Last year, I got Pro Evolution Soccer 16 and the main reason I wanted it was because it’s so highly customisable. This is a football franchise that has tried to play catch up to FIFA and last year I felt they did. That didn’t stop it from some of the problems the game initially suffered in the long run. This�ranges from the A.I. being a push over to the goalkeeper being too easy to score on. This year’s offering is looking to tighten up some areas that needed improvement in 16 and make a game that will blow you away. Did it do it, let’s find out.
This year’s game has a lot to be proud of and still some things to work out if you ask me. let’s rundown our usual areas of focus shall we?
This game looks good. I thought the same thing last year when I saw PES 16 but this year has some pretty subtle and obvious upgrades to the visuals of this game. Some of the noticeable upgrades are the stadiums, especially Camp Nou which includes the surrounding area around the famed stadium. It all looks great, however, there is one gripe with it. Not every player in this game has their correct facial morph or face scan. Like Daniel Sturridge doesn’t exactly look like him but is somewhere in the ball park. That could be because of many reasons so it’s not a big deal. The other thing was hair, not a lot of players have their exact hairstyle in the game and that could be a bummer for some who were wanting to see someone like Nasri�with his current blonde hair du. Other than that, Konami did a great job with the visuals on this game.
Last year I mentioned that I enjoyed the slower pace and build that happens in this game. However last year the CPU was too much of a pushover after getting used to the game. This year that seems to have changed…but still with some hiccups. I will start by saying that Goalkeeping in this game has VASTLY improved since last year. Keepers make it a little more difficult to just straight on beat them unless you have a scorcher of a shot. Even scorchers can be parried as well so it’s not a 99% chance that you score, but the percentage is still pretty high.
Along with the Keeper A.I. being tuned pretty well, the defensive A.I. also has improved. They introduced a feature where the A.I. adapts to your game plan and play style during the game and it’s highly noticeable while playing. An example I can give is when I was playing with Man Blue (Manchester City) and they began to tightly mark one of my midfielders�after a nicely set up play that led us to a couple of scores. Meaning, if the A.I. can find a way to disrupt your game plan by cutting off one option and making your use others, they will now and they have.
However, there are still some hiccups. I’ve noticed at random points I see players make weird movements or trip over each other or just not chase a ball that’s nearby and other weird interactions.
The only improvement in single player to talk about is within Pro Evolution Soccer’s Master League. For those who haven’t played or just don’t know about this mode, this is their Manager Career mode. Some improvements have been made here and for the better. The first thing you will notice is that they split up the team budget to Transfer and Player Salary. This is something I’m used to in FIFA and was relieved when I saw it here. No longer did I have to struggle between keeping a good standing budget. Along with that addition/change was the option of sending your player out on loan for certain periods of time. These improvements have added more replay value to the mode and to the game.
This is an area of the game that is always important because you just don’t want to be stuck playing CPU forever. The online menus are set up the same from last year but there have been changes made to MyClub that should help those get into it that weren’t necessarily into it before. For one you have the auction place now to buy scouts that will hopefully land you the type of player you’re looking for. This is cool, especially being you don’t get that many chances to land premium players.
My biggest gripe with PES 17, it was the same as last year and that was the region lock issue. I can’t play my friends from across the pond unless I share play with them and that shouldn’t be an issue…but it is.
This year’s game has vastly improved the areas that needed work. With better A.I. and great improvements made to both the My Club and Master�League areas as well, Pro Evolution Soccer 17 shapes to give FIFA 17 a run for its money. If you can look past some of its tiny faults then I would recommend this alternative to FIFA.