We’ve had a week now to digest the press release from Konami for PES2014.
I’ve put together some of my thoughts on the six tenets that they’re showcasing:
TrueBall Tech (TBT):
I will be very interested in seeing how receiving a ball in-game will work. According to TBT, we should be able to receive a ball from a specific direction in many different ways. My reading of this is, that if a ball is passed straight to me from a set direction, depending on how I shape my player’s body, the ball will do different things. How much of this new feature is automated, and how much is user-defined will be of interest. My hunch is that there will be a fair element of automation about it to aid the player. Being able to flick the ball into space when receiving a pass will be interesting to see. If implemented well, it’s a feature I will definitely be very interested in. It seems like we will have many more options when passing a ball around, which opens up many more strategic game play strategies.
This system sounds similar to FIFA’s collision system, but that’s not a bad thing. The only concern I have is that whilst FIFA’s system is maturing (this will be the third year of it being used), this is the first iteration on PES as such. Hopefully we don’t see comedy animations for players who brush past each other.
I welcome the news on there being a larger range of tackling being made available. That is something which is long overdue for sure. If we see the ability to lunge in (albeit dangerously on occasion), then we may hit onto a major source of distress: refereeing.
How well will the referees interpret MASS interations? Will we see referees misinterpreting tackles and collisions as we are currently used to? Will players see red for innocuous challenges being made? Will CPU controlled players get away with identical tackles scott-free?
My concern is that refereeing hasn’t evolved with these systems. The refereeing system is broken in PES 2013 for me. I hope that we see effective refereeing, with the right calls being consistently made in the game. Blatant fouls which go unpunished had better not be present in the game!
This is an interesting and almost intangible element to the game. It’s about the emotional side of the game, and how it affects players. I hope this means that we see better crowd interaction during games. Away side support being heard loud and clear over the home crowd – especially if they take the lead in the game. The home side booing opposition danger men. Booing players booked for dirty tackles on the home team’s stars. These types of interactions affect emotions in players – we’ll have to see how it’s been incorporated into PES by Konami.
It also sounds like the Talisman attribute for players could be a key asset for team members this year.
Around 100 instantly recognisable stars with bespoke animations and AI. What more is there to say?
This is the most intriguing element of the new game engine for me. It reminds me of an old Sega MegaDrive game which allowed you to set up tactics for when the ball was in a specific area of the pitch. The pitch was split up into nine sections of play, where you decide which players should be positioned where when the ball was in any one of the nine sections.
This could mean a massive tactical overhaul for the game. Being able to choose where players position themselves during play can really open up the game. I can envisage, for example, being able to keep a player on the halfway line in the middle of the pitch, or out on a wing when defending a corner. If the opportunity arose, you could pump the ball out to that player and trigger a counter-attack. If your opponent hasn’t countered the threat, then you have a route to goal. But that’s just a very simple tactic.
Moving the ball around during open play, with players making darting runs depending on where the ball is on the pitch, really does have me excited at the possibilities that await us.
Forgive me, but this last element I place the least amount of emphasis on. This is the polish element which is required to make the game look appealing.
So in summary, I would say that this new engine (which has been worked on for four years now) is definitely a very positive move from Konami. It’s not a brand new engine that they’ve been working on since the end of PES 2013. Without trying to add any additional pressure on Konami, we should hit the ground running with PES2014′s engine.
For now, I’m quietly optimistic about PES2014 based on the press release info. We’re being promised a feature rich playground on a new engine that’s been worked on for a few years. That is very positive in my eyes. I am going to be very cautious about PES2014 until I see it in action, but so far so good.
Thanks for reading.