PES 2014 PS3 preview – at long, long last, they’ve fixed the ball
With Konami’s once faultless football series having undergone a painful number of transitional seasons, it’s an age since we came away from a Pro Evo preview event desperate to play more. Finally, that time is now. Hours in the company of new PES 2014 teases the return to form you’ve spent half a decade praying may be on the cards.
PES 2014 PS3 preview
That’s not to say it’ll instantly turn into a FIFA 14-beater, but there are plenty of promising signs. Critically, the ball now behaves like an independent object, its behaviour no longer linked to player animations – so all manner of realistic deflections, rebounds and miscontrols occur, and the placement of shots and passes feels tied exactly to your inputs on the controller. You even see players go up for headers and both miss the pig’s bladder, just as happens in reality. The resulting sense of freedom across the park is something PES has lacked since the PS2 years, and its return is more than welcome.
The ball now behaves like an independent
object, no longer linked to player animations – so all manner of realistic deflections,
rebounds and miscontrols occur
One longstanding tradition we could do without, however, is dodgy keepers – our first two goals bring little enjoyment, coming from shots straight down the middle which the opposition netminder inexplicably dives away from. Marketing producer Manorito Hosoda admits tweaks are ongoing, and promises improvements by the time the game is released: “There are going to be keeper-specific attributes this year. It’s something people have wanted for a while, and we’ll announce more details soon.”
Hosoda’s favourite new feature is “heart” – every player is affected in real-time by what happens around them. Get the crowd going with early pressure, for instance, and they’ll respond in characteristic ways. “Some will become more physical, others will start pulling out more tricks or have a speed boost in their stats,” he explains. It’ll be fascinating to see how this feature stays balanced – particularly in terms of keeping a level playing field in online games – but the idea is certainly innovative. Yet while Hosoda’s talk of heart is enthusing, his bigger achievement on this evidence is to have finally restored PES its soul.