WHICH IS THE BEST FOOTIE SIMULATION THIS YEAR?
It has come to that time again when it got inevitable to compare FIFA and PES. Every year, the same question posed - Which is better, Fifa or PES?
As I covered last year for Fifa 16 vs PES 16, it was a very tough call. But in the end, I went along with Fifa 16 as it was a better package deal for me. PES 16 was impressive in its gameplay. But because of its lag in its player transfer updates, Fifa was the clear winner. How about this year then? Let us analyse.
In this comparison video done by , you can see some examples of how awesome some players look in PES and Fifa. I prefer PES' player faces. They look less robotic in a way. Fifa has excelled in the haircuts of some players, which is how they look presently. For example, Messi with his fake blonde hair. But overall, I think PES did a better job in faces department.
Year in year out, Fifa is never poor in its modes. Ranging from Career to online multiplayer, it has modes that can last you your gaming console's lifespan. Gamers like me, never even play the other modes apart from Ultimate Team and Career.
Fifa even came out with an impressive single player story mode called The Journey. This mode has you fill in the shoes of rising star Alex Hunter as you progress in the day to day activity of how it feels to be a footballer. With its Mass Effect style dialogue wheel, you can choose what to response if anyone comes and talks to you. This will have an effect of course. You could either increase/decrease your reputation with your team mates, manager and even fans. The journey is a really good addition this year and one should get Fifa 17 just for it. Fifa 17 gets the advantage in its game modes.
MASTER LEAGUE VS MANAGER CAREER
This is the mode that will get me playing hours and hours. It gives me this big power of being a club manager and heading my team to championship glory. For years I have been playing Fifa, (since PES was worthless to play) it has been the same throught out. Choose a team, set a formation, get the right players, win every trophy possible. I paid little attention to tactics and strategies cause Fifa is the kind of game you don't need tweakings to win games. All you need to do, is learn a few moves, and score goals. Eventually, you will win every game, even in a world-class setting.
But PES 17 has brought about the Championship Manager in me. The tactics and strategies, the formation, the Gegenpress and the Tiki Taka, is all there for me to use. Every match, I'll tweak a bit to try and counter my opponents. And when my tactics do work out, I feel like Jose Mourinho, someone who is capable of out-maneuver their opponents.Cool!
I also saw things like "Luis Enrique has resigned from Barcelona as he steps up to take over Liverpool". The ecosystem is gradual. Managers do get fired and some other managers will take over. I love that. It makes playing Liverpool different now. The last time I played Liverpool, when Klopp was there, Liverpool was playing with high press, a tactic typically employed by Klopp. So I am very interested to see what Luis Enrique will bring to the table the next time I play them. This living ecosystem keeps things fresh and interesting.
But on the presentation side, Fifa is better. They did better in their menu and interface. Player transfers, player contracts, friendly games are all done better. But what PES also brings to the table, is a compiled blow by blow team stats at the end of every month. This will help you see how your team did tactically. You can use this tool to further tweak your team or maybe its time to sell Rooney off to Bournemouth. Overall, PES handles the management portion of it greatly. Fifa needs to make career mode feel more alive.
The most important feature of any football games/simulation is of course, the gameplay itself. If the gameplay is bad, no matter how pretty the game is, it is still bad. In this video by , you can see some gameplay comparisons.
Let me just come out and say it. FIfa 17 gameplay is bad. It is too fast. The players' movements feel like robots that have been given a new pair of legs. I love build ups in my gameplay. Because of its tweaked speed, build up is now very rushed and clumsy. The focus is more on attacking gameplay and that is just sad. The new Frostbite engine, albeit making the graphics look ridiculously good, fails to make gameplay nice and smooth. And don't even get me started on the penalties and free kicks. The stupid gimmicky run-ups has now made penalties and freekicks complicated. Set pieces has become a mini-game of its own. In actuality, there's not much difference in gameplay between 17 and 16. Opponents still hold the possession of the ball majority of the time. When they have the ball, all you can do is sit back and start jockeying. You will get the ball when someone makes a mistake or when the balls goes out of play. Very rarely do you get to make a challenged tackle to win the ball back. And with ball shielding now implemented, winning the ball back is even way harder.
As a Fifa fan for years, it is surprising to me how great PES gameplay is. The animations, the dribblings, the one-two play and through-ball are very enjoyable. Your opponents play variedly according to the manager's style of play. I also loved how the commentators react to a change in tactics. This will give you hints if your opponents suddenly start playing wide instead of playing centrally. You feel that when you play PES 17, when you win, it is because your tactics and your players are better than your opponents. When you lose, it is because of an error in your gameplay and your tactics. It is never because the opponents AI is better. I love that about PES
And lastly, let us talk about the most superficial and yet important component in a game, how the game looks. Fifa 17 looks brilliant. If you have been living off the grid for the last few years and you were to sit in front of a 40-inch tv with someone playing Fifa 17, you would think that you are actually watching a soccer match. Right from the commentary, to its instant replays, the introduction of the 2 teams, the new signings, etc, the similarity to the real life is uncanny.
PES again disappoints with its licensing. What it got last year, it only got for a few teams, namely Arsenal, Barcelona, Liverpool and Dortmund. The commentators kept repeating things. The manual replay interface is horrendous. People who is prone to motion sickness should never ever press the start button and go to the instant replay and try and rotate the cameras around to get a better look on how the goal was scored. Just don't.
I think PES 17 is the new crowned champion of the best footie simulation. Although it lags in its official licensing in its club kits and names, the gameplay is evident that it holds the best football gameplay ever. Fifa needs to buck up on its gameplay mechanics. The Journey, however, is a game mode worth buying Fifa 17 for. It is simply amazing. So my advice is. If you want to spend your dough on a single football game, go with PES 17. If you have extra cash, you should buy Fifa 17 too, just to play The Journey. Whatever your purchases are, you will have fun in both. But as for me, PES 17 is my football game this year.