That was our first impression of Pro Evolution Soccer 2017, the latest offering from our friends at Konami. The Pro Evo series is one that has been getting better as of late, resembling the critically acclaimed Winning Eleven titles in the early 2000s.
The gameplay in PES 2017 is incredibly fluid and lifelike in addition to being thoroughly enjoyable. It is perhaps the most realistic soccer game ever produced. It feels, look, and most importantly, plays like real soccer. PES 2017 is a game you can pick up and play, but there is so much depth and so many options that you can play forever. Let’s take that one back, you can play until the new game comes out next year.
The graphics are absolutely stunning, a clear upgrade from previous offerings. Stadiums, crowds, and players are on point in every regard. The result of the quality here is a great atmosphere, the kind of atmosphere you’d experience in your favorite soccer city.
The menus and navigation are slick, clean, and easy to use. As always the music is great and it feels fresh. The AI is another area of great improvement; the game feels smarter and stronger than ever before.
We have to give the marketing team at PES some credit for launching weeks ahead of EA Sports’ FIFA 17. It give them an edge, especially when the product is so great. You may think a few weeks may not seem like much, but it’s an eternity when it comes to the gaming industry.
Yes, PES 2017 still has the same licensing issues that have plagued the series for years. Some, make that many, of your favorite teams have generic names. Chelsea are London FC, Southamption is Hampshire Red, and Manchester City is the legendary (or not so legendary) Man Blue.
Konami did at least combat this with several creative licensing agreements, partnering up with some of the world’s
biggest clubs and brands. Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool FC, and FC Barcelona are some of the names that give this game and this series some serious credibility. Does it completely make up for some generic teams? No, but it’s the best situation we’ve seen in the Pro Evo series.
The fact that PES 2017 is the only place you can play the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League makes it a worthwhile purchase on that account alone. The Champions League is the world’s best club competition, and depending who you talk to, the best soccer found on the planet. It’s a must-have.
Finally casual and hardcore gamers (and even more so soccer fans) now have a serious alternative to what FIFA 17 will offer. A great head start and exceptional reviews across the spectrum makes this the best Pro Evo game we’ve ever experienced.