Wednesday 22 June 2016

PES 2017 vs FIFA 2017 - Battle Who will Be the Real Champion

Though the domestic football season is at an end, Konami and EA are just kicking off as both juggernauts introduce the world to the next entries in the PES and FIFA series.

EA unveiled its latest round of changes for FIFA 17 at E3, with a complete overhaul, bringing a brand-new engine, new gameplay tweaks and a brand new story mode. PES 2017, on the other hand, looks to take a more considered approach by refining the incredible strides made last year with tweaks to passing, goalkeepers and a whole host of new animations.

For the first time in many years, it feels like the FIFA-PES battle is a genuine derby clash, rather than a cup competition with teams from different leagues. We’ve gone hands-on with early builds of both games, and have put together our first impressions in a little face-off to see who wins.

We’ll be updating this page as we see more from both titles and upon review, so be sure to bookmark.

FIFA 17 vs PES 2017 – Graphics

EA has made a huge change in FIFA 17 by switching from the Ignite engine to Frostbite. The development team has said this will bring improved night lighting and more realistic player faces with better emotion.

Some leading players have also been performance-captured to bring even better expression to the game, as well as tripling the number of animations.

We also get a brand-new look at areas of the grounds, including changing rooms and tunnels for pre- and post-match interviews.

PES transitioned to a new engine in 2016, using the FOX Engine, and it proved a huge improvement, with players looking incredibly realistic. Konami has developed this further in 2017, with better lighting effects, animations and a revamp of stadia.

After hands-on time with both, while FIFA certainly has the potential to be a stunner based on some of the footage we were shown, in practice it doesn’t yet look noticeably different from last year's. Hopefully the team can fulfill the potential of Frostbite ahead of launch and breath new life into the look of the game.

FIFA 17 vs PES 2017 – Licenses

FIFA 16 lost a couple of league licenses, most notably the Brazilian league. However, EA has always remained king of licenses, naturally, being the official FIFA game, although we don't know exactly which ones it's retained for 2017.

We still don’t know exactly which teams will be official in PES 2017, except for Arsenal and Atletico Madrid, as these were the two playable at preview. It’s a shame that this continues to be a huge drawback for the series, as some fans can’t quite get to grips with playing matches such as North London vs West Midlands Village.

We fully expect FIFA to continue to be the dominant force in this department.

FIFA 17 vs PES 2017 – Online

Online proved an enormous flaw in PES 2016. The game of football we got to enjoy locally was massively spoiled when we tried playing people around the world, thanks to crippling lag, meaning a significant portion of the game was lost.

FIFA, meanwhile, looks to continue its dominance with the behemoth that is Ultimate Team. The mode that has arguably grown bigger than FIFA itself will no doubt be back in full force this year, with the return of Legends on Xbox platforms and the incredibly addictive card collecting to build your perfect squad.

The online component of both games wasn’t discussed at preview, so we’ll call this a draw, for now.

FIFA 17 vs PES 2017 – Modes

One of the huge new introductions in FIFA 17 this year is its new story mode – The Journey. Players will follow the career of Alex Hunter – a young hopeful looking to make his way from the academy to England international footballer.

Hunter will only be able to play in a limited number of positions in the mode, all of them attacking, but you’ll be able to take part in training drills to improve his skills and attributes to become one of the best players on the team. The better you play, the better the team you’ll play for. Conversely, poor performances could see you sent out on loan and dropping down the leagues.

One cutscene we were shown portrayed Hunter being sent out on loan from Leicester, and he wasn’t happy. It’s up to you to keep Alex’s career on the upward trajectory and not end up as potential unfulfilled.

EA has consulted with professional players, including Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford, as well as sports biographers to help craft what it reckons is a believable story. It has also consulted with Bioware to assist with the player-driven moments, such as dialogue choices which will help shape the path Hunter takes in his career.

EA has stated that every performance and dialogue choice will have an impact on the story. If Hunter gets sent off during a game, expect to be having a meeting with the manager the next day in which you’ll have to explain why you lost your cool.

