PES 2017 is a genuine step forward in the series. This year the football play a bit more competitive again. Gameplay seems smooth and passing very authentic. It’s not only due to the easy controls, but also because of the smoothness in gameplay which is a direct result of the player’s brilliant animation system and fluidity with which they change their stance and sprint on the field. Why don’t we just get into the review itself?
The goalkeepers are supposedly improved this year, but I can’t see how! The keepers are fairly easy to get the ball past but even easier to beat once you place the ball before shooting. In PES 2016, keepers seemed to have an issue with getting low to save the ball, which meant a spilled ball would inevitably find the back of the net if it fell in the path of the nearest striker. But this year I don’t think they even manage to get to the ball!
Improved AI System
Though we are not entirely sure of the technicalities behind it, but the new adaptive AI learns your play patterns and accordingly adjusts the opposing teams intelligence. So if you keep attacking with the same striker, the AI will try and intercept passes directed at that player. However one cannot keep the ball for too long, it’s hard to keep possession if you’re not pressing forward.
The resemblance of the players in game is uncanny. Especially the players at Barcelona, where they scanned each other their faces as part of a deal they had with the club. They’ve got it nailed from the hair textures to the skin tone each players face. Minute details like sweat pouring down the face of players. However, according to my friend Mark, the players look like they are melting. And I quite agree with him as they have a slight shine to them and probably should be in Madame Tussauds or something.
The ball physics feels slightly slower and I’m not sure if that really is a good thing. If you’re clearing a ball from your box it goes rolling till the side-line, it suddenly just decreases its speed. However, It is easy to pick out a floated cross from a regular cross, which was not the case in last year’s iteration. This slower pace makes the gameplay and build up feel more deliberate. Shots feel crisp and clean and it’s easier to strike a powerful volley or half volley from range. However, during attacks, the game starts to pick up pace. As the ball nears either of the boxes, things start to intensify, resulting in a lot of fun but also a lot of confusion as you can’t seem to have control of the ball during these encounters.
PES has always had the upper hand when it came to replays. This year the in the goal replays is something that PES has nailed. Especially with the behind the net shots of players after scoring or missing a decent chance at goal. The replays slow down the action and showcase the urgency with which the players argue with the referee.
Now on to some of the stuff I didn’t quite like about the game
- Lose commentary
- License for official teams (makes it feel like an off brand alternative)
- Player’s mouths look abnormally large when celebrating…….no seriously!
Konami has always stuck to the arcade-ish way of football through PES, while FIFA digs into the technical aspects of the game which caters to hardcore football fans.Some of the gameplay tweaks and changes this year may seem more like refinements than an actual revolution. But this does not by any means make it less than a fantastic football game to play.
PES 17 is a fun game to play. Or in other words, to anyone who is playing a football game for the first time, PES might come off as the easier one to play. But I have to say that the gameplay does get a bit repetitive after a few matches. Last year, Konami leaned more toward the technical side of the game trying to compete with EA. But I think they soon learned that they were fighting a lost battle and with PES 17 they have returned to doing what they do best.