We’ve borrowed the official review of www.ign.com to show you what PES2017 is about!
XGN 9/10 – https://t.co/e1WIfvdvr7
Godisageek 10/10 – https://t.co/6ctad1DlrN
Gamesradar 4.5/5 – https://t.co/c5UBnkwmYq
Techtudo 9.5/10 – https://t.co/HuUuAfn4NO
PSUniverse 9.5/10 – https://t.co/yVNwGZVvEQ
Fourfourtwo 4.5/5 – https://t.co/ToWOGovBtC
PCGames.de 8.9/10 – http://www.pcgames.de/Pro-Evolution-Soccer-2017-Spiel…1207588
Multiplayer.it 8.5/10 – https://t.co/LTyJc7BSjh
Power unlimited 9/10 – https://t.co/HvY8NElcu7
WENB 9/10 – http://winningelevenblog.com/blog/pes-2017-review/
Last year, I said that PES 2016 might well be the best football game ever made. I also said that think it was too early to say that with absolute confidence; that it would be some time before its standing could be properly measured. Over months of play, a few small cracks appeared in the façade – nothing that could convince me that this wasn’t the finest simulation of the beautiful game I’d played in quite some time, but enough to make me wonder if I’d been a little too generous in my early assessment. So it’s with no small amount of trepidation that I say this: PES 2017 is better.
IT DEMONSTRATES A COMMITMENT TO THE BASICS OF THE GAME.
As with last year, PES 2017 the kind of game that benefits from a host of incremental improvements that have a collectively beneficial effect. These are the kind of tweaks that it’s hard to talk about on the back of a game’s box or its online store page, but it demonstrates a commitment to the basics of the game that goes beyond adding features for the sake of having something that can be easily promoted with a flashy name.
For me, the pace seems just a shade more measured than last year. That doesn’t mean it’s sluggish, by any means – passing, for example, is as responsive as it was last year. But, together with the adjustments to defensive AI, I found myself having to be a little more patient and methodical in breaking down opponents. You can still play more quick and direct football, as long as you’re set up to do so, but by and large you have to work a little harder for your openings. I think it’s still a little too hard for pacey players to get clear of opponents they should be able to have on toast, but there is a tangible difference with the quickest of the quick – you’ll notice the difference when controlling the likes of Pierre Emerick Aubameyang or Leroy Sane. Further efforts have been made to distinguish individual players, and the playing styles of the game’s biggest stars are instantly recognisable, from Antoine Griezmann’s speed of thought and feet to the flashy technique of Neymar who can also remove his shirt in a unique goal celebration (for which he’ll rightly be booked).
I FOUND MYSELF WINNING THE BALL BACK AFTER CONCEDING POSSESSION A LITTLE MORE OFTEN.
Elsewhere, the recovery time after losing the ball seems to have been shortened; certainly, I found myself winning the ball back after conceding possession a little more often. Collisions, too, now feel more authentic – I no longer experienced that strange phenomenon whereby two players would occasionally come together and then both suddenly bounce off in opposite directions. You’ll still encounter the occasional bit of weirdness, but that’s true of almost any game with so many variables and moving parts, and such oddities are relatively scarce.
This year’s goalkeepers are one feature Konami really should be shouting about. They will make mistakes, yes, but they’re more convincingly human ones rather than the kind of blunder you can predict before it happens. They’ll rarely drop the more straightforward catches, and will more frequently hold onto softer shots rather than spill them into the path of onrushing strikers. The best stoppers will react quicker to deflections, too – perfectly illustrated during one game where a fortunate ricochet forced David de Gea to change direction, twisting to shovel the ball out for a corner. Later, he acrobatically flung himself across his goal to tip away a thunderous 20-yard half-volley from Fernandinho – a moment that also served to highlight how good the shooting feels. Long-range strikes won’t always find the top corner, but the connections you make when the ball sits up perfectly feel crisp and clean.
KONAMI HAS MADE A CHANGE THAT MIGHT UPSET A FEW OF THE PURISTS.
