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PES 2017 Demo Impressions: Will It Finally Beat FIFA This Year?

There have been a lot of great gaming rivalries over the years. Sonic Vs. Mario. Spyro Vs. Crash Bandicoot. However, it could be argued that no rivalry has been quite as storied as FIFA Vs. PES. Up until a few years ago, it seemed that FIFA had concluded the rivalry with an easy victory. But, in recent times, Konami has come back with a vengeance, sporting a soccer title that aims to take the crown away from EA.

So, after getting hands-on with the demo of PES 2017, what can we say? It’s time to slip into something comfy, grab one of your best chairs for gaming, and prepare those snacks ahead of time. You’re not going to want to stop playing this game.


Image (Marco Verch) – Link

Pro Evolution Soccer has always focused on gameplay above all else, and it’s where we’ll start today. Last year’s effort was a valiant one, but it was clear that additional refinements needed to be made. In particular, goalkeepers have been heavily improved in this year’s demo. They’re far harder to beat, and they make for a good challenge. Also, a whole host of new player animations has added an extra layer of fluidity to the gameplay experience. There’s an additional element of unpredictability that was all-too-lacking in last year’s title.

It still could be argued that the overall experience feels a little slow. It certainly doesn’t provide the same responsiveness as EA’s FIFA 16, for example. But, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The slower gameplay allows the simulation-based elements of soccer to creep through. You’re able to take your time to build plays, and scoring a well-crafted goal feels like a genuine achievement. While FIFA is a great simulation of the beautiful game, its fast-paced nature often feels a little too overdone.


Image – Link

We’re going to have to wait until the release of the full game to get a taste of the full presentation and graphical features. For now, what’s on display is hit-and-miss. Player faces generally look good, but they also look alienesque at times. Barcelona’s impressive Nou Camp stadium is well-replicated in the demo. However, fans and additional presentation elements are still not up to FIFA standard. On a positive note, it’s good to see that there are less unlicensed teams in this year’s version – an issue that has forever plagued the series.

As always, there appear to be minor differences between both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions. The PS4 is the primary platform for this series, and new edit features will be dedicated solely to the console when the main game releases. For now, though, it’s the graphical differences which stand out the most. The Xbox One appears to suffer from a greater deal of motion blur. It isn’t a game breaker, but it’s a little disappointing.

Ultimately, PES 2017 is shaping up to an addictive experience that will be worth anyone’s time and money. Does it have the ability to beat EA’s outstanding FIFA series? Only time will tell. Now, it’s EA’s turn to impress us with FIFA 17.


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