Pro Evolution Soccer 2017, the latest edition to the 16-year running series, is now available on Android and iOS devices.
Despite lacking the graphics of its console and PC counterpart, PES 2017 offers unique controls and online multiplayer with both friends and unknown rivals no matter where you are… mostly.
PES 2017 is free, though it contains both ads and in-app purchases. And coming in at 1.31GB in size, make sure you’re on a wi-fi network before downloading. The game also makes a point to mention it is an online game, requesting you have a stable internet connection in order to play. Their reason for doing this probably doubles as DRM, and a way to make sure those playing others online experience less lag and players dropping out.
The app store page boasts “Controller actions have been optimized to make playing on your mobile device feel as smooth and exciting as a PES action game should!” To get familiar with these custom controls, the game offers a quick video followed by an interactive tutorial.
For fans of classic controls, PES 2017 also has a classic control mode, featuring a virtual directional pad and four buttons displayed on the screen. Though if you already know the controls or you want to go straight to the classic controls, you can skip the tutorial, since it does not cover the classic controls.
Both sets of controls offer their own benefits and drawbacks. I appreciate that they made innovative UI-less controls tailored for a touchscreen. However, for anyone who has fingers as fidgety as mine, or anyone lacking a decent dexterity score, these were less conducive than the standard touch-stick and four buttons. Even though the classic controls require my hands taking up more of the screen, my low dexterity means I have a more accurate control scheme when using dedicated buttons rather than using taps, double-taps, and precise swipes.
If you want to just pick up and play a match, you may feel overwhelmed at first. It throws a lot at you as soon as you open the app, including individual player XP, interaction with scouts, popup messages on top of popup messages, and offers. However, after you get through a few popups onto the main menu, you can get into an online match, campaign, or practice match fairly easily. While they could have done a lot more to make it feel less like pushing your way through a jungle of billboards to make it to the stadium, there is a stadium at the end of it all.
What I got to play earlier was fun and very responsive. Mobile games with the graphical caliber or scope of PES 2017 often suffer from lag or some sort of intentional input lag to help the phone or device running it crank out impressive visuals or complicated calculations. PES 2017 really did feel smooth. No matter which controller setup I used, the game was quick to respond to my direction changes, kicks, and slide tackles. The standard AI offered a nice challenge for a scrub like me, never making me feel like their goals were cheap or mine were lucky. Without a way to up the difficulty at the main menu, seasoned players may find the initial matches against the AI easy.
My biggest complaint was the under involved tutorial. I found myself wondering how to do several things once I was in a match. For example: when my tied game went into penalty shots, I found myself at a loss for knowing what I needed to do. The best strategy I found was to frantically tap the sides of the goal until my goalie dove. I know that wasn’t what the developers wanted me to do, but nothing else resulted in anything beyond my goalie looking disappointed as another ball flew past him and straight into the goal.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 is out now for Android and iOS devices. The console version of Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 is out for Windows, Xbox, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4.