Review: Pro Evolution Soccer 14

Game: Pro Evolution Soccer 14 Developer: PES Productions  Publisher: Konami
Release Date: Out Now Available On: PS3/360/PC Version Played: PS3

Because of EA’s monopoly on the licensing rights for their FIFA games, Pro Evolution Soccer has always been seen as an inferior franchise, yet it’s popularity continues to remain steady. Konami have steadily built a reputation for realism over the more arcade style of football that FIFA implements, and fans remain rewarded in this instalment.

PES SCreen 2
PES 2014 uses the Fox Engine. This is a cross-platform game engine that was built by Kojima Productions. The engine was believed to be created for next gen gameplay. It is said to shorten development time and make it easier to develop for multiple platforms. It helps PES offer advanced physics and helps distribute individual player mass providing a more realistic overall experience.

PES Presentation
The presentation is better than ever in PES 14. The stadiums look incredibly realistic and the crowds are bursting with life. Their reactions are actually realistic to what’s happening on the field. It really brings a true to life representation of a real football match which helps a lot to make PES 14 the more realistic of the two biggest football games (the other one being FIFA).

The players in PES 14 also look amazingly like their real life form. Not only do the players look insanely good, it’s good to see how much more emotional they are in their facial expressions. It’s needless to say that the Fox Engine has significantly improved the way that players move and how much more realistic it is when they collide. It really does put last years game to shame. There are a few frame rate issues at time to time but this can only be put down to the fact that it’s using a completely new engine.

PES gameplay
Pro Evolution Soccer 14 builds on last years entry in almost every way. Passing feels as good as ever and shooting is a lot more trickier than ever but the real advancements come in the form of TrueBall Tech. This helps enhance the game with the use of fully realistic ball mechanics. This makes passing and shooting a lot more harder to execute but provides a stronger sense of accomplishment when you pull off that perfect play.

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Another new addition is the new ‘Heart’ system. This is a new system that handles a players emotions and how they react. An example is if you’re winning a game and lose in the last few minutes, your team morale will be lowered. On the other hand if you make an unpredictable comeback your overall team morale will be boosted. The Heart system is something that is extremely subtle but just adds to that overall realism that PES 14 is going for. It makes the game feel so much deeper than ever before.

PES Screen1
Master mode is as good as ever and lets you take over any team and put them in the league with the goal of achieving world glory. You’re able to set the rosters, give a game plan and buy and sell players. Legend mode lets you take control of a use-created or real player with the aim of becoming the best player possible. You have the choice to stick out your career as a one team player or constantly jump from year to year.

Career mode is a fairly barebones experience. You’re able to sign up for a team, set your training meter but this is about where it ends. I feel like they could’ve added more for the simulation fan. Instead you’re left skipping weeks until you’re called up by your manager to play. I felt that playing against sporting rosters of fake teams it just wasn’t that enjoyable of a mode to play in.

There are a few smaller downfalls to the new PES. The framerate can suffer and it is also missing things like rain and the stadium editor which were featured in previous entries. There is also the fact that Konami still don’t have licenses to some of the biggest leagues in the world. Another thing that still really hurts the franchise is the fact that there is a lot of loading that doesn’t seem necessary.

PES Conclusion
PES 2014 is one of the best entries in the series yet. The Fox Engine makes the game a lot more realistic than ever and really makes the player work even harder in order to pull off the perfect play. It still lacks in certain areas but this doesn’t stop it from being a genuine competitor to FIFA.