Pro Evolution Soccer is back for 2017 with a variety of new features, including ‘real touch’ player controls, revamped visuals, AI that adapts to the player and adjusts accordingly, and improved player movement with the addition of hundreds of new animations. Does PES 2017 win man of the match? Read our review below to find out..
PES comes back again for it’s annual release. As the only competitor against FIFA, PES doesn’t have access to all of the officially licensed gear and teams, which can impact your immersion to some extent but especially since last years’ iteration PES has definitely gave FIFA a run for its money in terms of gameplay and this year is no different.
As a football sim, what matters most is what’s happening on the pitch. When it comes to PES 2017 one really big thing it brings to the table is the new AI. The new AI adapts to the playstyle of the player themselves, making a much better experience in the game when it comes to matches against the computer. AI adapts on both sides as well which is great; too many times in games has only the enemy adapted but your own side hasn’t, yet PES does that. It is also fairly balanced, it doesn’t become too adapted to what you’re doing but you definitely see an increase in performance with attacking strategies if you try them more but as a trade-off the enemy defends better from said attack strategies.
Another great part of the gameplay is the player movement. Ball control from players feels much better and the same can be said for tackles, shooting and just the way everything flows in general. Rather than everything slowing down drastically after a pass or tackle, everything continues at a fairly steady pace and the game overall definitely benefits from it. Of course, there are slow moments but for the most part it’d say it’s definitely more fast paced.
Multiple game modes are offered in PES. For the most part it’s all stuff you’ve already experienced and there isn’t a story mode much like the new one that FIFA is offering; but again, as a trade for that you’re definitely getting superior gameplay. Whether or not that’s worth it is up to you. Each mode has had its own improvements though. The transfer system has been changed to be a bit easier, so has team management overall now. As a personal opinion I would say the managing of teams is still better in FIFA but PES still does it well and I will give it praise for the use of team tactics which it definitely does better.
myClub is the big one though. When it comes to online, FIFA has Ultimate Team and PES has myClub as an answer to that. myClub works essentially like Ultimate Team; you get your points, spend it on an RNG spin of varying rarities, get your players and build a club. myClub does it differently though. With a new Scout feature you can specify and target players in a certain area you want much better. For example, if your team is mostly comprised of Borussia Dortmund players and you don’t want to lose performance by having a player from a different club on the squad then you can start trying to target players from that club by using the scout feature.
I did have a few online issues such as constant disconnections from the servers and I did have a game or two that was really laggy but that could be down to just the player I was against. As for server issues I’ll give it benefit of doubt since it was still a relatively short time after release since I played but this was a fairly common thing with PES 2016. Besides that though once you get stuck in it is great.