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    PES 2015 Finally Getting the Next-Gen Promotion It Deserves

    To an outsider there may not appear to be all that much different between the annual PES and FIFA shootout, but to those who do follow the beautiful game in its various virtual forms there can be striking, and crucial, differences between the two. But what’s strange about the whole thing is just how subjective it is and how one person’s preference over a small detail can impact upon their attitudes towards either game.

    Some veterans of the game will forever remain faithful to PES’ arcade origins and its quirky flair, while others would rather embrace the more intricate and authentic presentation based offerings of FIFA. Indeed, the fluctuating review scores and ongoing rage wars about which was the better title between PES 2014 and FIFA 14 is testament to the fine lines that still separate the two.

    With PES 2015 Konami has a great chance to firmly plant a next-gen flag, having declined the chance to port last year’s game to the new consoles and instead focused its efforts on milking the best of its Fox Engine for this year’s game. Curiously the developer has admitted that wrestling with the new engine for PES 2014 came at the expense of some flawed features (slow animation cycles and
    response times proving the most annoying), but it’s all systems go for PES 2015.

    Some of the upgrades are largely expected of the new generation of games consoles, with greater visual fidelity in all areas including more detailed players and animations that accurately mimic their traits and playing styles. There will be more in the way of shooting, with greater control over pace and placement, as well as a wider variety of passes, including subtle flicks and driven cross-field balls that glide across the turf.

    We're particularly impressed by how PES Productions is trying to make dribbling and skills more about player ability and its core control system, rather than encouraging a wide range of complicated tricks and thumbstick rotations. All that fun and flamboyant trickery will still be on offer, but attackers will be able to combine close control with bespoke dribbling skills and changes in pace to skip past a defender and not just rainbow flicks or whatnot.

    A brand new myClub mode is being introduced as part of a big Master League Online overhaul, including gulp microtransactions, though Konami is keen to point that any in game purchases are simply a speedy alternative for those who don’t fancy grinding out Game Points to boost their roster (not unlike that seen in FIFA’s Ultimate Team mode).

    You’ll also see players’ attributes rise and fall in sync with their real-world performances, an expanded PES ID seeing teams line up and use tactics in a way that reflects the real thing, and improvements to Master League and Become a Legend mode. All in all we’d say that PES 2015 is making all the right moves this pre-season.


    Although PES 2014 was the first game to boast use of Konami’s new Fox Engine, PES 2015 will be the first game to fully implement its true next-gen credentials (ahead of its ultimate showcase in Metal Gear Solid V). According to the devs, last year’s game saw the engine in “embryonic form” and later this year we’ll be seeing “a new level of visual acuity”, including dynamic weather impacting on the in-game physics.

    Of course, actually appearing on next-gen tech should give PES 2015 a considerable edge but we’re expecting a new degree of realism to players, crowds and stadiums alike. Ideally the animations will play out a lot more seamlessly than the somewhat slow-motion stutterings found in PES 2014 as well, but with a new real-time lighting system and more lined up it sounds as if Konami is really on the ball this time.

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