For many years now, the Pro Evolution Soccer series has been playing catch up. Once the king of the sport, it’s been trailing for around a decade now. They were never out though, improving on the actual gameplay to the extent that it’s had a comeback. Now with Pro Evolution Soccer 2017, it’s retaken the crown as football has never played this well on a controller.
The game may still lack the licenses and official teams but that doesn’t stop that gameplay being the best it ever has been. While the FIFA games have all the flash and fanciness that accompanies the sport, Pro Evo knows the technicality of the game. It knows how football looks, all the way down to the sloppiness a game can descend into and all the way up to perfection in movement and clinical finishing.
This achieved by the incredibly impressive A.I. No longer do player just stick to their tactics. They actually recognise runs, moves into space and calls for the ball when it’s a good option. This also happens on the defensive side and players on the back foot will move into empty space and even switch their man if they are left wide open. It’s all the adaptiveness you would find in a real game of football.
To make Pro Evo the most immersive football game ever made is the incredible animation. Everything looks so natural from movement off and on the ball. The players react to where the ball is in relation to their feet. They will not move unrealistically to pass the ball or move with it, everything is contextual and looks fluid and impressive.
Visually, the game looks pretty great. Some teams including Barcelona and Liverpool are part of a special partnership with the game and therefore everything looks incredible. The player likeliness is possibly the best I’ve ever seen in a football game
The myClub returns but it unfortunately it just doesn’t have the same pull of the FIFA’s Ultimate Team. There are only a handful of teams that have their official logo attached to them and therefore having your own team going up against the big names doesn’t have the same impact when they actually don’t have the big names. It’s structure quite similar too but it lacks the flair and excitement. You can feel just how different lower rank players and teams feel. There is a lack of chemistry as passes go wayward and they don’t read each other’s movements as well. As you build up your team though, you can fee the progressions
Master League is still here and feels as satisfying as ever as you make your way up the ranks to make your dream team. It takes time to get everything right and the satisfaction is hard to replicate in other similar games. The thing that always hangs overhead though is the fact that the lack of licenses just make everything lose a little bit of that impact and specialty. The presentation in Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 is good but it will reach the heights of its contemporaries as long as it doesn’t have the official licenses.
Nothing is going to touch Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 for how it feels. It’s fluid, authentic, and when things get going. Visuals are a massive step up from the previous year but it still lacks that football atmosphere FIFA can deliver. Regardless, Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 is King when it comes to the pitch.