This is a brief guide outlining what scripting is in PES 2020 and how it can impact matches online and offline against the AI.
What is Scripting?
Scripting is a controversial underlying aspect present in a minority of videogames where gameplay is secretly manipulated by the backend code of the software that drastically impacts the user experience regardless of their efforts. There has been substantial evidence provided that such factors exist in brands like PES and FIFA although it is unlikely to ever be conclusively proven without full disclosure from the developers.
Scripting is largely used to either manipulate users into spending real money in-game or it exists as a form of artificial difficulty to perhaps cover up a lack of strong AI.
How Do I Spot Scripting?
Scripting can manifest online and offline in PES 2020 but it is absolutely notorious when facing the AI on the Superstar and Legendary Difficulties particularly if you are playing with weaker sides. This likely exists to compensate for below-par AI but it can leave users feeling annoyed and it makes matches look incredibly untidy. You may notice certain inconsistencies or bizarre occurrences that leave you frustrated and confused - a lot of these are simply down to the scripting and not your personal performance or bad luck.
There is also suggestions that weaker AI teams are scaled up regardless of stats when facing better sides so if you are facing San Marino as France, you may be in for a tougher match than statistics would suggest! Here is a few common things to look out for which can be attributed to scripting:-
Sometimes you'll struggle to complete basic passes - a 6 yard pass being under-hit, a 25 yard one going way too far or a simple pass going way off the intended target to be collected by the AI.
Through-balls are an essential way of breaking down tough defences and getting pacy attackers behind the back-line but you'll notice more often that not, your perfectly timed button presses see the ball go nowhere near your intended target - sometimes straight to the keeper or easily to the first defender.
Tame Full-Power Shots
Lionel Messi through one-on-one and powers up a shot from 12 yards only to see his effort trickle towards the keeper. Granted, you can blast shots quite comfortably from outside the box that the keeper will likely parry but when it comes to easy chances, even the top strikers can be held back by some questionable instances.
Player switching needs to be responsive, fluid and snappy particularly on a game where the AI has full control over all players. Sadly in PES 2020 just like its predecessor; you will be battling the infuriating player-switching as well as your opponent. The AI can move the ball around comfortably and right into the heart of your defence, yet you will struggle to select an appropriate player during the build-up and in some cases, you can't even select a player which can result in the AI having an uncontested shot.
Player Speed/strength Inconsistencies
You may notice a rapid striker with outstanding speed attributes get outpaced by a 35+ year old defender or how a massive powerhouse like Romelu Lukaku can get bullied off the ball by a tiny defender. The scripting is in full force with farces like this where even stats mean nothing.
AI Winning Everything
Sometimes you will have a torrid run where the AI wins every 50/50 and picks up every loose ball. Bad RNG? Nope, that's intended scripting.
Ever been on the attack and played a nice sweeping ball into the path of your player but they just stop for no reason and the move breaks down? This is another common factor yet the AI does not experience this handicap.
Slide tackling or block tackling is an effective way of nabbing the ball or stopping an attack but more often than not, you may find yourself missing tackles altogether and the AI evading whilst retaining the ball. Even though your timing and execution was perfect, you still weren't rewarded.
Last Minute Goals
I am willing to be that 99.9% of players have conceded more last minute goals than they have scored but more often than not, if a game is drifting into the last few minutes and the AI has a dangerous attack or corner, they are likely to score especially if the game is tied or the player is winning by the odd-goal.
These are just a few examples of how scripting can affect games. The artificial nature of how the AI performs technically and visually just shows how crippled the launch build is of PES 2020 from a gameplay standpoint.
How Can I Combat Scripting?
Unfortunately there is no way to get on top of the scripting - it will exist in the game until it is heavily downscaled or patched out altogether. The biggest surprise to users was the fact that scripting was not present in the demo but the full release seems mimic that of the final build of PES 2019 where matches were dominated by scripting accusations.
Having played the demo and the first build of 2020, the difference is monumental and it just shows how prominent the problems associated with this are. I cannot fathom why Konami has done this especially when the demo was so well received for all its improvements.