eFootball 2022 arrived for PlayStation 4 (PS4), PlayStation 5 (PS5), Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PCs this Thursday (30) and shows many differences from PES. The changes are not only about the 2021 version but involve the entire concept of the franchise. Konami has left aside tactical settings to focus on 1v1 duels, abandoning important commands and aspects of traditional controls between games of this type. Also noteworthy is the absence of the Brazilian Championship among the online mode options available, but, according to the game’s official website, Brazil’s Serie A and B will be available in the “big update” on November 11.
The change in strategy may facilitate the adoption of the game on different platforms without too many changes, but the first impression did not please PES fans and may even drive away those who were approaching the franchise in recent years. On Steam, for example, the game already appears with many “extremely negative” reviews. Techidence brings below some impressions of the new game and talks about the negative repercussion of the new features brought in eFootball 2022.
The new features imposed in eFootball have left Pro Evo fans upset, to say the least. The changes overrode several gameplay improvements that the franchise has brought in recent years, and the new title is more reminiscent of a mobile game. The game can work very well there. On Twitter, one of the most criticized points is the low quality of the graphics.
In addition, many users have reported bugs during gameplay. It is important to note that, during Techidence’s tests, we didn’t notice many problems in this regard.
The negative repercussion was so great that the title is already among the worst ratings on Steam, the platform to play on PC. According to the service, only 9% of almost 5.5 thousand reviews are positive.
Understanding the changes
Apart from some graphical details, partnerships, players’ faces, and other aspects, little of PES is present in the new eFootball. Konami’s franchise has competed with FIFA for a few years and recently pleased not only the full licensing of the Brazilian Championship but also the game mechanics.
Although not perfect, PES 2021 brought important improvements and the future was, in a way, encouraging. Marking, for example, was more traditional compared to FIFA, quite complex, and the expectation was for changes in this regard. Below, see what’s new in eFootball and understand why many players are dissatisfied.
Previous Improvements Left Behind
In the test game New Football Game, released in June to introduce some gameplay changes, a new pressure and boot mechanic was demonstrated, but still quite crude. Only later, Konami announced that the game would undergo a revamp, becoming the free eFootball with the same proposal coming to the different platforms.
This part has changed. Now, the player has the L2 (LT) to surround and fight hand to hand for possession of the ball. The X (A) makes the athlete take the front, while the square (X) is the boot button and the ball (B) is the cart command. The tackling becomes more precise and happens in different ways. This would be positive if it were not for one important detail: the double marking.
One of the most used strategies in Pro Evo, especially to avoid goals from crosses, is to send a teammate to press the opponent on the backline, without having to change the player who is marking in the middle of the area. Now, this is impossible: the command has disappeared and does not even appear among the configuration options, being necessary to choose the player closest to the ball (prioritizing, once again, the individual duel).
The ball is even more “alive” in eFootball, with a lot of space left over and allowing counterattacks. Luckily, speed is not a strong suit of the game, and you have time to come back and avoid the goal. To protect the ball during a challenge, once again, the user needs to use L2 (LT), but it is important to keep in mind that this changes the behavior of the player, not the ball control itself. The athlete’s body will make a barrier to prevent the opponent from getting to it, but it doesn’t keep possession, necessarily.
Marking has advantages but attacking, not so much
Ball control also has other important changes. Since L2 (LT) has now this protective function, it is no longer possible to direct the touch or kick as in PES. The short pass is now more precise, and it is necessary to press X (A) longer to prevent the ball from going too slow and being intercepted.
The main difference from what is already traditional in soccer simulators is R2 (RT): instead of simply running, it is needed to control the ball and dribble the player in the one-on-one duel. A quick touch of the button next to the analog stick to one side gets the player past the marker, while two touches will allow a timid dribble in the indicated direction. It’s something different, bold, and could even be positive, but it seems like too drastic a change for someone who has spent years building a style of play that fans already trusted.
Tactical Poverty (at least for now)
From the start, eFootball 2022 promised to arrive as a kind of demo, with few teams available, featuring new concepts and with updates to come. Still, the team settings menu is quite limited. The tactical options are limited to a style of play (counter-attacking and possession in the attack, for example), and there is no way to select different formations, regulate the distance between players, among others.
The interface itself also bothers a bit, showing the players positioned in one half of the field, with horizontal orientation (and no longer vertical, as usual not only in the franchise but also in FIFA).
In the game, the same thing. Without the possibility of sending another player to score on the backline, it is necessary to change players all the time, and there is little way to escape the individual duel. To attack, triangulation is the best option, since the commands with the right analog stick are a bit confusing.
An alternative is to use the new feature for a body dribble with R2 (RT), but this will require some training. The classic fake kick (square/ball + X or X/B + A) is also a way out. There are other commands detailed in the menu during the game, but the movements are not very intuitive.
Teams, stadiums, and fans
Konami has announced nine teams for this first stage of release, among them three Brazilian teams: Corinthians, Flamengo, and Sao Paulo. The other teams available to play local friendlies are Manchester United, Barcelona, Bayern, Juventus, and River Plate. The squads are a bit outdated and have some casualties.
Corinthians, for example, are missing important names such as Renato Augusto and Roger Guedes, while Flamengo is without David Luiz, Andreas Pereira, and Kenedy. The rubro-negro squad is also missing Gabi and Diego Alves, two recent idols who were featured in PES.
There are still no Brazilian stadiums in eFootball. River Plate’s Monumental de Nuñez was also left out. The European partner teams, on the other hand, have their homes present, and it is possible to play at Old Trafford, Allianz Stadium, Allianz Arena, and Camp Nou. The other option is a generic field, the eFootball Stadium.
Returning to the players, it is noticeable how little the graphics have evolved concerning PES 2021. Some generic faces are more natural and look less like puppets, as before. Nevertheless, those who have their faces scanned in eFootball have had no updates. Many users have complained about the game’s graphics, comparing it to previous editions of PES.
The crowd, a prominent factor in rival FIFA 22, took a back seat in Konami’s new game. The movements are robotic and the feeling is that the fans have a 2D finish in some situations, despite the whimsy of the stadiums themselves. The atmosphere, therefore, does not interfere so much with the gameplay experience.
Interface, game modes, and more teams
eFootball’s interface seems to be one of the few positive parts of the game. The animations before the start of the matches are very interesting and show the players arriving at the stadium, warming up on the field, among other examples.
The uniform selection brings the jerseys into the locker room, while the field settings and stadium selection show the changes in real-time. In the selection of teams, in turn, the game shows the crest of the club in the position in which your city is on the globe (Flamengo is next to Corinthians and Sao Paulo, for example). It is an interesting menu format, but with little impact on the game itself.
The modes currently available are local friendly matches or an online event, Worldwide Clubs, where you can select more teams from around the world. Among them are generic English soccer teams such as Chelsea B and Liverpool R, and more Brazilian teams including Vasco da Gama, Internacional, and Santos. There are also clubs from South America, the Middle East, and other European countries.
When it comes to selecting the team to use in the event, there is a division between local leagues and “other teams”. It is important to point out that the Brazilians were in this separate part, while the Chilean Championship, for example, had its own space. Nevertheless, the Serie A and B of the Brasileirão is confirmed in the “big title update”, scheduled for November 11.
The main menu shows more game options still inaccessible. The friendly matches and events are under “Match – Authentic”, but there is also “Match – Creative”, which should bring teams assembled by the user, “Game Plan”, “My Team” and “Contract”. The myClub format extends to the game as a whole, and for now, there is no alternative to playing local tournaments, cups, or the traditional Master League.