onStart – FIFA 14 vs. PES 2014 Impressions

Posted by: 9/17/2013

While Grand Theft Auto 5 was just released worldwide, arguably one of the most anticipated games of all time, next Tuesday will see the release of two other very popular games. Unlike Grand Theft Auto 5, these games focus less on murder and theft, and more on scoring goals and tactics. Both FIFA 14 and Pro Evolution Series 2014 will be released on September 24th; the two most popular soccer games in the world. But how do the different games compare to each other? Let’s take a look at each game. In this write up, I will be comparing the PC demo of FIFA 14 to the Xbox 360 demo of PES 2014. I would have compared both games using the PC demo, but the PC demo for PES 2014 does not release until after the full game is released.

When comparing soccer games, the most important element to me is the pace of the game. Very few soccer games over the years have been able to recreate a realistic feel of the game. In the 2014 edition of these soccer games, PES 2014 has the advantage over FIFA 14. The way that the ball moves (sans shooting, but I’ll talk about that later), and the way the players move on and off the ball, feel very realistic. PES 2014 has a much slower feel to it than FIFA 14. I’ve always thought the FIFA series has felt too fast, although that has been improved in FIFA 14. Players feel heavier, making the game slower, which is a big improvement.

PES2014_DPS_S_o Paulo_Crici_ma

Next up for me in terms of important features is licensing, and there is no doubt that FIFA 14 has a massive advantage over PES 2014. While PES has the Champions League license, it does not negate the fact that FIFA 14 has the exclusive rights to all of the major soccer leagues around the world. One big selling point for me is that both the Barclays Premier League and Major League Soccer are fully licensed in FIFA 14, something PES 2014 can not match. I would rather have my beloved Sporting KC modeled by a professional artist working for EA Sports than a modder that is adding the club to PES. 

In FIFA 14, the ball physics have been improved greatly. I have to give FIFA 14 the edge in this area as well. There are times when you take a shot in PES 2014 that the ball feels like it is floating through the air towards the goal. I am aware this happens in real soccer from time to time, but when you go into the replay and you see the trajectory of the ball, you realize it should have had more pace behind it. FIFA 14 is vastly superior in this area. A main area that EA Sports worked on for FIFA 14 is the shot physics, and you can tell the difference. You can take some shots in FIFA 14 that not only feel realistic, but have never been capable in a previous FIFA game. The shots can be wicked at times, which brings me to my next point.

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FIFA 14 is more exciting than PES 2014. Not only are there more goal scoring opportunities, but FIFA 14 has more moments where I am flailing my arms, yelling out of excitement. A lot of yelling that occurred while playing PES 2014 was from frustration. There were times that I thought a pass should be completed, or a shot should had made its way through the defense, only for the opposite to be true in PES 2014. It can be a frustrating game. I played six games in a row on PES 2014 with the final score 0-0. It was in my seventh game that I was finally able to score, and the game ended 1-0. I switched over to FIFA 14, and although I lost, the final score of my first game was 2-1.

The final thing I want to compare between these two games is the presentation, and FIFA 14 blows PES 2014 out of the water. Graphics wise, FIFA 14 looks incredible. While Konami has some very talented artists to recreate the faces of famous footballers, nothing compares to the real face technology that EA Sports uses with FIFA 14. Look at this picture of Borussia Dortmund midfielder Marco Reus.

reus

It is scary how much it looks like the real player. This really adds to the atmosphere of the game. When the players look more like their real-life counterparts, it adds a lot of authenticity to the game. The faces in PES 2014 can be hit or miss. When they hit, they look great. But when they miss, they look worse than the generic faces in FIFA 14.

At the end of the day, I am leaning towards FIFA 14. While the actual pace of the game feels better in PES 2014, it falls short in almost every other area. We were promised a “next-gen like experience” in PES 2014 with the game using the new Konami FOX Engine, but it doesn’t feel like that much of an improvement over PES 2013. I do hope for a day where a soccer game could come out with the animation, licensing, and ball physics of FIFA mixed with the gameplay of PES. Unfortunately we do not get that game this year, and in my opinion FIFA 14 has the advantage.

Note by the editor: All of these impressions and comments are based on none-final builds.

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