It may seem superficially tedious to anyone who has no interest in soccer, but the PES vs FIFA rivalry every year is not merely a quest for internet clicks, but one that has a significant amount of importance for any fans of The Beautiful Game. I've personally been firmly in the FIFA camp since 2007, however the past year has been something of an identity crisis for EA's commercial giant. The console version of FIFA 17, despite its flashy Frostbite engine, came across a bit sluggish and pedestrian for my tastes; the FIFA Mobile [Free] iteration that launched shortly after its bigger brother stripped the actual football for a strange minigame-focused card collecting spinoff, and is certainly better left forgotten. In spite of FIFA's profligacy, Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer series has taken the reins - with a focus on slick arcade footballing action, the console version was arguably this year's definitive soccer title, and the mobile version of PES 2017 [Free] has finally today launched worldwide on the App Store after an extended soft launch period since last December.

Initial impressions of PES 2017 suggest that it's finally the mobile footballing simulator that the platform deserves, despite numerous (arguably unavoidable) issues that hold it back. On the positive side of things, this is a proper soccer game, and you'll be able to defend, attack, and pass pack to the keeper as much as you like over the course of ninety in-game minutes. Furthermore, even though numerous licenses are missing from the game, both big clubs such as FC Barcelona and smaller ones like Liverpool FC are present, as well as a fully-licensed Champions League mode. However, some members on our forums have drawn attention to the unintuitive mobile controls that are predominantly swipe-based, and its position as a free-to-play game in 2017 means the typical online-only, in-app purchase shenanigans that you'd expect from such a title.

Overall, it's hard to assess whether the excitement over PES 2017 is because of its own unique qualities, or simply because the football game precedent on iOS has been so poor as of late. Either way, it's refreshing to have a proper soccer title on the App Store, and one that tries to adapt to mobile without an excessive and patronising dumbing down of gameplay elements. PES 2017 is out now worldwide on the App Store - if you're upset about the impending end of the football season, give the game a download and let us know your impressions on our forum thread.

  • andylangers

    Interesting how you describe one of highest supported and still one of the most successful football clubs in the world as a smaller club. 😬

    • http://www.twitter.com/robfunnell3 Rob Funnell

      Successful clubs win relevant trophies in the present, and sadly 4th place isn't a trophy (as a bitter Arsenal fan, I would know) πŸ˜‰

      • NickyNichols

        They are just rebuilding a little, they will be back.

    • thangveo

      Just a bit of cheeky banter, I am sure πŸ˜† still got a chuckle out of me haha.

      • Kahdmus

        Hmmm...well then quite funny if so. However I don't think the yank sense of humor has quite that degree of subtlety! Lol!!!

    • Kahdmus

      I agree and can't but surmise that it is obviously stated by someone who knows very little about football. I was born in Manchester and have been a utd fan since I can remember. But LFC has one of the most storied and unprecedented histories in the game. One of the biggest clubs in the game anywhere in the world. In English football Liverpool and United are by far the most influential clubs. If I was a Liverpool supporter I'd certainly be more than a tad shocked and suprised by this categorization.

      • http://www.twitter.com/robfunnell3 Rob Funnell

        Haha I am the writer of the article, and have been an Arsenal season ticket holder all my life and go to the Emirates every week (also going to Wembley on Saturday) so if anything I unfortunately know too much about football πŸ˜… It was intended as a subtle dig, but as much as Liverpool fans reference their history, they need to win some big trophies in the present and not be losing matches while 3-1 up against mid table sides if they want to consider themselves a 'big club' again πŸ˜‰

      • vapourtrail

        I've got a cabinet full of broke mugs more useful than the mugs LFC put out on the pitch weekly.

    • XboxOne

      Loserpool is a small club.

      #UnitedFan

  • curtisrshideler

    Still not the footy game that I want to invest time or money into. Maybe we'll see a semi-licensed, offline, premium game of soccer on the App Store again. And maybe we won't. I just won't bother again until we do I think. At least baseball fans have RBI Baseball and MLB Manager to get their premium, offline fix. Soccer fans at least have the FM series I guess.

    • Dailon Huskey

      Agree no real teams to play as and no real career mode this was a good chance for them to top FIFA instead they copied it

  • lezrock

    Does it have controller support or will it eventually get it in the foreseeable future? And does it have virtual controls as an alternative control method? thx

  • timmfox

    The smarter play for Konami would have been an NBA2K17-like pay structure. We don't need another FUT game. I'm bummed because I love this franchise.