'PES 14' Gunning For 'FIFA 14's' Number One Spot

By Binu Paul , Updated Apr 24, 2013 11:08 AM EDT

Pro Evolution Soccer 14 (PES 14) will explore giant-killing possibilities in which smaller teams will be able to topple the giants in the world of football, a feature Konami believes will place PES 14 in direct competition with EA Sports' FIFA 14.

"Our ultimate goal is to let you win with the team you love," PES creative producer Kei Masuda tells OPM.  "If we can make a giant-killing possible, it's a huge difference to FIFA."

Konami is definitely looking to change the way the gaming world plays and thinks about football games in its latest footie series, inspired by the Celtic's heroic Champions League victory over powerful Barcelona (2-1) and in turn, perform a giant-killing of its own.

Both FIFA and PES, in their current forms, prioritize star players, power and pace, and these key factors often force users to pick elite teams if they want to win it all. In a revolutionary attempt that would bring about a huge difference, Konami is looking to create a more realistic experience using untapped factors, including home crowds, mental strength and advanced tactics.

"Make a crunching last-ditch tackle, say, and it'll motivate your team — resulting in more aggressive off-the-ball runs or crisper passing. Effects will be regionalised: UK crowds relish up-and-at-'em physical contact, while Brazilian fans might go wild for a nutmeg [passing the ball through an opposing player's legs]," the report notes.

"Our biggest struggles were with online play. As we moved to PS3, EA changed its engine, but ours was based on the PS2 game. We only brushed up on animation and some of the AI features," says Masuda. However, these worries will hopefully see an end as the publisher has signed a deal to use the modified version of Kojima Productions' FOX Engine technology that powers Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes.

PES will focus on "ball-centric" control using a concept, which it terms "barycentre" physics, whereby the users will be able to control a player's body and balance, on and off the ball. According to the report, "Early animations show a player taking a lofted ball with the outside of his boot, and swivelling 180˚ while juggling the ball in the air — all under your direct control."

PES 14 will debut yet another feature enabling one to edit players on the go, even when away from the PS3.

"The concern is that [fewer] people will play games on the TV. So, we're trying to make it possible to edit players on your phone, or pick your formation. When you turn on the game, you can instantly start playing. One of our aims is for PES to fit our users' lifestyles," Masuda says.

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