While not without its issues, this is a comprehensive soccer game that delivers the goods. Like any sports title, you might not want to buy it every year so you can truly notice a huge leap between games, but PES 2017 really does impress. The first thing you'll notice is how responsive and precise the controls are. Dribbling, passing, and shooting are natural and intuitive, making your players look and feel like they're really on the pitch during a heated match in a delicate dance between attackers and defenders. On top of this is a set of deep tactical options for both the offensive and defensive game. From trapping the ball to aiming headers, blocking shots to well-timed slides and dives, PES 2017 feels grand. The artificial intelligence (AI) has also been improved over past games, but it's not always great -- it sometimes leaves a man uncovered because it's teamed up to stop an attacker, leaving an opening to pass. Goalkeepers let in some pretty easy shots for pro players, which hopefully will be fixed with the next downloadable update.
There are modes are aplenty, so you can choose what kind of experience you're in the mood for, and additions like myClub and Master League add to the fun. Along with helpful tutorials, an auction house, and the ability to hire scouts and agents, myClub lets you sign players and managers to create your ideal team. The mode has weekly events, a revamped player growth system, an offline exhibition option and a "match analysis" feature when sizing up online opponents. In Master League, expect more variety during negotiations, changes to the transfer system (including deadlines), and almost 25 roles to spice up your team (including roles such as "Hero" and "Bad Boy"). Aside from questionable AI and a lack of official licenses, graphics can be hit or miss. Player models look great, on one hand, but the animations are awkward. But newbie gamers and seasoned soccer fans will no doubt appreciate the rewarding depth, smart control, and multiple modes found in PES 2017.