Probably the most widely watched or played sport ever, the football/soccer season is back and along with it we have the latest version of Pro Evolution Soccer, 2014.
I will get right into it, EA's FIFA title took the footie sim crown from Konami's unlicensed PES series a handful of years ago and they have hogged it ever since. Well this year may be the time when Fifa have to hand it back...
PES 2014 Will Bring The Fans Back
Konami have been "restructuring" their PES game quite significantly since their tumble from the throne but the task is a real challenge.
Imagine having to carefully improve key features that need complete reworkings through keyhole development surgery, while an army of dedicated football fans hold their breath as you do it. One wrong feature adjustment and they will rip off their colours in disgust and walk away, slipping on their new FIFA shirt.
I am pretty sure that anyone who has played a football game would certainly be able to pick a side. Part of me misses the simpler days of Sensible World of Soccer, ahh great times.
EA often have a way of doing things. They work on numbers and they know what matters to the masses. Football matches and the sport in general, sells based on the players in a team. Better players, better matches and more supporters. So EA bought all the players and put them into their FIFA title. And that works for the majority or us. PES have always settled for the cheaper route of allowing gamers to edit or load in custom builds of their favourite players, which is a good cheap substitute. And that worked for them for many years. But when the game with the licensed players is delivering the better football experience then people are going to stump up their money for that.
And let me tell you, this years 2014 Pro Evo is shaping up to be the next King of the Sims. People want to know that the game draws them in even though they are sat on their couch or at their desk. Back in the days of Sensi Soccer it was a case of push in the right direction and press the joystick button at the right time. The two present day football sims need to offer a lot lot more and playing the new PES for the first time really did open my eyes to the improvements that they are bringing to the virtual pitch.
Its immediately obvious that their is a real sense of pace to the ball, while still enabling the player the time to react. There is weight behind the impact of a tackle and very real appreciation to the direction and power of the struck football when your zippy second striker launches it in from the edge of the box.
Even though the fans are watching Konamis every move, there comes a time when the risk of losing whats left of the ever shrinking fan base is one worth taking. Konami have decided the time is right and it feels like we are going to experience a real royal rumble this year as allegiances shift once again.
The Fox engine, Konamis latest football game engine, is behind a lot of this new gameplay feel. And like in Sensi Soccer the player and the ball are once again separated. Not relying on pre-designed animations to keep the player and the ball sticking together, Pro Evo 2014 will factor in the very real presence of each player in relation to the ball. That means the player's centre of gravity and the balls spin might well impact how well the player can maintain control.
Other features from PES 2014 will include the crowd getting behind key players, which in turn boosts that players skills. This is being referred to as the heart system. If you play well and get key tackles and passes the crowd begin to single out the player for stardom and they will react in kind.
The team's defense options are also being enhanced, while being made more accessible to the casual player.
When your defence is not enough its time to go on the attack. Completing successful through balls has always felt as much luck as skill, but PES 2014 seems to offer the solution up to those with enough vision.
Each team will also have its own personality. If you try to play it outside of its comfort zone then you are likely to run afoul. Some teams rely heavily on key players, while other teams will hold up the ball for longer periods, hoping to draw the defenders out of position. This approach adds some real depth of play to the longevity of the game, and helps make the gamer move away from the mindset of looking for a single winning approach to every match.
Throw into the mix that the option file, with all the team and player names in it, will likely be made available shortly after release and it could be that Pro Evolution 2014 is going to be in with a real chance this time around especially on PC. The FIFA PC version will not feature the new graphics engine that EA have been talking about so it will all come down to gameplay and player names, and at this stage, I think PES might just have got the edge on gameplay this year.
A full review will come in just over a month as the two games duke it out once again for the top spot.
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I've always thought FIFA relied heavily on the AI with it's gameplay where PES had a more "manual" feel to it. Always chosen PES over FIFA every year and it looks like this time so will everyone else :D
I am a hardcore PES player, I could never really get used to FIFA gamplay. This year I thought I was going to play FIFA a bit more extensively but knowing it won't have the new ge on PC I am 100% sure who has my money this year once again. I really hope to see more players in PES this year, I have sticked with it for a very long time and it looks like this year all the time might finally pay off. Anyway I always hated how PES looks way better in XBOX than it looks on PC. BTW I really like the looks of that Heart system.
there will be no demo this year for pc "Finally, told we couldn't do PC demo because last year it was hacked, and licenses were revealed that had to be kept secret. Sorry everyone." This said some KONAMI employe ****er$