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Whilst The Fox Engine Brings Innovative And Much-welcome Changes
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The game has two major modes: Football Life (which contains within it Become A Legend and Master League), and Competition, which features the UEFA Champions League, Europe League, the newly licensed AFC Champions League and more. However, a day-one patch unlocks online multiplayer, including an online version of the Master League, and later patches will bring further gameplay options, including 11v11 online multiplayer. It’s strange that these features weren’t included at launch, and that some options may come up to a month or two after launch, but on the positive side, at least it keeps the game fresh. What’s more, Konami is promising regular free Data Pack Updates, which will bring extra kits, balls and stadiums, as well as a pack that includes more realistic facial renderings for many of the players in the game.
Both Become a Legend and Master League have been featured before in the Pro Evo series, and it doesn’t seem as if there’s a lot different on offer in the 2014 showing. Become a Legend sees players taking on the role of a single footballer, either already existing or newly created, with the objective of becoming one of the best in the world. Master League puts players on the other side of the touchline, operating as the team’s manager, and again, the objective is to make your team world-renowned. Become a Legend is perhaps most different from the usual Pro Evo experience, seeing as you’re controlling just one player on the pitch, although this isn’t always a positive as, depending on the position you choose, it feels as if a lot of the time spent with this mode sees you watching the ball, as opposed to being able to actually join in. A positive note is that when your player is substituted, you have the option to fast-forward through the gameplay, meaning that you don’t have to sit for 10 minutes watching the AI pass the ball around.
Where I can imagine most players spending their time, though, is within Master League Online, particularly once the early online issues with the game have been ironed out. Master League Online is almost a throwback to the Master League of the previous console generation, with teams starting off from the bottom, with unknown players, and the objective of signing a group of awesome players and making it to the top of the league. Points gained are determined by results in matches and these points are then used to bid on players, though most leagues have a salary cap which prevents players from creating an unstoppable team of superstars. Master League Online feels as if it has the most longevity of the modes on offer within Pro Evolution Soccer 2014, and looks to be the best opponent to EA Sports’ Ultimate Team behemoth.
Whilst the Fox Engine brings innovative and much-welcome changes to the series, it is clear that it is pushing the current-gen hardware to the limit. Loading times, particularly pre-match, are in two long-winded stages, and unlike FIFA, there are no mini-games designed to distract you. In-game, framerate issues are common, particularly when the ball crosses the line for a corner or a goal-kick, and stuttering is a fairly regular occurrence. Thankfully it never really seems to happen in open-play, which would create even more of an issue. Still, it’s glaringly noticeable, and a stark reminder that you’re playing a videogame. Also, while player models look a lot more humanlike than previously, they still have a plastic sheen to them, with close-ups making the teams look like groups of sentient mannequins rather than real-life footballers.
PES2014 - Pro Evolution Soccer 2014The main question surrounding Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 is ‘Does the Fox Engine bring enough to the table to put the Pro Evo series on top of the footballing pile?’ The answer, right now at least, is not yet, but it certainly goes a long way to closing the gap. Player animations and interactions are perhaps the best seen in a football game to date, but game modes and presentation still leave a lot to be desired. What’s more, it’s clear that the Fox Engine is hampered by current generation consoles, and that it won’t be able to fully spread its wings until we see it on the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. There’s still a strong footballing experience here, and Pro Evo devotees should be impressed, even if the game itself perhaps isn’t enough to draw over a few of www.vipfifacoins.com/fifa-13-coins.html the FIFA crowd. However, with the evidence on show in Pro Evolution 2014, FIFA might want to keep looking over its shoulder next-gen, as there could well be some blood spilled when these two football giants fight it out for the next-gen championship title.
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