Konami scores with PES 2017
PES 2017 set to build on critically acclaimed 2016 version.
The latest installment of the Pro Evolution Soccer franchise hit the shelves worldwide to yet more critical acclaim, with many industry reviews describing the football game as the best ever.
Konami’s move to the Fox engine has proved a sound move for the Japanese based game maker with long term (and some would say long suffering) fans decsribing the latest iteration as a return to the glory days for PES.
But will it beat arch rivals FIFA as the best football game of 2017? Well it depends on the criterion used to judge both games. Based on sales alone FIFA will surely wipe the floor with PES and EA Sports has done well to continue to add “whistles and bells” to it’s format with a new Career Mode charting the rise of a young hopeful, Alex Hunter recieving rave reviews. Along with it’s usual domination of official licences, FIFA will continue to appeal to the mass market.
But for those football fans looking for an immersive gameplay experience, PES has according to almost all reputable reviews universally beaten FIFA with it’s perfect balance of simulation and arcade creating an unparralleled footballing experience. Yes, playing with Merseyside Blue when you should be Everton is annoying but one click from an option file and official teams and player names become a problem of the past. Add to that PES’ clutch of exclusive licenses such as like Liverpool FC, Barcelona and Dortmund and most notably the Champions League and pretty soon FIFA’s stranglehold on the “whistles and bells” of the game start to diminish.
The gameplay is smooth and crisp and the AI is truly amazing. Passes go where they are supposed to go and unlike FIFA, you can get away with the odd crunching tackle without a straight red. The goalkeepers have improved infinitely which was an area that recieved some criticism in 2016.
Online mode, so often a huge let down on PES, has improved dramatically alhough whether or not it beats FIFA in this area is debateable.
Master League has always been a fan favourite and it doesn’t dissappoint this year. Having said that, ML doesn’t need much fixing and does exactly what it says on the tin.
The commentary is not much to write home about with Peter Dury and Jim Beglin offering a better string of commentary than 2016 but is still not up to FIFA standards. We still get the comic commentary moments when Kun Aguero has rifled a thunderbolt volley from all of 40 yards, only for it to hit the underside of the crossbar in spectacular fashion. The deadpan response of an unimpressed Jim Beglin “a player of his quality really has to do better.” only adds to the game’s charm. That said, it’s almost as if Konami revel in PES’ cult like status as do it’s fans. The pre-option file devotees often look back with fondness, reminiscing a great bit of wing trickery by Greggs (Giggs), a thunderbolt free kick by Brazilian Roberto Larcos (Roberto Calros) onlt to be saved miraculously by Dutch goalkeeping great Edwin Farzel Haar.
All in all, PES 2017 is a quite stunning football game. Will FIFA die-hards be converted? Probably not. But there is room for two great football games. So instead of endlessly arguing over who is better, Ronaldo or Messi…why not just enjoy the fact that they are both around at the same time.