The lights are on
It doesn't look like Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 will be making it onto the next-generation consoles this year, but Konami and developer PES Productions have plenty of high-tech features for the upcoming game.
The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 title will come out sometime this year (likely in the fall), and the developer is using Kojima Production's Fox Engine to power it. As such, it sounds like the franchise has been totally reworked to accomodate the new engine. Key elements such as treating the ball like a separate entity from players with its own physics, the importance of a first touch, and how the ball is controlled by players are being redefined with the engine. The game is also promising improvements in players' physical interactions, new tackles, and more player-specific animations and other physical features. Given the series' heretofore technical accuman in these areas, we're curious if this transition to the Fox engine retains the gameplay fluidity the franchise has become known for.
One of the harder-to-replicate aspects of soccer that PES 2014 will try and tackle is that aspect of heart – whether it's a player's form or the boost a team gets from a raucous home crowd during a big match. Konami says that individuals and whole teams will ride the ebb and flow of good and bad play within a game. A single player can make a big difference for his squad, or a team can rally around each other and pull themselves up. It will be interesting to see how Konami pulls this feature off correctly, but it is a key aspect of the sport.
Teams will also come together thanks to the ability to use preset tactical scenarios involving three or more players on set areas of the pitch. Free kicks also present more options thanks to decoy runs and the ability to move your keeper if you're on the defensive.
Lastly, PES 2014 will include the Asia Champions League, including fully licensed teams, as well as continue its exclusive partnership with the UEFA Champions League and other as-yet-unannounced tournaments.
Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of PES 2014 were not mentioned, but PES Productions says that everything in the current-gen games is "fully scalable for future versions."
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