Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
Fun football simulation and PES installment with flaws
on December 29, 2013
After reading so many reviews of this game online, I actually opted for FIFA 14 for the first time in 14 years or so. That frustration led me back to PES 2014, despite all the bad reviews. I found out that those reviews are generally no longer accurate.
All the reviews mention frame skipping. I have noticed this once or twice in well over a hundred matches. It does occur occasionally but it does not hinder the gameplay and I've only noticed it while playing online. I suspect this mostly comes from lag, another aspect that I have not had problems with more than usual. Regardless, frame skipping is NOT and issue. Lag is NOT an issue. Yes, some games have lag, as do all online games, including past PES series, FIFA 14, and non-footballing titles. Most games have much less lag than previous PES titles, making almost every online game playable.
These are the two major technical issues that kept me from buying this game, even after playing the demo. They are non-issues. Perhaps the latest update has fixed all the problems. Regardless, there are enough problems with the game, specifically the defense and the refereeing.
The game is one of the most realistic PES titles when it plays well and one of the most frustrating when it stops being a football sim. There are problems, especially with goalie AI and defense AI. Sometimes, the goalie does stupid things, occasionally costing a frustrating, unrealistic goal. Likewise, the defense, while improved with extra controls, still takes a lot of luck and the D-line still misses a lot of long balls and through balls, often leaving a one on one with the goalkeeper. The defensive idiocy _might_ be a deal-breaker. There seems to be no consistency or any way to prevent this, no matter what the tactical settings are. Regardless of the team, no matter how good they are in reality, their defensive play will resemble that of children playing football for the first time in their life. This is the #1 reason I've brought down the stars and is particularly bad in PES 2014, however, this is not new. Defense has always been bad. Suicidal to be exact.
You will get penalties called on your defenders when no one was even fell in the box. Period. This is incredibly stupid. You will also get penalties called when the attacker has shot the ball and falls down. This is simply unrealistic and ridiculous. Other calls are made too and cards given out when the attacker doesn't even fall to the ground. Nonsensical. Still other calls are just completely botched. Everything from the ball being given to the wrong team when the ball is out of touch to ridiculous fouls not called to petty and legal contact (where the attacker manages to stay up) being given a yellow or even red card.
The free kick system has been substantially improved for shooting, but is even worse for passing. With the visual indicator, one has a lot more control over free kicks, making them as dangerous as they are in the real game. On the other hand, long passes, especially goal kicks, are still as difficult and more frustrating than they have been in any PES game since Winning Eleven 7 (my first WE/PES game). Goal kicks and goalkeeper clearances are often shanked and go straight to the opposition, no matter how well hit. It's ridiculous that such simple moves (for a real life goalkeeper) have been turned into frustrating experiences and turnovers. After over a hundred games, it seems that every punt and goalkeeper kick that's not a goal kick goes flat, no matter what, sometimes so flat as to not clear any of the players. Completely insane. Unfortunately, last year's ability to choose a player to pass to rather than using the improved-but-still-stupid long pass controls is gone. So is the ability to change your attach / defense level on the fly, which is unfortunate.
It is a lot of fun to play, but extremely frustrating to see keepers fumbling easy catches or kicking the ball straight to the opposite team, the D-Line not coordinating and letting in through ball after through ball, and despite the improved defensive controls, one's almost complete lack of control of the defense itself and of the individual player on defense. The only way to defend in PES games, this one and PES games of the past, is to stay on offense as much as possible and pray/hope that on defense your players don't act like idiots. Such prayers are answered less and less frequently with each PES game, 2014 being by far, the absolute worst. One thing to note is that the defensive controls are still some of the best out there despite being atrocious. In other words, no one has figured this part out yet in the world of football videogames, afaik. Of course, the plus side to this is that some incredible through balls and plays can be made on offense, but even on offense, the AI sometimes kills a play by running ahead of the ball and doing other completely insane and illogical stuff.
Finally, as the frustration builds up, online play becomes more restricted. You get lower "courtesy" ratings for disconnecting from games. If the game played decently, this wouldn't be an issue, but after getting a second card and penalty for a "foul" where the attacker didn't even fall down, you will want to turn off the PS3 mid game. I've played plenty of games where I was able to stay calm and come back to tie or even win after some ridiculous play by either my defense or a nonsensical call by the referee or both. The game is fun and rewarding, but it has too many flaws. Initially I gave it 4 stars, but as I played more, I started remembering more problems from all the games I played.