Pro Evolution Soccer 2014: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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There is no better feeling for a Manchester United fan, starting the brand new game with a brilliant reprint of the infamous Wayne Rooney Bicycle kick against the arch rivals Manchester City. The game brought out the feelings that I thought never existed within me, the passion, the rage, the excitement, the thrill! All in one single game! Pro evolution Soccer 2014 or PES14 is the latest version of virtual football gaming produced by Konami.

This year the game is just not upgrade of the previous versions but an overhaul of the entire system. PES14 has many manyyyy features and qualities that I will discuss at length but let’s start with the ones provided by the company officials. The major change in the system is the FOX Engine, a cross-platform game engine built by Kojima Productions, believed to be designed for the next generation of video games. The new engine creates a totally different view of the reality presented by any similar game so far. It offers physics, Animation Studio and Cloth Technology for a superb simulation of each player. Each player is defined and created in such a manner that the movements are naturally represented by the player’s mass and physique. Even the kit of the player is a different entity and moves realistically according to the player’s movements. The other innovations that have been provided are – TrueBall Tech and MASS. These technologies are just not there for the animation side of the game but are the foundations of the entire game system allowing the players, the ball and the gamer to interact smoothly with a realistic touch.

The TrueBall Tech is the basis for the “Barycentric Physics”. An entire system dedicated to the ball movement and player manipulation of the game. It makes each and every movement is made natural and not only by the looks of it but through actual physics for example the shift in direction using the weight of the player. The advancement is the Motion Animation Stability System (MASS), something that has brought life to the overall naturalism of the player. This system allows the player to be more physical throughout the game making them more interactive towards other layers on the field, factoring speed, orientation at the moment of contact, ball movement and the environment.

Now getting past the underlying technologies, let’s come on to the surface and discuss the features that can be seen on the screen. First I’d like to start with the basic interface settings of the system. PES 14 has now incorporated a new system which allows the user to choose a favorite team and a player that is featured on the background of the home screen. The UI is more fluid, compact and easier to use than the previous versions.

PES 14 has also brought back the good old radar chart system from its old versions allowing a user to compare two teams or players instantly.

Now coming on to the graphics of the game…the major improvement of the game…

The graphics of PES 14 have been improved by large amount as compared to the previous versions.

Each and every REGISTERED player has the most realistic copies that can be found in the present market, all thanks to the new FOX engine.

Each player has been designed with all their expressions and facial features kept up to the mark, giving the game a more realistic feel overall. That’s not all that has been done to improve the graphics. The game now has a dynamic crowd and stadium. The crowd works with the team and cheers and jeers them based on their movement on the ground. The graphics defined into each and every stadium has been taken to a whole new level giving a gamer the actual look and feel of the entire stadium and also providing them such a brilliant ambience. But there are flaws to this such as the licensing problem. Konami does not have the licenses to major teams, leagues and players.

This is the biggest drawback of the entire system. Its revoking to play with players that have changed name or faces or sometimes are even not there such as the club Borussia Dortmund or even there is no rain feature on the major stadiums of the game.

But this too is fixed with the help of patches preset over the internet as the game is too flexible to be edited.

The next point on the list is the Gameplay. I’d like to start with applauding the entire PES 14 production team for building a game that has actually surpassed many boundaries to bring us a game more realistic and fluid that can be possible in the present generation. The game is built with a new prospect but has not lost its integrity and fluidity that had attracted gamers all over the world. There are a number of changes in the game play but the basic concept of keeping the game awesome and interesting to play for hours has been kept intact and majority of the flaws have been taken care off. I have personally played the game for 10 hours straight on my laptop without any glitches except for one where my laptop died due to lack of battery. The first change I noticed was the ball movement and player movement. In the previous versions of the game, the ball usually stuck to the player’s feet and would leave only when kicked. In this system, all thanks to the new and improved Barycentric physics, the ball does not stick but has the more natural movement as it should have.

The ball movement depends upon the weight shifting, choice of leg of the player and the orientation of the player and the ball. Another major change was that unlike in previous versions where a player could pass the ball perfectly without looking at the direction, here in this version the player has to have the perfect posture and direction to give a good pass and a perfect through ball. Coming on to the through ball, the entire technique has been replaced giving the gamer two options on how to feed a through ball, i.e. basic and advanced. The basic mode is simple where the players aims and feeds the ball where as in the advanced mode, the gamer has the option to feed an accurate and precise through ball at any point of the field while keeping the direction and the power of the pass in check.

