PES 2014 review
- Stunning visuals
- Realistic competitive gameplay
- Champions League mode
- Not proper teams
- Dated menu design
- Slight frmae rate drops
A few years ago, during a particular slump for Fifa, Pro Evolution Soccer took the crown as football sim of choice for the masses of fans of the beautiful game. Though, while Fifa may be back on top after a string of innovative releases, Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 definitely has got some tricks up its sleeve.
With a new engine in tow, a load of gameplay improvements and stunning visuals, can Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 take a winning lead and relegate FIFA 14 to the lower leagues? Read on to find out...
PES 2014: Gameplay
The real strength of Pro Evolution Soccer has always been its core, simulation style gameplay. While FIFA is a glossy, fast-paced rendition of the beautiful game, PES slows things down, putting more control over all aspects of the players into your hands.
In PES 2014, gameplay is well and truly fantastic. Never has a football game given you so much control over those 11 men on the pitch and never has each one of those players felt quite so unique. If you play as Real Madrid, you'll instantly notice when Ronaldo takes the ball, as his particular way of running, along with some of his trademark movements are mimicked fantastically,
The same goes for Messi, his tricky style, combined with tight controls, make pulling off skill moves an enjoyable and rewarding experience. This feature, known as Player ID, was introduced last year, but has seen a dramatic improvement this time around.
Actually, a lot of what makes Pro Evolution Soccer so good is its sense of reward. The first few matches, unless you're a seasoned PES veteran, will no doubt end in frustration after a flurry of misplaced through balls and wayward shots.
But give it time and you'll begin to connect with your through balls, stringing together a number of passes and you'll start to win matches. The sense of achievement you will get when you play the perfect long field pass far out ways the same situation in FIFA.
Last year's entry to the series was a big step forward, but this year the move to the brand new Fox engine takes everything even further.
Players move with grace, skipping with the ball and controlling with the skill you expect to see on a Saturday afternoon. Yet, the ball doesn't stick to their boots, instead it bobbles around, meaning one false move and your well-timed run will have all been for nothing.
Slide tackling is also kept to a minimum, with defenders preferring a much more jostle-based approach, this helps the realism no end.
These mechanics stem from two new editions, Motion Animation Stability System and Trueball Tech, but, in truth, the naming is just there for marketing. All you need to know is that it works.
While we do love the slightly faster pace a match on FIFA offers, Pro Evo 2014''s toned down style gives you longer on the ball and more time to pick out a pass and decide how you're going to play forward.
One area of disappointment is the AI, which can be odd at times. Defenders often leave you far too much room, especially as you enter their half. This leads to vast areas of the pitch being rather sparse.
Opposition strikers are at fault as well, as there were times when they would simply keep on running until they ran the ball into the arms of the goalkeeper. These are only slight niggles, but they do detract from the overall quality.