Early this week, myGamer attended an exclusive Konami Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 pre-release event in New York and was able to spend a little bit of time with the final build of this anticipated soccer sim.
One of the biggest features exclusive to PES 2014 is the use of the newly developed Fox Engine by Kojima Productions. Through the use of this engine, soccer gameplay has never been more fluid and realistic. Even with the short amount of time spent with the game it was easy to see just how detailed this soccer sim really is. Players now react in a realistic way that is not justified by simply looking at screenshots. With little to no clipping, players run, move, fall, tumble, and even stutter step in a realistic manner thanks to MASS, the Motion Animation Stability System built around shifting weight and encounters with other players. This new system makes players move in a realistic way especially when colliding with other players or even the ball. You know that awkward robotic character rotation that is notorious in the Madden series? Well, that doesn’t happen here.
Further, teams that are lower in the ranks have a chance to take on heavy hitters thanks to new performance options. In summary, if you are playing well the stadium will cheer and influence the skill of the players on the field both negatively and positively depending on which side of the ball you are on. This should give gamers a reason to try out an underdog team and should help spread out the balance of online play so everyone isn’t just picking the same high ranking team.
Besides the upgrades in gameplay fluidity and visuals, Konami spent a lot of effort to create a highly competitive one and one experience. PES has never really been about a pick-up-and-play arcade style of gameplay. Instead, the controls take some getting used to but that allows players to take the experience further than ever before. With button modifiers and newly tuned AI, one-on-one challenges react realistically and even NPCs throughout the field move in detail.
PES 2014 is trying to create the most realistic soccer experience to date. UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, and the UEFA Super Cup competitions are fully licensed and for the first time the AFC Champions League, the Argentine Primera Division, the Chilean Primera Devision, the Copa Sudamericana, and the Recopa Sudamericana are also licensed along with some additional commentary options. Unfortunately, rain, Spanish Stadiums, and a Stadium Editor are not included in PES 2014 not because the development team at Konami is lazy but rather EA continues their firm grip on licensing practices in their competing FIFA brand which limits or outright restrictions the creativity of other developers.
PES 2014 will be released in later September 2013 around the world on current gen systems. There is no next gen, PS4 or Xbox One, versions of PES 2014 planned as Konami wanted to focus on making this year’s edition the best it can be and to become more familiar with the newly available Fox Engine. Although it is too early to state with 100% confidence, it is still probably a safe bet that the inevitable 2015 edition will support current gen system as well as next gen systems. In fact, expect current gens to be supported for a while. Did you Konami released PES 2013 on PS2!? That’s right, a new PS2 release within the last year. With a dedicated fan base and thrive for quality, Konami’s PES series is one realistic soccer experience that any fan can appreciate and enjoy.
Try out PES 2014 for yourself as a demo is now available on Xbox Live.