A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 is a soccer simulation game that may lack inappropriate content but still may not be suitable for younger players. The difficulty curve is steep, which could result in frustration. Also, several prominent retail brands and team websites are shown throughout the game. Online play features an unsupervised chat feature, which could result in kids hearing objectionable language, learning poor sportsmanship, and being asked inappropriate questions by strangers.
What's it about?
Like previous versions of PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER, this year's installment continues the shift from a fast-paced arcade game to a more realistic simulation. The game has a new graphics engine, which adds some physics tweaks and nice animations, especially when it comes to simulating top players, who look more realistic than ever. However, the controls seem laggy, and the AI (artificial intelligence) makes some wrong assumptions (particularly about the player to whom you intended to pass the ball). A new feature this year, called Heart, tracks the emotional states of players, altering their performance based on the crowd's response to an action or how many shots have been made.
Is it any good?
Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 gets a lot of the little things right -- nearly perfect, in fact -- but it falls a bit short in the big picture. It is, hands down, the best-looking game in the series, thanks to a new graphics engine. Also, the crowd seems more into the action than ever before. But when it comes to controlling your characters on the pitch, things are off. The ball doesn't always go where it should, thanks to the game's artificial intelligence, and dribbling can be a challenge.
It's frustrations like this that make the game less than ideal for beginning players. Even experienced ones will grow irritated from time to time. However, the online chat function should convince parents to keep kids away; it's unmoderated and often full of harsh language. Overall, the game is fun but not as fun as it should be, perhaps because it can't fully give up its arcade roots. Still, there's an argument to be made that it shouldn't do so, since some of the best moments in its history are ones that weren't quite grounded in reality.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the game compares to real soccer games. Are kids and their friends able to replicate some of the feats they see in games?
Families can discuss whether athletes are good role models. Does the player on-screen live a life you'd want to emulate? Why, or why not?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
- Subjects: Hobbies: sports
- Skills: Collaboration: meeting challenges together, teamwork
Health & Fitness: fine motor skills
- Price: $59.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Konami
- Release date: September 24, 2013
- Genre: Sports
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts
- ESRB rating: E for (no descriptors)
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.