In the gaming world, every single genre has two or more competitive titles that battle each other in terms of popularity among fans. A constant battle where developers of one title try to invent new ways to win the crowd, and possibly present their product as the superior one next to that of their competitors.
The competitive battle between Pro Evolution Soccer and FIFA is well known, and this year’s edition of both titles made it even more intense. But is there really a doubt? It’s clear that this year FIFA wins the battle and here are just a couple of facts to support this claim.
The engine itself
EA sports really outmatches themselves this time by making a bold move and introducing Frostbite engine into a sports game mechanics. We’re all too familiar with this engine as it brought success for Battlefield 1 and many titles before it. What’s fascinating about seeing it in sports game such as this, is how natural it looks.
Usually, Frostbite engine contributed to enhancing overall quality in graphics by adding an insane amount of particles, making the effects look stunningly realistic. But that was the case mostly in action-based games, where the quality of particle effects in explosions was demanded.
So at this point, you’re probably asking yourself, what’s the point of using this engine in a game that isn’t based on violence and in which destruction doesn’t flourish? Initially, soccer games had only a couple of basic colors in it. Green being the color of grass and terrain, blue representing one team and usually red representing the other one.
Video game graphics came a long way since then in terms of progress. Graphics are simply better looking in FIFA 17 than in PES. The quality of shadows contributed a lot to making this decision, but also did the facial expressions and small details like sweat pools that generate on players faces when they get tired.
Biggest errors in gameplay fixed
You’ve probably noticed the inability of your players to maintain speed when leading the ball towards the goal in previous versions of FIFA and especially in PES. Either this or the other player has a supernatural ability to catch up to your player whenever he’s left far behind. In FIFA 17 this isn’t the case anymore.
So whenever you pass a player, you won’t have to worry about him catching up to you anytime soon. There is also a matter of additional control added in shots that deserve praise. No more does approaching to goal and shooting at it form a certain distance guarantee score.
Players are required to pay attention to the angle as well as the amount of power they put into their shots, should they expect to score. And this is definitely a good thing, especially because EA is becoming quite focused on developing the competitive aspect of this game in online multiplayer.
A surprisingly rewarding gameplay
Good gameplay is rewarded with coins that act as an in-game currency. You can get virtually unlimited FIFA 17 coins if you put your back into the development of your skills. This way of rewarding players for their progress in skill development is actually quite beneficial to expanding the competitive online multiplayer aspect of this game.
Liquidity of movement control
It’s incredible how easy is it to control players in FIFA 17; it’s like every single one of them knows where you’re about to lead the ball and does exactly that, with such finesse and elegance in movement. The same cannot be said about PES, where players bump into each other in a rather unnatural way, giving away the pour quality of engine used in development.
When it comes to soccer games, they need to have a certain fast paced, but in the same time natural tempo. Controlling the players should be demonstrated with a certain degree of liquidity in movement, so that every time you succeed in passing a player or scoring from a difficult position, you get rewarded with an amazing in-game animation.
Penalty shoots made possible
If you’ve ever played PES before, no matter how big of a fan you are, you will agree that the penalty shooting system is terrible. It was literally impossible to score a goal. Moving the stick on the controller just a little further to any side would result in missing the entire goal.
On the other hand, not moving the stick enough to either side would lead to shooting in the center of the goal, exactly where the goalkeeper is always positioned when playing against AI.
FIFA was no different up until this year’s edition. Now that EA games finally recognized, accepted, and chose to correct the problem, we can all enjoy in a well-deserved penalty shot. Not only that it’s extremely satisfying to watch the perfect execution of a penalty, but it’s also rewarding.
How natural the crowd reaction feels
In games like these, there is one thing that is if not the most important, then among them, and that’s the atmosphere. Yes, every football fan knows that a good atmosphere makes the game. And this is where FIFA 17 really stands out in comparison to PES.
The sound of a cheering crowd whenever you take advantage of the opponent’s team mistake is absolutely unreal. No longer will you hear an instant change in their tone as you lose and win the ball possession again from your opponent. Everything feels so natural now that, somehow, you almost get the feeling as if you’re actually out there.
They’ve also really worked on improving how the crowd look, making them look less as a pattern of colors but rather like real individuals that share sympathies for the same team. Their reaction to everything that happens during those two halftimes looks, sounds and feels as close as the real thing.
There’s a number of things that separates a good sports game from a mediocre one. FIFA 17 actually got most of them right, once again proving that it is better sports simulator than PES.