PES 2014 reinvented the series with improved physics, AI, and graphics
While FIFA has long been the top dog of football franchises, Pro Evolution Soccer reinvented itself with a new game engine for the launch of PES 2014, bringing more realistic and more enjoyable gameplay. The new series is a genuine competitor for FIFA, although there are still a few problems that mar the experience a little. For the true football fan though, it offers a combination of realism and excitement, as well as enough depth that is needed to ensure long-term gaming.
One flaw with Pro Evolution Soccer games has always been that the menu and navigation system is not as efficient or comfortable as that of FIFA, and despite the fact that menus now look good and are intuitive, there are still problems. If you are playing using a controller, then the mouse cursor system will hold you back. However, Konami has put effort into trying to ensure that you enjoy a genuine experience. Matches are framed by appropriate footage and genuine content related to the licensed events.
There are a few niggles but nothing that should hold you back too far.
One area where PES 2014 has really started to excel is in its graphics. Stadiums look incredible, some of the players have an almost disturbing likeness, and some of the new physical twists mean that movement of the ball, the players, and even the referee and the crowds are much more realistic and, therefore, a lot more enjoyable. As with any football game, there are still moments of infuriating inaccuracy, but they are far fewer than ever before.
The game looks great, and PES 2014 definitely benefits from the implementation of the new game engine.
Konami has attempted to take a more realistic approach to football. Players are encouraged to get their teammates working together, and there is much greater onus on the physical aspect of football. This is to the game’s benefit, but again it isn’t without its faults. Even when you appear to be clean through on goal, you may find your player being pulled back to become involved in a physical tug of war with opponents, and it can prevent you from passing and shooting.
Tackling is virtually non-existent now, with a containing defence being the preferred option, which many consider to be a shame because there can be as much joy from a well-timed sliding tackle as from a well-placed goal.
The new engine has helped ensure that the game looks and plays even better than its franchise predecessors. It also brings new elements to the gameplay that haven’t been seen in previous versions. TrueBall Tech improves the movement of the ball, as well as the movement of the players, while MASS is the new system that determines bodyweight placement and applies this to your attempts to make killer moves.
The new engine is a definite improvement, but some of the great improvements do come at a cost of some slight niggles. Overall, though, the improvements are certainly worth the inclusion of the new technology.
Depth And Game Types
It is difficult to talk about any football game without comparing it to FIFA, and while FIFA games offer massive depth, this is one area where PES could still do with some improvements. There are a few official leagues and tournaments, but nowhere near the amount in FIFA.
What’s more, while FIFA’s Ultimate Team game type has become the preferred game type for many players, Master League hasn’t really seen any improvements and changes for a number of years.
The lack of depth in competitions and the much needed (but missing) expansion of the Master League feature are a shame, but the game does still offer a decent amount of depth so that you will want to play it at least until the launch of the next title in the series.
Overall, PES 2014 lacks in some areas, but it is still an excellent game and once you learn to ignore the few foibles, you will benefit by enjoying access to a smart, slick, good-looking, football game that has enough depth to keep you busy for months.
Further improvements are likely as Konami becomes more accustomed to the new game engine, and hopefully they will look to expand on the Master League game type, include some additional league and tournament licences, and throw in some extra game types. However, until then, PES 2014 remains more than capable and will allow players to enjoy some truly magical footballing moments.