Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc., announced today its newest title, Pro Evolution Soccer 2014, is now available on PlayStation®3 and Xbox®360, with versions for Windows PC, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) and PlayStation®2 to follow.
The release of Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 (PES 2014) marks a new beginning for the popular series, with an all-new engine allowing for the most comprehensive advances since its inception. PES 2014 uses Kojima Production’s renowned Fox Engine as one of the core components for its new football specific game engine.
PES 2014 reworks every element of play, creating a fresh and energetic new standard for football titles. In addition to noticeably improved graphics and fluid animation, the thrust of the new system’s power redefines the way football is played on a home system. All-new AI is also in place. While the individuality of key players has been perfectly recreated, team AI has been enhanced to ensure favored teams play just as they do in real life. Online modes are also enhanced in PES 2014. The popular Master League Online mode is available and will feature a realistic working budget cap. Additionally, users can now take their “Become a Legend” avatars to online match rooms, while the long awaited 11 vs 11 will be available shortly after release.
The six key features of Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 include:
• TrueBall Tech: PES 2014 centers everything thing on the ball: how it moves and how players use it. First touch and sublime control is what sets certain players apart from others. The ability to not only read a pass, but to be one step ahead and to know what is needed to gain yards on an encroaching defender. TrueBall Tech allows the player to trap or knock on a pass using the analogue stick with detailed barycentric physics determining the weight shift of the player and the height and speed of the pass, as to how the player’s body will automatically shape to receive it.
With TrueBall Tech, the players have total control in determining how their body is angled to receive a pass, whereas previous football titles present the user with scant options. TrueBall Tech means that it can be chested or nodded past an opponent, flicked into space or to a team mate, while closer dribbling control is a much more personal attribute in the new game.
The Pro Evolution Soccer series has long since treated the ball as an individual entity, allowing the player huge amounts of freedom to pass into space, run on to a knocked-on counter, or produce short triangular passes to make space. TrueBall Tech adds even more freedom, with full 360-degree control within several yards around the player and the ability to shield the ball from opposing players, use deft controls to wrong-foot them, and intuitive methods to master close control.
• Motion Animation Stability System (M.A.S.S.): The physical combat between players is a vital part of a match, and the new M.A.S.S. component simulate the bodily contact between multiple players within tailored animations that segue seamlessly into each other. Rather than a series of pre-set animations that occur under specific circumstances, M.A.S.S. reacts instantly to any situation, with the reaction of a fouled player entirely dependent on the direction and force with which they are tackled. Dependent on factors such as their size and power, players will stumble but instantly recover if clipped, barge others off the ball, and use their stature to block players from possession. Similarly, Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 now has more styles of tackle, as opposed to basic foot in or sliding types.
Tackling also becomes more integral to PES 2014’s quest for realism, with clashes of players utilising the TrueBall physics to ensure the ball reacts as it would in a real game. As players fight for a 50-50 ball, the challenge will see the ball bobbling into space, or emerging at the feet of the triumphant player
The integration of the M.A.S.S. element has also facilitated new advances in one-on-one situations. The individual battles between key players can determine the outcome of a match, so particular emphasis has been made on such battles in Pro Evolution Soccer 2014. Defenders will put greater pressure on the attacking player, by tussling for possession, standing back to restrict passing opportunities, or making the tackle. Likewise, attackers are faced with ether trying to outpace the defender while retaining possession, feinting to gain advantage, or passing, dribbling or shooting when space allows. The result allows for incredibly open games, where the attributes and skills of the players come to the fore in personal feuds all over the pitch.
• Heart: Defining what makes football so riveting is difficult. It isn’t a technical thing, but more an emotional hook. Matches can be imposing for visiting teams, as home support barracks the opposition, and acts as the infamous ‘twelfth man’ by cheering their side on. Pro Evolution Soccer 2014’s ‘Heart’ aims to recreate the effects of team support, both on an individual player basis and across the entire team.
Each player in the game now employs mental attributes in addition to playing styles and skills, and can be adversely affected when having a poor game. However, if an individual is not playing well, his teammates can rally round and will work to support him. The cauldron effect of a vibrant stadium will showcase the mood of the fans, with all-new sound effects combining with stunning AI systems to create a palpable match day atmosphere.
• PES ID: Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 set a new bar for realism, with its inclusion of the Player ID system. For the first time, players could instantly recognize a player by their faithfully recreated running and play styles. The way a player ran, moved and spread the ball about would be identical to that of their real-life counterpart, and Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 featured 50 players that utilised the system.
For Pro Evolution Soccer 2014, that number has been greatly expanded, with twice as many stars featuring customized animations and AI, while the system has also been rolled out to cover entire teams and to replicate the basic playing ethos and technical styles of the world’s greatest teams.
• Team Play: Via the new game’s innovative Combination Play users can set up a variety of different tactics in key areas of the pitch using three or more players. These players will make very different off-the-ball runs to exploit holes in the defence or midfield, using the flanks, curved runs, or overlapping play to make themselves available. These moves can be pre-set to key areas of the field, allowing users to exploit defensive weaknesses beforehand.
• The Core: The PES Productions team has undergone several years of consultation with both Pro Evolution Soccer and football fans related to key elements of the series are able to implement a wide range of additional improvements.
Visually, the game will benefit from an incredible level of acuity, from the weave of the kits, through to facial movement and a new animation process that offers slick segues from one move to the next, with no pauses or restrictions on control. Stadia will be faithful to real-life, with the entrances to the pitches recreated, crowds that move during the course of the game – and even leave early if their team is being humiliated! The new Fluidity engine also allows for a new light-mapping effect, adding a natural look to the proceedings. The flow of a match has also been improved, with tactical decisions made on the fly, and the removal of cut scenes after specific events.
Free kicks and penalties have also been radically changed. Free kicks will no longer have restrictions on the position of players in relation to the ball, for instance, while decoy runs have been added and short passes easier to effect from a set piece. To counter, players can now move the position of their keeper for the kick, while the wall will react to the kick instinctively to block or deflect the ball.
Penalties now use a target guide that is changed according to the kicker’s ability and where they intend to place the ball. The goal keeper can now opt to move ahead of the kick, sensing when the penalty taker is not particularly strong.
PES 2014 also marks the first appearance of the Asia Champions League, adding a wealth of officially licensed clubs to the competition. The new game exclusively retains its use of the UEFA Champions League club competition.