‘Pro Evolution Soccer 2017’ Review: A Magnificent Play

Game: Pro Evolution Soccer 2017
Consoles: Xbox One (reviewed), PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Publisher: Konami
Developer: PES Productions

Konami seems to be a frowned upon game developer/publisher due to its treatment of Hideo Kojima and the Metal Gear Solid series. While this controversy has soured the name of one of the more legendary companies in gaming, they still made sure to fine tune one of the best soccer simulations on the market. Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 arrives this year with plenty of refined elements that makes its on-field action just as satisfying as last year’s release. For players who’ve been scared away from the hardcore control mechanics and trick moves needed to be masterful at this game, there’s no need to be fearful anymore. PES 2017 welcomes beginners in with open arms due to an excellent tutorial mode and a wealth of modes that are full of quality activities.

As always, PES 2017 stays on top of the competition by further improving its soccer game. Setting up the perfect pass to nail a shot that makes the arena erupt into cheers will put players into a feeling of euphoria. Not everyone can easily pull off this feat, including this reviewer. Luckily, PES 2017’s tutorial mode does more of an efficient job in making freshman players much better on the field. The minigames that you should make a priority of completing are not only fun, but they’re also enlightening. After spending all your time with each lesson, it becomes easier to pull off advanced dribbling moves, certain kicks, different passes etc. With so many moves to learn and difficulties to become accustomed to, PES 2017 does everything to make sure everything’s clear and far from a chore to master.

Besides playing quick Exhibition games through offline/online means, there’s a ton of other modes to hop into. The main franchise mode (“Master League”) lets you take the reigns of a soccer club as you adopt the role of a young rookie coach. While the tasks associated with this mode seems daunting at first, succeeding at your newly acquired position eventually becomes second nature. It becomes addicting as you try to sign the best players, keep your star players happy, acquire the most amazing players via a loan system, getting the right coach etc. Master League stands out as one of the better sports simulation franchise modes in gaming. “Become a Legend” mode still does an awesome job of letting you become a legendary player on your own, while “MyClub” is still the ultimate destination for fans who’re more interested in the “Ultimate Team” setup of EA’s sports games.

PES 2017 is a strong attempt at keeping up the well-respected stature of its franchise, but a few minor issues keep it from Hall of Fame status. You’ll usually see a few player animations that are a bit too jerky and off-kilter on the field. Plus the more hardcore soccer fanatics out there will notice the omission of a few licensed teams, such as Manchester United (who has been changed in-game to Manchester Red). This isn’t too much of problem for those who’re not the most knowledgeable soccer followers, but it still sticks out as a sore spot for those in the know.

Bottom Line

PES 2017

Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 remains at the top of the food chain when it comes to quality soccer simulations. It does a much better job of welcoming new players into the fold thanks to its incredibly boisterous tutorial mechanics. After getting through each lesson, you’ll be properly prepared to take on all comers on the field. The gameplay on the field is still an incredible endeavor, plus the modes that allow you to run your own club and create your own player are still a pleasure to hop into. The lack of some popular soccer club licenses and the sometimes awkward player animations are sore spots within an otherwise perfect game. PES 2017 is still a class act on and off the field.

Score: 9.5/10

Pros:

  • There’s such a vast amount of great modes to involve yourself in
  • The tutorial mode is strong and entertaining for players of all skill levels
  • The on-field gameplay remains strong

Cons:

  • A few team licenses are sadly omitted
  • Some of the on-field player animations look a bit jerky at times
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