Saturday, December 14, 2013

Game Changer

It's all over the news; respectable sites are giving equal scores to both FIFA 14 and Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 as well. Having played the recent iterations of the former, and a thorough demo of the latter, I can attest to the fact that PES is back with a vengeance. As it happens, your humble servant used to run a small footy gaming site and since those days, many things have changed, with the crowning of FIFA as current champion, yet also, things now seem quite the way they were.

Sporting the brand new Fox Engine, PES 2014 feels more fluid and physical than ever. Both the Motion Animation Stability System (MASS) and TrueBall Tech sound like gimmicks, yet they help construct a game which is visually arresting in its realism. The demo provides hours upon hours of fun, with a respectable selection of teams. There are no options in the game except checking your GamePlan (Formations and Tactics), and matches do feel a bit too short. Yet the fun I've had with this game equals the great days of PES 3 to 6.
As a result, the game feels quite a bit renewed by dropping its stiffness and replacing it with a more flexible experience, which now does seem more like a broadcast than ever before; it feels almost like ragdoll physics yet not quite. You can play, for instance, Bayern Munich vs Manchester United and the pull from both powerhouses becomes evident. I remember FIFA 10 in which I played with Barcelona and the tiny Messi didn't make things much easier for me.

Before a match begins, a player likeness for each team appears on screen, like a matchup in a fighting videogame, which makes for a nice touch. The full game comes with options for Friendly, Champions League, Europa League, Copa Libertadores, Football Life and others. Framerate is though, a bit choppy while showing the crowds. In the end, the game comes highly recommended, thus fútbol aficionados should probably get a hold of both sides of the competition.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

It's coming...