“The problem is, it took us too long to admit we were going wrong.”
That’s the admission of an unnamed member of Konami’s PES team in this month’s edition of Edge magazine, in which the publisher’s revamped and remotivated football studio has outlined the sweeping changes that will be introduced in this year’s PES 2014.
Even the most devout PES fan will concede that the switch to next-gen marked a notable decline of the series. That, in part at least, is because the series on PS3 has been developed using a reworked version of the PS2 engine.
It’s a different story this time around. PES 2014 is being built using the impressive Fox Engine.
“We couldn’t really overhaul our old engine in the yearly development cycle,” creative producer Kei Masuda admitted. “The schedule was too demanding. We reflected on the difficult transition from PS2 to PS3 and could see the next-gen coming. We needed to make a new engine.”
The game has a completely new physics engine and a new control scheme that detaches player movement from the ball and gives direct control to a player’s centre of gravity. Users will be able to independently control a player’s body in relation to the ball. This will provide detailed control whether dribbling, feinting or even jostling for position off-the-ball.
The momentum of a match will also play a big part, with a strong captain, like say Steven Gerrard, able to resist the effects of a hostile crowd and strong attacks from the opposition to inspire his teammates to keep fighting. Visually, too, there’s a huge improvement, with the player models in particular looking stunning.
And Fox Engine is reasonably future proof, scaling the game for a range of machines – be it PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, PS5, smartphone or tablet.
Edge bravely speculates that the game’s changes could herald a sea change in the genre similar to the disruption caused to Tony Hawk’s dominance with the arrival of Skate.