While at Gamescom 2013 this year I was given the opportunity to sit in on a mini group-interview with Naoya Hatsumi, the Senior Producer of the upcoming PES 2014.
As we know there are two major football (soccer for you heathens) games coming in the next few days and the endless battle between FIFA and PES will rise once again.
It has become increasingly obvious that EA has been able to pump a lot more money into the FIFA series than Konami can with the PES series and as such the usual comparisons utilising licences, graphics, player likeness etc all fall solidly into the FIFA camp. Even more worryingly for Konami over the past few years has been the amount of investment EA has pumped into improving their gameplay, always a PES strongpoint, to the point where it is now debateable that FIFA has the more realistic gameplay experience.
So what does Konami have to bring to the party to try and compete against the financial juggernaut?
Well to start Konami isn’t giving up on the gameplay competition with the new version of PES utilising the analogue sticks to control where the player shifts his weight before moving or shooting. Obviously shifting the weight to skip to the left and then trying to take a straight shot is going to end badly for you. But while the gameplay can be exceedingly difficult to control the game isn’t being pushed out of the hands of casual gamers who can simply turn off these advanced controls.
When questioned about whether they will be having any famous players motion captured in PES the lack of funding was once again apparent. As Naoya confirmed that they unfortunately cannot cover the costs of a long running mocap session with AAA footballers. However they do use the mocap technology on younger up-and-coming stars.
Konami however do have a trick up their sleeve with the upcoming PES as they have the very valid point that the vast majority of football fans aren’t actually players and are more lovers of the game than hardened athletes.
And so Konami has put a lot of effort into adding emotion and heart into the game where the game is no longer about the big superstars and famous clubs, but more about getting your hometown club up into the big leagues and working within your means to break through to international super stardom.
It’s a nice touch and something I personally did in the last FIFA and thoroughly enjoyed. I took a team from the bottom leagues and I’m currently in the champions league trying to take that trophy with my useless side. FIFA however doesn’t get it right as I can’t get anyone to sign for me even though I won the premier league with no losses and no one will sponsor me. So if Konami can fix that then it would be a nice feature for the game to have.
Unfortunately though in the end I can’t see many casual fans picking PES over FIFA and that’s not good for the genre going forward.
Last Updated: September 6, 2013