Gegenpressing its opponents

Every football fan has dreamt of being in their favourite footballer's shoes and that is why game developers come up with football simulators. Of course, it can't match up to actually playing football, but the emotions one goes through are the same. Konami's PES 2017 is one such simulator.

I got the Playstation 4 version of the game and got down to playing what is being touted as the "finest football game ever". As soon as you begin, you notice how simple the UI and controls are.

I went through the tutorial first and for those new to the franchise, it's a pretty good learning tool. The tutorial is comprehensive and lets you learn the different tactics and moves. After honing my skills, I played an "Exhibition" match, which is one of the many modes the game has to offer. I played as FC Barcelona in the Spanish league against Atletico Madrid. Playing at Camp Nou was exhilarating but there were moments when I wanted to fling the controller. The tutorial teaches you how to tackle but during a match, the tackles need to be extremely well-timed or you'll have the referee sending you off with a red card.

PES 2017, like other football simulators, lets you play both online and against the AI. But I found the online experience a bit glitchy. There were many lags and I stuck to playing against the AI.

The game also has the "Become A Legend" mode, wherein you have the option to either choose an existing player or make your own and embark on a journey to become a football superstar. One controls a single player and makes an effort to stand out. The AI in this mode is wonderful and adapts to your playing style.

The best thing about PES 2017 is that it provides for superior ball control. Every player controls the ball differently. So, if you're playing as Lionel Messi, the experience will be different than if you play as, say, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Also, depending on who you're playing as, you'd be able to deliver precise passes. The developers have also included advanced instructions, so you can set your game strategies in a more effective way. Strategies such as Tiki-taka and Gegenpressing can be set in "Advanced Instructions", which make the game feel closer to reality.

Overall, PES 2017 is definitely a winner. With smart AI and superior ball control, the game is sure to race past its peers.