However, this doesn’t replace Manager or Player Career modes; they’ll still both be in the game. There will also, of course, be Ultimate Team – EA’s huge mode that makes a ridiculous amount of money for the company every year, along with all the modes we’ve seen in years previous.

For PES 2017, we don’t know if any new modes will be introduced as yet. The first hands-on only gave us the regular kick-off mode to play around with, but we fully expect the return of Konami’s answer to Ultimate Team – MyClub – along with PES’s iconic Master League. Konami will likely keep hold of the Champions and Europa League licences, so expect to have these cup competitions as separate playable modes once again.

Hopefully at E3 we’ll see a bit more in terms of what comes in the box for both games, though EA tends to hold its Ultimate Team reveals until a little closer to launch.

FIFA 17 vs PES 2017 – Gameplay

The big one, the ultimate decider as to which kit you’ll be wearing this year.

Both EA and Konami have made significant changes to gameplay this year. EA has focused on four key areas this year: set pieces, AI, physical interplay and attacking techniques.

For set pieces, you can now manipulate exactly how the kicker approaches the ball. Everything from where he stands to take the kick to the run-up and even the camera angle for free kicks has been adjusted.

The camera will now stay behind the kicker on direct free-kicks so you can see the exact trajectory of the ball, making those set-piece goals that much sweeter.

For corners, a new reticle will pop up on the penalty spot with which you can aim your delivery more accurately. However, in practice both these additions proved a bit cumbersome and made me miss the older, simpler implementations.

You can now move up and down the touchline for throw-ins, too, and even fake throws to send defenders the wrong way.

The physical play overhaul is considered a bigger undertaking than FIFA’s goalkeeper fixes over the past two years, so is a pretty big deal. All jostling is now handled on one button, and you can now protect the ball while dribbling, which makes a huge difference. You can also try and outmuscle opponents in aerial challenges without having to jump for a header.

This means big strong attackers like Martial can attempt to bring the ball under control, rather than be forced to head the ball to a teammate and hope you keep possession. In practice it makes a huge difference, too.

The improved AI movement helps with this too, as players don’t make as many direct runs toward goal and instead move into space out wide and even look to create space for other players on the pitch by dragging defenders out of position.

For PES, it’s a case of fixing what was broken and polishing what worked in 2016. Goalkeepers have been given a makeover, as they were heavily criticised last year. They now react much better and are capable of making superb double saves, adding to the drama or indeed frustration of a match.

The first touch has also been improved, with players able to react and take the ball away from defenders in much better ways. In-step, out-step, stepovers, chest controls and plenty more ways to bring the ball under control are here and it all looks sublime.

New tactical instructions are available for you to give your team. You can set two attacking and two defending philosophies, including Tiki-taka and Gegenpress – Jurgen Klopp’s favourite – to adapt strategy mid-match to try and beat the opposition.

A big addition is ‘Adaptive AI’, where your opponent will learn and adapt to your tactics, meaning you won’t be able to simply use the same strategy over and over again in pursuit of a win.

Much like with FIFA we'll also see plenty of new animations to create a more immersive football experience.

It’s a close call, and which game you prefer will probably come down to old habits dying hard, but based on (very early) hands-ons, PES 2017 makes the better first impression.

FIFA 17 vs PES 2017 – Verdict

It’s still very early days for both PES 2017 and FIFA 17, but based on the first hands-ons, PES has come away with a narrow lead. Its refinement on what was already great last year means we could be in for a truly excellent game of football. Its simplicity while making you still feel completely in control and capable of achieving great moments with the ball is special.

FIFA has introduced some great new systems, but at the consequence of added complexity. It’s an issue that has plagued the EA series for a while, and if it takes the approach adopted for physical play – all mapped to one button – then the game could be better for it.

Will FIFA 17 come from behind? We’ve only got a few months before we find out. This time i like FIFA 17's new story mode, please comment your vote below.

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