PES 2014 Was Only "Half Done" Konami Admits, Looking to Recapture PES 5 Magic For PES 2015
Written Monday, July 07, 2014 By Richard WalkerView author's profile
PES 2014 was only "half done" Konami has admitted, apparently due to the studio focusing on the game's visuals to the detriment of its gameplay. As such, the team intends to recapture the "magic" of old fan favourite Pro Evolution Soccer titles, PES 5 and PES 6.
"There's obviously a change in what PES used to be and what it is now here in Europe. Around PES 5/PES 6 it was ?the ?football game that everybody wanted to play. It's not there right now, certainly in Europe," European Brand Manager Adam Bhatti explains. "We're still quite strong in South America and Asia. So it's quite important for us to recapture that, and I was brought in along with [PES Productions UK] to do that."
It's thought that the introduction of Kojima Productions' FOX Engine for Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 lead to an emphasis on boosting the game's visual fidelity. "With PES 14, we had a new engine - FOX Engine - that we were trying to incorporate and many of the gameplay feelings of PES were just lost really, because we were trying to make a game that looked beautiful," Bhatti noted.
"But really, PES has been known for playing the beautiful game but not really caring about... how we moved, having the most accurate animation. [Earlier PES titles] definitely captured certain things, like a player run, for example, but it was super responsive and that allowed you to be very instinctive when you played. [In] PES 14, you had to think two seconds before you were going to do something because the animation would play out, and that's not PES."
PES 2015 will be about "going back to the basics, going back to why you played PES in the first place," said Bhatti, adding: "PES 5 and PES 6 have been earmarked by us, mainly because it's that era where the fans still say to us, 'That's when you guys were good, that's when you guys were the best'. Now, you can't just high-res a PES 5/PES 6 game and ship it for £40/£50... We really can't... and I don't think we should as well, we should be aiming a little bit higher. But the gameplay feeling is still magic, it's still perfect to me. We've tried to capture that and [rediscover] why it was special."
Controls and responsiveness are the key components that Konami has identified for attention in PES 2015.
"The most basic thing for me is, in PES, when I played it, 1) super responsive and 2) left stick dribbling and R2 stop; this feeling that I didn't need a trick stick or needed to do tricks to beat a player, it was all about seeing the play and react to what's going on," said Bhatti. "The final thing is not scoring the same goal twice. That was so important to me in PES. You will shoot from anywhere, take a chance, you'll feel like, hey I've got a chance here. I think really with all football games you started to find too many sweet spots. PES surely had its own, PES 5 did as well, but you weren't just locked to those moments. You could try it and score [a wonder goal] and 'Oh my God, did you see that?'. They're the moments that we're trying to catch with the gameplay."
As such, PES 2015 won't be rushed. It'll ship when it's ready, Bhatti assures.
"That's a really good ethos. We tend to have the same focus every year, we stick to a time. We learned with PES 14," Bhatti continued. "As you mentioned, it was probably half done, and I think that was the feedback we got from all the fans. The majority of fans [were] extremely unhappy with us last year. We heard them and we're fully aware, so this year it's not just a case of 'don't worry, we're going to fix it'. When it ships it'll be ready."
PES 2015 is scheduled to release in autumn 2014 for Xbox One, PS4 and "additional formats". Get our hands-on preview here.