Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 opens to the delightful strains of Nessun Dorma, courtesy of Thomas Harper and Michael Halasz.
For someone who just dabbles with dribbling, you can easily select the level of difficulty, check and alter the controller button configuration and… well, there are loads of settings, but I just went with the default ones. I then opted for a normal match, and selected Man Utd vs. Man City, only so that I’ve got at least half an idea who the commentators are talking about. However, note that not all the teams on show are licenced, so while you have Manchester United and other team names, Manchester City are known as “Man Blue”. Seems very odd to do that, but I’ve no idea why some teams are licenced and some aren’t.
The commentary is amusingly accurate. Obviously, years of work and experience have gone into making that the way it is, and occasionally you do get a little bit of repetition in a match, but nothing to worry about – and it generally came about because I was fouling everyone, getting a yellow card on most occasions, then being told the audience expected a red.
Generally, gameplay is a simple affair: Score a goal and you’ll see replays, while highlights are also available at the end of each half of a match. That said, my knowledge of video game football mostly extends to enjoying a game of Kick Off and Sensible Soccer in the early 1990s. Where’s Eddie McGoldrick these days? He was a right cheating bastard! (in the games)
Anyway, times change but some things stay the same, and I still have a problem trying to tell any football game to automatically select the player of mine who is nearest the ball, for example. You can press the left shoulder button to do this, here, but I’m still trying to perfect it.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 – Man Utd 0-0 Man City (720p HD)
I’ve given the graphics a score of 8, but that’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with them – they play perfectly well, and everything is fluid. It’s just that when it comes to a game like this, for the most part, everything on the pitch looks intentionally sparse, but under the bonnet everything is going exactly as it should.
There are various enhancements to the series which concentrate on how the ball moves, the interaction with the players and the look of the players themselves. All of these can be examined in detail if you click on the Amazon links above for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. An example is that the individual talents of the majority of the players are based with pin-point accuracy on the real-life individuals, and even the reaction of the audience can have an effect on the players’ performance on the pitch. In addition, the training section now features the all new Performance Training, which allows you to practice skills in a realistic match-like situation, with help at hand in the form of visual hints and tips.
There’s so many tweaks and twerks to the game which, quite frankly, I don’t understand and I won’t begin to – and as soon as I can switch off the ‘offside rule’ mode, I will – but to an occasional footie gamer like myself, this is a wonderful piece of fun, which you can instantly pick up and play.
And you’ll tell from the second video that I’m left wondering if Wayne Rooney is anything like his PES 2014 counterpart, because he clearly couldn’t find the goal mouth with a frigging satnav!
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Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 – Man Utd 0-2 Man City (720p HD)
- Publisher: Konami
- Players: players 1-4, co-op: 2-4, multiplayer: 2-22, multiplayer co-op: 2-22
- HDTV options: 720p/1080i/1080p
- Features: Leaderboards, game content download
- Languages: English
- Subtitles: English
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.