Combination Play – the newest, coolest feature of PES 2014.
What can it do
It enables the player you control to team up with two other teammates, and work together to unlock the opponent’s defence. Effectively, you are controlling three players at one times.
How to Set It Up
Select the combination play icon in the PES 2014 Game Plan. You can preset 3 combination play, with each being assigned to a certain part of the field. Each combination play strategy is only applicable to certain parts of the field. Selecting each combination play triggers an animation showing you how the three players will link up that leads to a shot on goal.
How to Activate It
Once you are in the part of the field with a pre-assigned combination play, the icon will appear in the bottom left corner of the screen. Double tap L2/LT to activate the combination play. The icon will light up, and you will see a blue bar appear on top of two other teammates. They are your combination play teammates. Depending on the combination play which you have selected, either you have to pass to them or they will make runs to fulfil their role in the pre-assigned strategy. You will have to remember the roles each of your teammates play, and execute them correctly in order to achieve success.
Using Combination Play
As mentioned above, depending on the play selected, you need to either make a pass immediately to a teammate with a blue bar, or wait for them to make runs into the appropriate position before sending a pass.
For example, I am using the combination play ‘Cut Inside’ with Bayern Munich on the left flank. I am controlling Ribery and I activate the combination play. Immediately, the center forward, Mandzukic, will run towards me. I will have to use Ribery and make a pass to him. Next, I will have to control Mandzukic to run in the direction shown by the animation, while Ribery will automatically make a run into his next position. All these have to be done in order to fully utilise the combination play.
That is one play that you must make a pass almost immediately. Other plays require you to wait for teammates to get into position, such as ‘Switch Flank’. Similarly, I activate this play with Ribery on the left flank. Once activated, Mandzukic will make a forward run towards the penalty box. Robben, the right winger, will run up the flank. At this moment, you have to control Ribery and make a cross field pass to Robben.
Losing possession of the game will deactivate the combination play. Holding onto the ball for too long, or passing to the wrong teammate, may cancel the combination play in some instances, while in others your teammates may continue their runs forward for you to pass to them.
Defending Against Combination Play
I believe that overtime, you will be able to recognise the type of combination play that your opponent can use in each part of the field, and learn to defend according. For example, to defend against ‘Cut Inside’, simply mark the center forward tightly. To defend against ‘Switch Flank’, follow the winger at the opposite side of the field. Since all combination play involves a third man making a forward run, the general rule will be to spot the running man, and select the closest defender to track his run, similar to how you will defend a running man and a chip through pass in the current PES version.
And this is a brief summary of what Combination Play is all about in PES 2014. Once the full version is released, I will be going in-depth using each and every combination play strategy and releasing tutorial videos for members. So that’s all for now, and do leave a comment to share you thoughts on Combination Play! Thanks!