Since 2001, football videogame fans the world over have battled back and forth on one question;
What’s better: FIFA or Pro Evolution Soccer?
For the last few years, FIFA seems to win that particular battle, but Pro Evo appears to be gaining ground. And this year’s effort may close the gap even more.
In a press release put out by developer Konami today, full details and features of the game were revealed, explaining about a new engine being used for the title, which the Tokyo-based PES Productions Team have been working on for the last four years. Using Kojima Productions’ Fox Engine at it’s core, the new engine will allow the game to be closer to the vision of recreating the excitement and variety of a top-level match. PES Productions reworked all the elements of play, and as well as improved graphics and animation, the new system will focus on six central tenets that they hope will establish Pro Evolution Soccer the new benchmark in football simulations. The six new pillars on which the game is based are;
- TrueBall Tech
Using the analogue stick with “detailed barycentric physics determining the weight shift of the player”, you can now control how a player receives a pass and control the ball. TrueBall Tech will add more freedom, with the player’s movements worked around those of the ball as opposed to the other way round, as with previous football games.
- Motion Animation Stability System (M.A.S.S.)
This new feature will simulate the body contact between multiple players within animations that work seamlessly into each other. As opposed to previous games showing preset animations in various situations, M.A.S.S. will act to any situation, including a fouled player reacting depending on the “direction and force with which they are tackled”. There will also be more styles of tackles.
Emotion is now being brought into the game, with such features as visiting teams becoming affected by imposing home crowds, and if an individual player is having a bad game, his performance will suffer, and his teammates will attempt to pick him up and motivate him.
- PES ID
More players in the game will now have individually identifiable running and playing styles. 50 players using this system were in PES 2013, and this year’s version will feature a lot more than that.
- Team Play
Using the game’s new Combination Play system, players can set up different tactics in key areas of the pitch, using as little as three players. Making different off-the-ball runs, the players will take advantage of weaknesses in the defence or midfield and making themselves available for passes.
- The Core
PES Productions have been working for several years on improving all facets of the game, including visual changes – such as the weave of the kits and players’ facial movements – to a new animation process that offers segues with no pauses or restrictions. Additionally, in-game stadia will reflect real-life arenas. Free kicks and penalties have also been changed; free kicks have been expanded with decoy runs added, and short passes now unrestricted. From the defensive side, goalkeepers’ positions can now be moved on free kicks, and the wall will also react instinctively to the kick to block or deflect the ball. And now penalties will have a target guide that is suited to the penalty taker’s ability and where they intend to place the ball. The goal keeper can now also be moved before the kick is taken, sensing when the penalty taker is not particularly strong.
The game will also feature the Asia Champions League for the first time, as well as retain the exclusive use of the UEFA Champions League competition.
Konami Creative Producer Kei Masuda was quoted in the press release;
“Thinking outside the box on an annual series such as PES is not easy, but the Fox Engine has allowed us to develop such a level of freedom that we are constantly realising ways of making PES 2014 a true representation of football. From the moment football fans pick up the controller and experiment with the close control, player movement and get to know how teams work and move, we are confident that they will see a game no longer limited by technology, but capable of growing with them and constantly surprising with the breath-taking quality they have to come to expect from the real thing.”
“All the materials we’re releasing are taken from current platforms and fully in-game, which is at about 70% completion,” he added. “We want fans to get a true feeling of the actual product they’ll be playing on the consoles most own this year, not some marketing dream. Our new engine and systems are dedicated to the current generation of platforms, which will continue to be dominant in the market, but are fully scale-able for future versions.”
Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 will be released on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC and PSP later this year.