Pro Evolution Soccer 2014

October 1, 2013

This review was contributed by Rob Pike, freelance writer.

Another year another round of football games, right? Not quite… This year it seems both Konami and EA have their own agendas. EA want their product played by more people than ever, before pushing their ever so popular FIFA franchise free with every Xbox One console sold in many countries. Konami on the other hand are in a very different place. They want Pro Evo veterans and rookies alike to learn a whole new game. Running on a whole new engine. Is this what Konami needed to reclaim the crown EA have held for so many years? Short answer – yes.

The fundamental aspect of any sports title, regardless of licensing, an amazing soundtrack, the biggest and best cover stars or shiny graphics is gameplay. PES 2014 introduces its new Fox Engine and with it comes MASS (Motion Animation Stability System) and TrueBall physics. These combine to give the player the most realisitc simulation experience possible. MASS allows realistic physical contests and makes you feel the difference between large powerful players and small nimble ones, while true-ball physics ensure the ball bobbles, bounces and curves just as it does in real life. The speed of the gameplay has been slowed to create a very realistic look and flow to the matches. You will not be able to run the length of the pitch with one player and score a curving shot from outside the box every time. Instead build up play and careful dribbling in tight quarters is greatly rewarded. It took quite a few games to get used to the new speed and feel of the players but when it clicks the action on screen resembles a real match more than ever. The reason I became a fan of PES was the feeling you get when you score an amazing goal and launch off the couch to run around the room and celebrate, and I am happy to say this year’s game had me doing exactly this on several occasions.

Sadly, the new engine does not come without its faults, I had several clumsy moments when defending and attacking the goal,  which resulted in dodgy looking goals. Defenders failing to react to fast button presses would be my biggest concern. Although Konami assures fans this is being worked on in an up coming patch, another “glitch” I came across was my defenders sitting on the half way line and allowing the opposition easy through ball attacks. Thankfully, the beautiful new animations and great collision detection make it easy to overlook these occasional glitches and enjoy this impressive football experience.


Goalkeepers have been greatly improved in some areas and will make some incredible looking saves but still fail to handle some easy balls and parry shots into the back of the net more than they should. Defending is a joy with the new animations and physics with last ditch slide tackles that look so good I often found myself pausing the game to admire my handy work. A slight let down is referees often missing clear fouls which happen as a result of players clipping legs or shoulders. Again, Konami is said to be addressing this issue.

A feature hyped in pre-release trailers was “heart” which was the crowd’s influence on the game. To be honest, I never noticed this taking place during matches. I did have some great comeback wins and some occasions where the CPU got the momentum and took the match to me. Maybe this was ‘Heart’ working without me knowing it? While it’s a good idea, this feature is not a game changer or a cheap way to win. Some more focus on it with in-game cut scenes showing crowd and or player emotion would have been a nice addition.

All game modes from last year re-appear with the very welcome addition of League Mode., which was oddly left out of PES 2013. As most of the attention has been on gameplay this year the Master League mode and Become A Legend seem very much untouched in the way of features. Master league in fact seems to have been stripped back to a very simple and easy to use format. A great addition to master league is the ability to change teams and even take charge of the national team of your choice ( More than likley the nationality you choose at the start of your career ) This adds a bit more depth to master league but pails in comparison to the career mode seen in the FIFA series.

Online is currently very slow going especially trying to get local players. Hopefully this improves once the game releases in stores in Australia. The scarcity of modes and features is also a little worrying, but now that the new engine is in place this should see an improvement in next year’s update.


PES 2014 is pushing current gen consoles to their limits. The new engine has introduced some incredible lighting effects and player emotion is more visible than ever.The moment the ball hits the back of the net and the crowd jumps out of their seats looks spectacular. Unfortunately, frame rate issues during replays and after goals can take away from the stunning graphics and often had me skipping cut scenes and replays more often than not. The limitations are also evident with the lack of rain in the game. In real life, rain affects the way players move as well as their momentum when sliding in for tackles as well as the way the ball moves off the pitch. Implementing all these things into matches is a very big task and I look forward to seeing how its done next year.

Not since Pro Evolution Soccer 6 have we seen such a leap in terms of gameplay and graphics in the PES series. The engine Konami have created that will be used in future games is an amazing one and the sky is the limit when the series hits next gen. The flow of the matches and all new animations and graphics will make you wonder if your watching the real thing. With the lack of game mode changes and little attention to online gameplay it seems Konami are merely testing the waters with PES 2014. This certainly doesn’t take away from it being an amazing football simulation. While the addition of several new licenses such as Asians Champions league and some new European leagues are welcome, the lack of English Premier League and other main licenses will deter the common pick up and play sports gamer. This is a game where skillful players can really strut their stuff, a game where a bicycle kick is a near impossible feat and if you manage to pull one off it feels as rewarding as the real thing. For me this is what separates PES from FIFA.


Game Speed and Animations | Rewarding goals and skills | Ball Physics | Hard Hitting Tackles


Replay Framerate | Defence AI Glitches | Lack of Rain | Limited Game Modes

Overall Score: