PES DAY 2 “Tactical gameplay is finally here”

While many PESDAY2 attendees will be writing up or making YouTube videos about flashy moves, astonishing visuals and some of the cleanest menus and screens PES has ever seen I will not be… Much like my personality I tend to be very different, always looking to shave against the grain so to speak. I would like to touch on a few topics all centered around the gameplay in PES2017.

I feel this is summed up in one sentence, tactical gameplay is finally here, now take that as you will but by the end you will understand just how huge this is and how it will shape every mode in PES2017.


Usually the bane of many a PES player and an apparent lack of decent ones within the ML mode, this year everything changes. Keepers are more animated with enhanced tools to help save your team precious points, where shooting didn’t appear to be too dissimilar the end result of the shots were. Keepers made fingertip saves, even less known or ‘poor team’ keepers had their moments, yes some made the odd mistake but hey David De Gea and Neuer do so for me as long as it’s not repetitive parry’s always to a striker or the same types of fallibility then it shouldn’t be a problem at all. The mode impact. This year will be that there will be more variety in the keepers you can buy and have a competitive team. An added bonus is that with the enhanced player ID across the game I would expect the lower league young keepers to maybe have the keeper throw or low punt abilities to help them out where they have other weaknesses in say catching.


This for me was huge, it was a solid collision system in which numerous types of contact would be taken into consideration, the build we played wasn’t finished to I expect some refinement but for me if they don’t I’m still massively excited about it. Players like Pogba or Giroud have become more special and valuable in the team, where someone like Giroud might not be everyones cup of tea I can certainly see myself brining in Andy Carroll, Giroud or Ibracadabra (Zlatan) himself. Likewise, for the midfield where in previous games you could get away with a smaller technical trio now you will think twice about it as you may well need one or two balanced or one strong defensive minded player.

The mode impact is simple, for PES2017 Myclub and ML will be about assembling a well-rounded team in which you have maybe one speedster and one technician and maybe a lethal striker as opposed to trying to go all flashy and being outdone by an opponent who has the physical advantages.

First touch

Oh my Brazilian stripy underwear, Neymar is king of the hill. He can flawlessly and instantaneously transition from skill moves into dribbling with some supreme wizardry. Other players like Busquets (Biscuits to a few of us) can be slow and cumbersome by comparison and often can be closed down and have the ball stolen with ease whilst trying to turn or trick on the turn.

We had a good lot of things to learn even though not much has changed, trying to abuse certain turns like before won’t work. Doing a shot feint on the turn as a first touch was almost like cheating in PES2016 but no longer. Players won’t do it every time and something it’s not enough as they still be muscled out.

Mode impact is very clear. Find a technician where you can as they will be a difference maker, that said there is going to be a vital balance between how many and where on the pitch you can get away with them.

Game pace

The game this year feels very true to real life. I mean players don’t become any different in certain situations but the situation themselves almost decide how the flow of play goes. If there is space to counter into players realise this and will look to take advantage where as if someone has many men in pass blocking positions, then you’ll find yourself retaining the ball a bit and they can get set back in. With the new found ball winning capabilities the end to end type games are gone in favour of a very balanced game where you subliminally take advantage real-time of the pitches spaces and how you can manipulate the new D-Pad in game tactics which I’ll cover next.

Mode impact, ML will be a very vibrant place with managers moving around and their styles now being more apparent, not only long term will the AI learn your style and shut you down but the game feels like there are many, many, different play style possibilities rather than the possession vs counter / pressing vs all out defending we have previously had.

New d-pad tactics

These by a mile are game MAKING, when you start using them in combinations both offensively and defensively they can massively give you a unique play style. When we played all of the team only had one or so as default but we went to town and messed about and boy the results were astonishing. Also you can leave them on so you could say be very tight and give up the wings whilst man marking Suarez and then become this touchline hugging, countering behemoth that can take advantage of any space. Probably suitable if you have a physical but not very technical squad.

Modes will be special with this feature. You can make MSR, Barca or Arsenal really true to how they play. Offensive fullbacks with Tiki Taka or touchline hugging and False Fullbacks the options are endless when you consider it. MSR usually try to press with Gegenpress in real life but if it fails become very compact, I can now set them up to play this 100% accurately. Do you want CR7 or Hazard to be available for the counter and not track back? Easy to set up here with one L2+Left on the D-pad.

Here is a full breakdown.

Advanced instructions: Select 2 from 4 defensive instructions 2 from 8 attacking instructions (to select L2 D pad up or down Attack, L2 D pad left or right defending)


  • Swarm the Box

When opposition attacks down the flanks players group in front of the goal forming a solid defense.

  • Counter target

Certain forwards stay in the Vicinity of the Opposition box/half rather than tracking back to help out in defence, the player also uses less energy not running back and forth.

  • Deep defensive line

Defending team drops back to guard against through balls.

  • Gegenpress

When your team loses possession they immediately try to win it back with multiple players putting the player on the ball under pressure, this uses a lot of stamina.


  • Hug the touchline

Players on both Flanks stay close to the touchline even if the ball is on the other side of the pitch they will still stay wide.

  • Attacking Full backs

Both fullbacks will surge forward while MF drop to cover. When full backs push on wingers will move infield.

  • Wing Rotation

When a player is in possession on the wing, a team mate will head to touch line to give a passing option, team mates will run into space created.

  • Tiki Taka

Priority is to keep passing the ball, players take up positions to enable possession of the ball players will tend not to try and dash forward into space behind defence.

  • False 9

CF will drop into the hole to collect passes as he comes back for the ball team mates will push forward into the space created.

  • Centering Targets

The aim is to score from crosses Forwards will get into position and wait for cross.

  • False Full Backs

Full Backs stray from their position and push into the centre, filling the middle of the pitch.

The A.I

When we played on superstar all we can say is WOW it felt the same but different. They seemed much smarter at blocking off dribbling zones and anticipated much better along with intercepting a hell of a lot of things close to them, maybe manual passes for final balls are required to really break them. You can win on superstar and we limited teams to only a few chances, that said Giroud scored a left footed curler joint and in top bin style from the right hand side edge of the box. Hopefully it’s just a one off and the AI on superstar don’t start doing that to you with everyone from Martial to Sergio Canos given the chance.


They way all of this combines to create a real fresh but similar feel to the game, it’s the PES gameplay you loved but also ever improving. Hopefully when all the teams are set with their real life styles the modes especially ML will flourish into a real living world where you’ll lose hours and days just going game to game encountering new players using new styles and really testing yourself.

Thoughts? Give Lee a shout on twitter or Facebook


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