The same could be said of the passing, but that’s always been a PES strength. But this year, Konami has made a change that might upset a few of the purists. Essentially, it’s a system that will, under the right set of circumstances, gently massage the trajectory of a pass to pinpoint precision. It depends on a number of factors, including the quality of the passer, the space in which they find themselves, and the position of the receiver relative to their markers. Once or twice, it felt to me like defenders had slowed up slightly to allow a runner to receive a ball on his instep and burst clear. But for the most part, it’s handled expertly, convincing you that you were wholly responsible for that perfect clipped through-ball. You found the right moment and the right type of pass, sure, but it was Konami’s invisible guiding hand that changed a good ball into a thing of beauty.
It handles the uglier moments well, too – though it’s slightly ironic that jostling at corners should be more noticeable at a time when referees have been told to clamp down on pushing and shirt-pulling in the box. Goalmouth scrambles feel frantic and faintly comical, just as they should, while AI opponents concede more fouls – one of my favourites saw Raheem Sterling pull off a sharp turn on the edge of the box and the defender’s trailing leg hooked his right foot. Free-kicks are still a relatively infrequent occurrence, but you’ll rarely go through a game without a handful of fouls, and if the ref blows, it rarely feels like he’s being too fussy. Replays will always highlight when you stepped in and got more man than ball with a standing challenge. The flipside of the coin is that they won’t penalise you as often for clean sliding tackles, no matter how loudly the crowd roars. And when the whistle does go, you’ll find set-pieces are more flexible, with a welcome ability to tinker with a variety of dead-ball strategies.
I’ve noticed a few little idiosyncrasies while playing online that weren’t as obvious against the AI. I found Manuel Neuer a bit of a liability as my MyClub goalie, thanks to his tendency to automatically come out for any high ball pumped towards the edge of the box – on two occasions, he headed a clearance straight into the path of an opposition player. And though the keepers are a marked improvement on last year, they can struggle to hold onto headers. It also seems more important to make sure you’re set up properly for corners. The most reliable approach for me was to select the option to have runners attacking the back post and cross it deep to bypass the opposition defence. The fact that obstructions tend to go unpunished can occasionally be frustrating, too. Besides that, it’s every bit as thrilling and varied as the offline game. I’ve earned scrappy last-minute victories, clung on desperately against better players thanks to a combination of good fortune and excellent goalkeeping, and won two games with less than 40% possession thanks to superior counter-attacking play. You’re allowed one ‘free’ goal celebration that your opponents can’t skip, so make it count.
Despite the inability to pay real world cash for MyClub money, Konami’s FUT equivalent has seen a host of small changes. Minor tweaks to the interface make it more readable, and you’re now able to sign scouts with specialities in certain areas, giving you a better chance of finding the type of player your squad desperately needs. If it’s still not quite as slick as EA’s equivalent, I’m a big fan of the way new recruits are handled – the gradual seems designed to highlight the excellent facial models. Some, like Neuer and Carlos Tevez, to name but two examples, are uncannily accurate.
Given how close it gets to the sport in both look and feel, the moments where it falls short feel all the more jarring. The commentary from Peter Drury and Jim Beglin feels much more fluid and organic, yet obviously canned soundbites from previous years remain, and there are still too few comments for individual players – if I hear “And the lead is three!” or “That is classic Kun Aguero!” again, it’ll be too soon. And in a game where so much attention has been paid to animation, it’s odd to find players looking so robotic when anticipating a throw-in. The lack of licences is an obvious drawback that persists and may never be resolved – at least not for the foreseeable future – but while it’s something we’ve all grown to expect from PES, it’s disappointing to see the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus unable to use their real names. Still, with continued support for option files, that’s a fixable problem in a game that otherwise doesn’t have much to remedy.
With smarter AI opposition and an altogether smoother online experience, PES 2017 is close to the complete package. FIFA’s new story mode might be the most headline-grabbing feature of either game this year, but it’s clear Konami is in no mood to relinquish its title as king of the virtual pitch.