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PES 2017 boss on goalkeepers: "everyone has different ideas about how they should perform"

Goalkeepers are one of the hardest elements to get right in annual football games – and PES 2017 (opens in new tab) global brand manager Adam Bhatti has discussed the challenge of doing exactly that with GamesRadar+.

Inconsistency among netminders was a major fan bugbear with last year’s edition, and Bhatti says Konami is aware of the criticism, and working hard to improve things – but that there has to be a balance, whereby keepers aren’t impenetrable. 

“Everyone has different ideas about how they should perform, that’s the thing with football,” says Bhatti. “But, yes, we need to walk a fine line between keepers that make the saves they should – pull off the occasional worldy – and can respond quickly to danger.”

During our first play (opens in new tab) with PES 2017, I was impressed by the individuality of each goalie – Germany’s Manuel Neuer acting as a sweeper keeper, for instance, bursting from his area to clear loose balls. Bhatti believes it’s this attention to detail which is vital in getting the position right across the board.

“Key to it is mimicking the abilities of real life keepers. If one is weaker at near post, that should be reflected in the game – whereas a famed shot stopper should also be better at saving from distance than ones with lesser stats. It is also key to balance the need for varied animations with the ability to pull off multiple reflex saves, so that a keeper can parry a close range shot, but recover quickly to pounce on the loose ball – without it looking odd on screen!”

Bhatti says those who keep the faith will be rewarded with some incredible new animations between the sticks: “Some of the saves that keepers make are worth keeping an eye out for. We have had issues with them in the past, but some of the saves that can be pulled off are just amazing.”

PES 2017 (opens in new tab) is released on PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC this September.

Last week, Bhatti told us the game will receive a day one transfers patch and weekly team updates (opens in new tab).

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I'm GamesRadar's sports editor, and obsessed with NFL, WWE, MLB, AEW, and occasionally things that don't have a three-letter acronym – such as Chvrches, Bill Bryson, and Streets Of Rage 4. (All the Streets Of Rage games, actually.) Even after three decades I still have a soft spot for Euro Boss on the Amstrad CPC 464+.