This feature is available for both kinds of through balls – grounded and overhead. The overhead through balls are something that I have come to love in this game. Its predecessors had a very dreadful system for the through ball, but in this one a person can pass flawless through balls easily to provide a successful incisive attack.

Coming on to the attack options, the gameplay now provides a three-way attack system, in which three players can attack at the same time, consisting of two AI support players and one controlled by the gamer.

But this is not the icing on the cake, it’s the Combinational play feature that has been added to this game. It’s a special feature that allows a player to perform a pre-programmed gameplay in an ongoing match at will so as to attack from a different perspective suddenly on the pitch. The feature comes into play at certain areas on field and can be chosen from a variety of attacks that can be performed on the pitch.

Another change is the accelerated dash system, something that was loudly being called for to bring a new level of realism to the game. In the older versions the player could run at top speeds from the start but now they have to actually accelerate themselves and can reach to only a certain level of speed and then tire out and decelerate. Tiredness is another thing that was there in the previous versions but was very subtle, but now has been highlight of every match. All the player get tired as the game progresses depending upon the amount of filed they have covered and their stamina. But!! Another new feature is here to help you do something even more extra ordinarily. The HEART.

 

The heart is a system applied for motivational purposes in the game. It is a system which boosts the moral of the team depending on whether the crowd is cheering or jeering them, which can result into an extra boost of energy on the last minute giving the losing side enough to just draw or may be even win the game. Although I found the system to be subtly active but could be a major feature for the following versions of the game if improved up on.

There are many little changes that have been made to improve the realism of the game such as the keeper now reacts instantly after catching a shot, allowing the team to make a quick counter, something that was hugely missing from its predecessor. The type of overall tactics has been removed from the Tactical settings menu which allowed the team to go in full defense or attack modes any time in the game, a feature which I loved. Another thing that was removed is the Off the ball control, which allowed  gamer to control any other player on the field during set pieces and corner kicks to allow better tactical advancement on the opponent team. Another good feature is the fluid and quick throw – ins, which allows the game to progress smoothly, without allowing any kind of loading screen or whatsoever.

Now taking a look at the defensive changes of the game, the first on that could be seen is the new Jostle system. It’s the brain child of the MASS as discussed earlier.

 

Another feature – – – tugging of shoulder and the kit of a player running with the ball to stop him and take the ball away from him. Another defensive capability that was added was the shoulder barge, where a player running alongside would push the player with the ball to move him outside the path of the ball and take over the ball himself. This is a feature that I have come to admire over a few games that provides such realism that could only be expected from Konami.

Another brilliant feature is the guidance lines. These are line that indicates the path of the ball so as to where it will curl and how far it will be shot, something that has given PES 14 an edge to show how much development they have done to bring the true realism and ball physics to the game.

The first view of the game tells me that in spite of playing the game for past 5 years I had to actually go through the entire training menu and practice for 1 hr just to get the hang of the whole new system (something which I recommend to all gamers new and old to the franchise). This is actually a statement that shows how much PES 14 has come far to develop and provide us with everything new and latest and real.

Now let’s encompass everything about Pro Evolution Soccer 2014…….

 

The GOOD

The new graphics, better gameplay, good in-game features, heart system, jostle system, combinational play and overall fluidity of the game.

The BAD

Most of these systems are in their nascent phase and can only be used to their maximum capabilities in the coming successors of the game.

The UGLY

The most basic flaw of the game is that Konami has failed to get licenses for major teams and players. It repulses the player to find a national team with different names and faces.

~VERDICT~

The game has reached a whole new level and the features and the systems provided are all brand new and has a very good feel to it. But it’s just a few steps and in my opinion the basis of the future of the franchise which will build on these features and bring the game to the highest level that can be present. So in my opinion – It still has ways to go. :-D

 

All the above pics were taken while running the game in lowest quality
 

Written, Compiled and photo credits by – Divyekant

 

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About Author

Pursuing MBA from Symbiosis Inst. of International Biz and member of The Entrepreneurship Cell. A die-hard Barcelona fan and a never-getting-old Football fad. A gourmand of mature taste with immature cultures. SAP ABAP, PHP, DRUPAL and WordPress skills. Dirty hands with android games and all-time-high ears with Dubsteps and Raps songs.

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