PES Day 2 turned out to be a huge success. We started off with a small presentation from Adam Bhatti detailing some of the updates that are coming, including some awesome classic content for MyClub; Luis Enrique, Xavi, Puyol, Rivaldo, Ronaldo & Ronaldinho are all in the game, they all look amazing and not only that, but each of them has their own unique player iD which means they'll each run, pass and shoot just as their real life counterparts did during their respective playing careers.
Along with these players are some classic kits (stepping on my toes a bit here Konami, thanks!) which can also be used in MyClub. But that's not the last of it. If you're lucky enough to unlock these players then they'll become available to use in Master League.
So, after blowing everyone away with that exclusive announcement, we then watched the recently released Barça trailer on a massive screen with surround sound to finish off the introduction. Then it was time for business as we had the rest of the afternoon to get to grips with PES 2017 and let me tell you; it was well worth the drive!
I'm going to start off with the goalkeepers as they were a big disappointment in PES 2016. You'll be glad to hear that they have had a complete overhaul and they can now pull off some fantastic reaction saves that you wouldn't think were possible. You need to see it to believe it but trust me, you'll be watching a lot of replays and asking yourself 'how on earth did he stop that?!' They can still make the occasional mistake, but it's not a bad thing at all and actually adds to the realism of the whole experience. For example, during one game with Fulch my goalkeeper spilled a shot that trickled over the line and in another game against Blueyboy the goalkeeper almost palmed a free kick from Messi into his own net. It went just passed the post and behind for a corner, so in the end it turned out to be a brilliant save, just. Out of the 20/30 games that I played, these were the only two incidents that cropped up. I know a few of the other guys saw some goalkeeping errors of their own but for the main part they were pretty solid.
Graphically, the leap from PES '16 to '17 is incredible. The player appearances are awesome, the classic Barcelona players I mentioned earlier each took five days to complete. Louis Suarez & Fernando Torres look spot on and Paul Pogba even has his haircut from Euro 2016. I asked Asim Tanvir if it was only like this when he played for France and whether or not it would change when he plays for his club. He told me that all the player models were subject to change, which makes sense seeing as Pogba likes to change his hairstyle more often than I change my pants! The lighting effects have also improved - the intro sequence for the Camp Nou at night is stunning. I really cannot emphasize how big a jump up in quality this is, its almost PS2 to PS3 good.
Something else that caught my eye was the way that the net support posts behind the goal will wobble when you hit them. You'd think that sort of thing wouldn't make much of an impact until you see it. There are other little touches as well, for example with the crowd; say there's an off the ball incident, the fans in that area of the stadium will react to it first. These little touches all add up and really enhance the match day feeling.
The last thing I'm going to mention is the physicality of the game. Tackling is solid, more so than last year and if you time it right it feels very rewarding, you even get a small vibration through the DualShock. Likewise with aerial duels, which creates the feeling that you're actually challenging for the ball.
As I said at the start, PES Day 2 was a great success. It was great to meet so many other members of the community, share ideas and get a hands on experience of PES 2017. I've been playing PES since day one and I have to say that this is really is the best that I've played. September 16th cannot come quick enough.
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