I used to be a massive Pro Evo fan. I argued with those idiot FIFA-loving simpletons that thought having the right insurance company’s name on the front of their accurately-named player’s shirt was more important than playing a game that ebbed and flowed like real football. I knew they were fools.
But then the PlayStation 2 Pro Evo that I loved turned into the PlayStation 3 Pro Evo that wasn’t really at the match. There have been a couple of close calls during this console generation but it’s probably fair to say that I joined the legion of silly FIFA fans as that series started to care as much for tactical simulation as it did for haircut representation.
PES, though, is changing. Last year’s was fantastic – almost back to the heights of the series for me – and the team’s obvious commitment to improving the important parts of their game is hugely encouraging. PES 14 is coming with a new engine – Kojima’s Fox Engine – and it looks gorgeous, as the screenshots below will attest.
It’s not only about the visual upgrade though, PES is getting a host of new physical and tactical improvements. TrueBall Tech is what they’re calling their focus on the ball as the centre of everything that goes on. It’s improved ball physics, naturally, but it also takes into account the size and stature of the player when it determines how the ball reacts.
In what feels like something of a “backronym”, they’ve got the Motion Animation Stability System (MASS) that will govern player’s interactions with each other – collisions and shifting momentum as well as decision making by AI that will mean you’ll need to be smart to unlock a defence.
With their new “Heart” system, individual performances of star players will impact morale on the pitch – and so will the enthusiasm of the crowd. PES ID, the system that introduced tailored animations for 50 star players in last year’s release, is back with double the amount of players included.
Team Play is the name they’re giving a system that enables you to create very localised tactical interactions between groups of three or more players in a particular section of the pitch. Use it to set up varied tactical instructions like curving runs and overlapping plays specific to one section of your team.
Finally, they’re promising a more free-flowing game with the cut-scenes removed and the improved graphical fidelity in every aspect.
It all sounds quite exciting, doesn’t it?