New Engine. Detailed Gameplay. Lacking Features. –
With a new graphics engine and years of experience, PES 2014 gets straight to the point. Instead of implementing a wealth of unlockables, modes, and even an interesting menu system and presentation, PES 2014 offers a soccer simulation that should please dedicated soccer enthusiasts but could leave new comers a little baffled. FIFA might have the bells and whistles but PES brings the fire.
This year, PES focuses on realism that can easily be seen within minutes. Thanks to Kojima Production’s FOX Engine, animations are fluid, smooth and overall realistic. Unlike arcade style sports titles, you cannot turn on a dime and one-on-one challenges are more weighty and physical than ever. Players move and react with uncanny realism especially with facial expressions and even team goal celebrations. Be warned, however, PES was never really a pick-up-and-play type game; the complicated control scheme is a welcomed aspect for hardcore players but new comers or casual soccer fans will have to face a steep learning curve.
Besides learning how to control your player with detailed button modifiers and second analog stick control, figuring out the AI also will take some time. For the most part, player movement works well but there are occasions where passes will truly miss their mark and you’ll wonder why certain AI character moved into the position they choose. But at the same time, this could also be determined by the way the game handles how well or how poorly a team is performing and which game difficulty is chosen. Home teams that are performing well seem to fair better when the crowd is with them, an interesting system unique to 2014 and the developers are hoping this will result in a wider variation on selected teams when playing online. Also worthy to note, this game requires an online pass to play online.
Negatively, there is a lack of licensed clubs, leagues, and even stadiums in PES 2014. However, this is not at the fault of the developers by any means as EA continues their thuggish licensing agreements with professional sports clubs throughout the world. Instead, this year’s title does the best that it can by including some South American clubs and by implementing the one thing EA cannot get its hands on – the FOX Engine.
PES 2014 is still a solid game for soccer fans but it is apparent that some elements were rushed. Because the FOX Engine is so new, the developers have not had any prior experience with it and in all honesty, the engine is most likely not even finalized yet. This means the developers had to create an annual release game in a shorter amount of time using a new engine; this is not an easy task. Although gameplay is realistic and entertaining, the lack of modes, a grindy tutorial system, and even a bland menu system brings down the overall presentation despite looking realistic. On the other hand, with a little more time in development and the power of next gen console, the inevitable PES 2015 could be something to get excited about.
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By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com