like the shitty ‘the fans now call him..’ but better.

    Quentin arcas and Jim rice I agree. Ryan Jarvis is fair but I don’t usually play him, a new striker is a priority, so I don’t christen him. Castledine weirdly has never been a name to me, despite him being one of the few I keep. I always figure it would be Southern European, suggesting a bit of Yorkshire grit mixed with continental flair, something like Elokakis castledine. Likewise vasilj- completely unpronounceable and a throwback to the old soviet regime. The man was grown in a lab. Maybe a diminutive like ‘Kasha’.

    I had a look at ml. What a load of japanglish bollocks the long intro is. E.g. ‘A top half finish is good’….’so 16th or above then’….(eh, what, it’s a 32 team league?!) I hate the fixed look – no more Eddie hitler on the pitch with Coventry I’m afraid. But the rest is pretty much as you were, minus that likelihood of signing as was pointed out. Initial pre-update frees are a few Japanese and Carlos tevez, so I might not take it further till we go online. I’m not sure I’m worried about the option file as the team names are something I can live with.

  34. Tommy – his first name is Jonathan. Always has been, always will be.

  35. Lloyd – This can’t be true. I always have the first few lines of the song from ‘Wild, Wild West’ playing in my head but with Jim Rice instead of Jim West. Master League is now ruined forever.

    turf – One of the sporting director comments reads something like “He’s not interested in signing, you’ve rubbed him up the wrong way”. Some people are never happy.

  36. Paul, great tip on the HDR. Konami are a dumpster fire

  37. J.Rice is Norwegian so I think you’l find he’s Jan Rice.

    I’m still following all your PES 2020 early insights with interest but still haven’t pulled the trigger on a purchase.

    I have to admit, n-G’s description of the shooting gave me my first real PES pang for 2020. Hearing that the same old defaults are back, basically the same ML and debatable fouls has curtailed those pangs for now.

  38. Jonaton Rice. Proper Norwegian name that. Jan is Dutch in origin.

    Can you tell I’m at work and bored. 🙂

  39. Pet hate for Arcas, he’s like Bendtner to me. Keep him long enough to make money.

  40. half day from work so at home now playing a Brazilian League Cup Comp as Cruizero.
    just gonna load in some kits make sure they look all nice ready for ML.

    By the way, the PES thumb caps were a promo item included in the Japanese only versions.

  41. Shed/Lloyd – happy to clear up the confusion, Jim was born in Oslo to a Scottish father and Norwegian mother – his dad worked in the oil industry and was a bit of a hard man himself in his time, played amateur football for frederikstad. He always wanted Jim to declare allegiance for the tartan army but being unable to force his way into the team when playing for unfashionable Coventry/Gateshead/dog n duck/fleetwood, etc etc (he got a reputation as somewhat of a journeyman) he took the offer of a cap for the land of his birth. Fluent in English and Norwegian he’s engaged to a Swedish girl, enjoys exercising his Rottweilers, likes steak and chips and listening to Runrig.

  42. He’s not wrong

  43. Haha Great Work Tommy

    This is typical of his my matches go:

    View post on

    Careful timing of the LS and jinking movements can draw fouls quite regularly

  44. The defaults have commentary names… is that new?

  45. Tommy – not sure, I think I’ve heard ‘Casteldine’ in the past but I might be back-imagining that.

    A good solid afternoon on the game now and things are starting to swim into focus.

    I think my main worry now is how stamina is modelled. ‘Visual Fatigue’ is so last year. It’s very late before any player gets tired and then it’s only one or two. I’d like that seriously looked at!

    A lovely tidy finish with my player running horizontally to goal (perhaps even 50 degrees or so) and whipping it in:

    And a peculiar moment where the CPU attacker (in red) is clean through and I have Triangle squeezed hard to bring my keeper out, but he sort of lurks just behind the goalline instead:

    I can’t quite settle on a camera.

    And I went into Master League mode for a nose around – there are generic avatars to pick! – and somehow I think I wandered into a parallel world… This is what I saw after picking WE United and the Defaults:

    ” alt=”” />

    You’ll tell me I must have chosen the Original Squad, and I’ll have to post video proof of me going from start to finish in a setup (slight ML spoilers):

    I recognise ‘Styne’ as a WE United squad member, so there must be a bug/feature thing where this is the lineup you start with with WE United Defaults no matter what.

    I went through another setup picking ‘Barnsley R’ and saw Rice & co. right enough. Nice to see Jarvis still has his 87 Finishing stat to start with.

  46. I think defaults last had commentary names about 4 years ago or fast as I know the current batch never had them. Nice little touch, I like it.

    NG – that is Just plain… weird.

  47. I read a post from someone who is deep into ML grumbling about accumulated fatigue over the season and how it’s poorly implemented this year. They’ve made it more of a thing over the course of the season, and that bit is good. You need to rotate over the season. But eventually your players become useless, almost stopping dead if you try and sprint with them at all. A bug perhaps or just poorly implemented.

  48. Tommy – I saw that too and am interested to see how it works for myself. I do think in-match stamina is very generous though, based on the Exhibitions and Cups I’ve played so far. I’ve simply not bothered with subs in most of them, and it’s been ok. I’ve seen one or two players’ stamina bars go into the red, sometimes. We all know which particular portion of the fanbase that’s designed to please…

    #1 – it’s like I wandered backstage in a play and stumbled upon all the stagehands and understudies relaxing in a back room. I know they’re the WE United original squad but I did pick Defaults as you can see in the clip. I’ll have to have a few matches with these Understudy Defaults.

    What time’s the Steam version out and what version will it be? I’m keeping an interested eye on that this year.

  49. Word is PES won’t be released on Steam until 6pm BST which is OK with me because I’m at work until then anyway but there’s some unhappy people. Word also that the game will release patched up to 1.02 so no chance of rolling it back to v1.0 as per physical PS4 version. As a result I’m tempted to get a disk copy on PS4 so I can at least have a go as it was intended to be by the developers. I’ll wait and see though.

  50. Obligatory first goal vid. Feels great so far. Nice weight to the ball and just in the build up a well earned free kick and good advantage by the ref. Default camera is growing on me. Computer is very Klopp/Bielsa press in every game so far on Top Player.

Comments are closed.