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PES_3.jpgMy last booth visit at this year’s E3 was Konami to check out the latest version of this popular soccer franchise, Pro Evolution Soccer 2017. The folks at Konami were kind enough to invite us into their private room so that we can play as we please. Melanie and I spent our time learning about the refined controls and updated to get an idea of what this game will offer when it releases later this year for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC.

The franchise celebrated its twentieth anniversary this year, and Konami took the opportunity to show us a video summarizing all the progress made over this time. Developed with the Fox engine, PES 2017 is definitely looking its best this year with the most photo-realistic stadiums and lifelike players in the series yet.

One of the first things I noticed during my testing was the improved controls, especially when it came to passing and goaltending. The camera is set at such an angle that you always have a good view, crucial when spotting players to pass to, or to know where the net is in relation to your character at all times. My AI teammates responded well to my actions, and what’s neat this year is animations are different based on the skill of the player. If you pass the ball the a more advanced player, they can connect with the ball faster and take action faster. This really gives you the impression that you’re playing with real life soccer professionals.

I also found the cutscenes and goal animations to be extremely natural and realistic as well. If your player gets a yellow card, they’ll express frustration at the referee’s decision, and may even be join by fellow teammates to argue the call. Playing against Melanie, we both felt the new precision plays resulted in the most natural, intuitive gameplay yet for the PES series, which saying a lot considering how far the gameplay has come in recent years.

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During the presentation, Konami emphasized that Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 will have a presence in the world of eSports. To do this, they have incorporated a summary page for each player, indicating their main stats, and giving you information on their particular play style. Given this information, can you adjust your strategy accordingly. Another interesting tidbit of information Konami told us is this year the artificial intelligence will adapt to your gameplay on-the-fly, so you will need to mix up your plays or else the A.I. will adapt to your tactics and counter them.

Of all the sports games I’ve had the opportunity to play this week, Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 is my favorite. And with that, my E3 2016 adventure is over, see you next year at the show!