Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 Community day Impressions
When I entered the Konami PES office, the first thing my eyes hooked onto were the PES start screens on all of those Sony TV’s. The excitement grew and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the game. But before we could play, the Konami team briefed us on what’s new and other things regarding PES.
Once that was done we went straight onto playing PES2014. In this particular code there were only two teams playable, Bayern Munich and Santos. With two pre-set pitch settings, Day and Night. You now have the option to tweak the camera a bit more, from angles to height and zoom length.
My first match was with the AI. Bayern (me) vs Santos (AI). The intro where the players come out of the tunnels and start warming up on the pitch was very pleasing, players weren’t all doing the same thing with 2 or 3 set animations, most of them were varied. It was nice to see a more realistic flow to the beginning of a match. And wow, the visuals were truly amazing. A marked improvement from previous versions.
As I kicked off, the core game-play changes were ‘immediately’ noticeable. I mean it wasn’t change that you’d expect one year on. It was HUGE, the fluidity and general movement was on another level. Just playing a minute or so, I saw loads of new animations. The new Engine has truly done wonders to this game. So players are definitely not on rails.
The game-play is a lot slower. Konami have been tweaking PES to match real life games and I feel the pace in PES2014 is near perfect. I loved the player physicality, the way small players would swift though and big players like Dante would put all their weight into protecting the ball. Passing the ball around the pitch and seeing all these new animations was a joy to watch. Players like Ribery and Robben would automatically do subtle flick / back passes rather than your standard straight pass and move. This is probably where Player ID comes in. When controlling a player like Arjen Robben, he mirrors his real life counterpart in every way, he even runs like a girl in the game :D. You can see his hands flailing.
AI: This is one of the main things I was looking forward to seeing. As I play a lot of ML offline, I was hoping the AI got a massive revamp. And to my relief they absolutely have been! You won’t see them barging forward 24/7 and passing robotically. The AI actually plays more like a human. If they find that they can’t pass the ball forward as you are blocking off their options, they won’t just hoof the ball forward. They’ll turn back and start over again. It kind of adds to that continuous play feature, rather than the ball going out its kept on the pitch much longer. People have been urging Konami to make them a lot harder as well and they definitely are! When I say harder I don’t mean they’ll score a lot more, but they actually play the game better and make you work a lot harder. I drew 0-0.
After that first match with the AI, I had a few rounds with @DJDaymos, @FrazerYoung & half a match with @NicholasDiMaria. The amount of times we were wowed and amazed by the animations, It’s not just that they’ve added a lot more, but the way they link together and work towards making the feel of the game a lot better, it’s just tremendous. It actually might turn out to be better than the other game that excels in this department.
Long passes and shots have been changed for the better, no longer does the ball just ping to a player when you full power pass it, it actually goes out of play and swerves in the direction you hit it at. The ball feels a lot more in your control than it is on a rail. Even when shooting, I remember Damien go through my defense and have a clear shot on goal. He held down the power bar and it struck the woodwork rather than getting pile-drived into the net.
Through balls has seen a MAJOR enhancement, this feature actually brings a massive smile to my face, its brilliant! It’s called advanced through ball and was switched off at default, when we switched it on you could literally see the difference. At first this is very hard and a bit confusing but once you get used to it, that toggle is fantastic. You can actually bend the ball to the player who’s making that attacking run, a circle indicator pops up when you push the Tri angle button and I think it was the right analogue stick that controlled the path the ball swerved to. It’s hard to explain but once you guys see it you’ll know how good it is :D.
I found one on one situations difficult, I could not for the life of me easily go past a defender with a player of Robbens caliber. Konami have definitely calibrated this part of the game by making it a lot more balanced and realistic. People have been asking me about the speedster card, and going by what I’ve seen and played I don’t think we should be worried about that anymore.
Defending was good, frustrating at times but that’s probably down to the core changes and needing to get used to the game. The double tap x to put a leg out for the ball feels better. And again, the new animations make those lunges and tackles look more satisfying. Love the way players don’t fall or stumble when getting tackled, they actually hold their ground and keep on going!
Overall the Goalkeepers have seen an improvement, they’re not the best, (remember this is an early code) but still way better than previous iterations. The new animations definitely help in this department.
Regarding the Referee, they have been worked on, but personally think they need more refining and fine tuning. The matches I played; the referee had a habit of giving away a lot of cards. I actually got red carded 4 times in a match I played with Frazer, and he received 2 reds in the same match. I would like to see the ref give more advantages and let the play go on.
Atmosphere! The crowd chants feel more like real people singing and shouting than generic moans and yays. The crowd actually get on your back and jeer when you foul the home team player. Plus the voices seem more diverse. When looking around the stadium, you’ll see many more extras added, like more guards, high visibility people, regular staff members + more. It just adds to that overall visual satisfaction. Definitely happy with what Konami have done in this department.
There’s so much more to the game, and more to be added and refined till final release. Can’t wait to see the difference from this version to the demo. You actually have to play the game to realise how much Konami have put into PES2014. So whoever had doubts, fear not, it’s a totally different game in a good way. Konami aren’t taking steps anymore, they’re taking leaps!
The Fox has awakened the true heir to the throne
Thanks for reading, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask me on here or on Twitter: @Rage06 & @ProFifalution