Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 – Review


Pro Evolution Soccer has been redone this year, by way of using a modified Fox engine designed and built by Kojima Productions. While the Fox engine sure makes things look very pretty, does that mean that everything melds into a enjoyable soccer game? That’s what I here to talk about.


Just as a preface to this review, it will be coming from someone who has bought the last four FIFA games and has played through multiple seasons on every one of those games. I will try to talk solely about Pro Evolution Soccer 2014, and not turn this into a FIFA 14 comparison article as much as possible. This could prove difficult as these are the two front runners for soccer games.


With Pro Evolution Soccer 2014, the addition of the Fox Engine has allowed Konami to dispense with jagged animations and instead using a new MASS system, controlling the outcome of collisions while the Trueball mechanic allows the ball to be its own entity, and no longer tied to a particular player. The MASS system adds a lot of realism to a player’s movement, as each shift in the players body weight will move realistically when changing direction. Things such as variable stride length give the impression of a team of individuals, rather than some kind of on-pitch hive mind of AI and code.
If you are looking for a big difference between PES and FIFA, it is the pacing of the matches. FIFA is fast, in your face and can sometimes have the arcade-y feel to it at times. If you are looking for you slower paced, tactical style ball play then PES is right up your alley. You are able to plan out certain strategies of attack while still keeping the ball moving between players. There is a drawback to this and that is the level of entry required to be able to pull off epic cross plays or perfect team setups.


Become a Legend mode seems to be a lot of fun, if you are willing to be patient and wait for your legend to actually be picked for the starting line-up. Players initially ride the bench for extended stretches and sometimes see no game time at all. At the moment, I would play one match to about the 63rd minute of play before being subbed off, and in turn, being forced to watch the rest of the game like a normal player would. This can become infuriating because you may be the highest rated player on the team, and at the end of the match, you have scored a goal and got awarded man of the match. Although if you look forward to the next five games, you won’t be put in the starting line-up.


The other AI on your team can also be frustrating in this mode. It seems like they treat you like the new guy on the job and act as a team within themselves, passing you the ball when you either least expect it or when you can do nothing with it. If AI players won’t pass to you when you’re in a perfect spot for a cross, you basically just end up frustrated. This happens on defense as well. AI players seem to have the contain-rather-than-press mentality, meaning aggressive attempts at robbing possession are few and far between, whichs tends to advantage the ball carrier or result in a whistle.
There are a lot of teams from an abundance of different leagues on offer. The down side to this is that only the most dedicated football fans will recognise a lot of the teams on offer, and that can take away from the feel of the game when you’re unable to pick your favourite. In addition to the teams, League mode is back and allows the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, Copa Libertadores and the AFC Champions League to be tackled, if you are feeling up for the challenge. While all of this is on offer, I would have liked to play Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 as any Premier league team or even the Brisbane Roar and watch them ascend the ranks of the leagues.


All in all, Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 appears to have taken more of a turn towards proper simulation as opposed to the earlier arcade-like editions of the game. If you are looking for a comparison to another genre then think PES as Forza and FIFA as something more like Need for Speed. Both are good games and both have their ups and downs, but it all comes down to personal preference. It appears as though Konami really wants this game to take back the football title from EA’s FIFA franchise, but I’d argue they should have stuck with their roots and continued to improve on what was a great soccer game with PES 2013. Yes, direct competition never hurts anyone, but I’d rather have games with two different feels than playing two copies of the same game.


Rating: 7.5/10