This series of articles are being written to highlight the improvements needed in PES 2017 based on the most popular fan opinion. We will analyse, in depth, each aspect of the PES gameplay and produce an article for each. These gameplay aspects will include passing, dribbling, set pieces, game modes, myClub and others. This one will focus on passing and dribbling.
PES 2017 – Passing:
As always the passing is good, very good. This is clearly one of PES’s best selling points. It is a struggle to think of a version where it hasn’t been on point. The passing feels good, varied, and balanced all at the same time. This applies to lofted passes, switches, through balls and one twos. On top of this a players’ passing ability accurately reflects what they are capable of in real life.
However, this article is an attempt to offer insight as to how to improve features for PES 2017; therefore we will take a critical approach. Unfortunately frequent players of PES will probably share the opinion that the passing, after awhile, can get quite repetitive. It is a difficult thing to describe with words or even a video but the motion of the pass and thus the feel of the game, if indeed you are playing a passing style, can become quite monotonous. Variation is key here; perhaps if the motion of the pass was dependent on the player playing the pass. For example Cristiano Ronaldo has a stab like powerful pass whereas a David Silva has more of a softer side foot curling pass. If these different ‘feels’ of pass could be implemented not only what it remove the feeling of repetition but also add an entirely new element, and skill, to the game.
One final note on the passing would have to be the through balls. Currently, through balls have been made to be pretty balanced. The days of players exploiting through balls every two seconds are in the past (PES 2013 anyone?). However, much like the general passing they do feel repetitive whereby the trajectory and spin on the ball is the same regardless of position and player. Perhaps there should be the option of different types of through ball based on the player; the ability to curl it round the defender, outside of the foot and with expert passers, Pirlo for example, the ability to cut under the ball to slow it down later in the pass.
PES 2017 – Dribbling:
Like passing, the dribbling on PES 2016 is generally excellent. We will need to be picky to find flaws in it and that we shall be. The style of dribbling in PES has varied immensely over the years; going from fast, very effective and easy to turn in PES 2008 and PES 2009, slower and more balanced in PES 2013, to what we have on the next gen versions, well balanced, realistic but perhaps a little too repetitive. There’s no two ways about it, dribbling on football games is fun, as long as the game doesn’t allow it to be exploited.
Let’s break this down into two elements: close dribbling (maintaining possession in a small space) and power dribbling (running at defenders at speed). Bluntly put, PES 2016 has nailed close dribbling. It is expertly realistic when it comes to keeping the players body between opponent and ball to find a pass. Body strength, control and passing abilities are all accurately represented; think of Silva, Sanchez and Messi – very difficult to get the ball off in a small space if they are utilised correctly. The close control feature where you can roll your foot over the ball or suddenly stop, thus changing the defenders momentum is just another well made feature Konami have implemented to improve close control realism even more. We’re trying to be picky here but the close dribbling is truly masterful.
Moving onto power dribbling or going past players as it might be better phrased. PES 2009 had a fun style but at the elite level, especially with the best players, it was too effective. Whilst PES 2013 and PES 2016 are more balanced it doesn’t have that fun arcade feel to it. If both styles could be combined to keep the classic arcade feel whilst keeping realism and adding more variation to running past players at speed, PES 2017 will be out of this world.