Pro Evolution Soccer 14 runs on a modified version of Kojima productions Fox Engine, which is being used to build the next game in the Metal Gear series, leading me to the question how and why PES 14 look so bad? With everything this engine can produce (check out the Phantom Pain tailer), it’s hard to understand why my Huangyin Qingshun football team doesn’t look Chinese.
Most players have a very European look to them and have very little variation with the ready-made team builds. This brings me to the crowds visuals; there is approximately 5 to 10 variations (sometimes they wear hats!) of supporters and they all look awful, from the jerky animations to the pixelated body’s. Close ups on players (after scoring in particular) are laggy, and downright unappealing to the eye.
Controlling your player can be difficult while attempting tighter turns or stepping your opponent, I found myself sprinting beside them most of the time and out running them to get into a clear shooting position. Other than exploiting this one weakness in the lower difficulty matches, the oppositions AI are actually rather intelligent, not allowing you to run rings around them without understanding the deeper gameplay on offer.
PES 14 offers a lot of customisation options for characters, stadiums, and even the leagues themselves. This is a welcome feature considering the issues with the standard teams not appearing as they should. Creating your own player will allow you to play through the Legends Mode (or with any player that is already available), so you can have your own customised player or try and create one that is not available in PES 14.
The biggest option PES14 offers is the Football Life game mode; stepping into the shoes of your team, as well as taking care of players off field. Sinking hours into Football Life is an easy option for those who live and breathe Football, and offers PES 14 a deeper edge on its competition.
There are four Major Leagues to play through, covering Europe, Latin America, and Asia; unfortunately, other than titles and teams, the Cups do not differ and feel the same across the board. Thankfully Exhibition Matches are fast and easy to access and picking your favourite team means they are always selected for you.
PES 14 is not a large step forward for the genre, encountering some rather unflattering visual issues and repetitive Leagues. However, it is easier to access than previous instalments and can offer a lot of fun for those who are willing to put in the effort to learn the deeper playing style that Pro Evolution 14 offers.
Final Rund Rating - 6.5/10
- Will Flynn