eFootball, the preview of the football game that wants to revolutionize the system

eFootball, the preview of the football game that wants to revolutionize the system


After dominating the world of virtual football for more than a decade, the Pro Evolution Soccer / Winning Eleven series has never been able to regain its place after the extravagances of Shingo "Seabass" Takatsuka have made it lose the scepter of football simulations. . Those and the advent of FIFA Ultimate Team, a mode that has allowed EA to create a chasm in sales and especially in revenues between the two series. Money that was used to snatch the licenses of the Champions League, the Premier League and all - or almost all - those brands that help to sell more copies of the game from the competition.

Despite, according to many, pad in hand, Japanese production has nothing to envy to the American one, indeed, even the opposite, once you leave the playing field the differences between the production values ​​are obvious. Just look at the number of activities and methods proposed, the care with which every single menu has been built or the fact that over the years it has tried to represent football in all its forms, from female to street football, passing through modalities. history or games 11 against 11.

For Konami the way out of this vicious circle was only one: to definitively break with the past and offer something new both in form and substance. The result is eFootball, a football game that overturns all the beliefs on which this business has been based for 40 years now. A finished package will no longer arrive in (digital) stores, distributed annually, but an itinerant product capable of expanding over time.

A revolution that we will discover in this preview of eFootball aware that, given the open nature of the project, this time things could really change at any moment and that only the first direct contact with the game could confirm or deny these impressions.

Roots on which to grow

Messi is once again the cover man of eFootball Although Konami wanted to abandon the name Pro Evolution Soccer, it must be considered that the Japanese publisher does not start from zero, indeed, his football proposal has many strengths on which to build the foundations of eFootball. After a sabbatical (and therefore at least two years of development), the Japanese team should have managed to port their game to Unreal Engine, a platform that, while not designed to host a football game, is extremely powerful, easily scalable and in continuous evolution.

In this way the developers should have in their hands a tool that not only allows them to progressively improve the game, but that evolves autonomously and will allow over time to improve physics, fidelity graphics or sound with much less work than in the past.

eFootball, in fact, will no longer be a closed project, which has to wait 12 months to completely renew itself, but promises to grow together with its community. Of course, at the beginning it is more of a necessity than anything else, as it will arrive in digital stores in a little more than embryonic form, but if Konami is able to listen to player feedback and will be quick to implement them, in a few months we could to have in your hands a mister football game, able to react faster than the competition to the news of the world of football. It is true that Konami has never been particularly good at this (who remembers the months of waiting before receiving the update of the squads after the summer market?), But if it wants to have any hope of recovery it must start from here.

The renewed entry into the field of eFootball The team, in fact, on paper does not have to wait for the new edition of the game to insert new animations, correct the artificial intelligence or add some new modality. The first example of this new modus operandi was shown in the gamescom 2021 trailer: shortly after the release, in fact, Konami will add lifted passes and shots. La Maledetta, to put it to Pirlo. It seems trivial, but when have you ever seen an extra hit coming through a simple update? Until now we had to wait for the new edition and the presentation of the new "Hyper dynamic super passing" as one of the unmissable features of the new FIFA or PES.

So not just "simple" news in terms of squads, leagues and of competitions, but we expect eFootball to start from the solid foundations of PES to offer in a few months an even more refined and rich version of the gameplay offered in the past years and available at launch. The only doubt arises from the cross-gen nature of the project: how much will Konami be forced to give up in order to run eFootball smoothly on PS4, Xbox One and mobile? And for how long? And at this point, why leave Nintendo Switch out?


The new eFootball animation system Most of the eFootball gamescom 2021 video presentation focused on gameplay improvements which can be experienced starting this fall on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X | S, Xbox One, Windows 10 and PC Steam. Soon the game will also be available for iOS and Android devices.

This is a 360 ° evolution of PES gameplay. News very similar to those we were able to experience in the beta a few months ago and which we told you about in our preview of the beta. Thanks to the new graphic and physical engine, Konami has been able to expand the animation park of the players, adding movements with which to make ball control and dribbling more precise. The duels, also highlighted by a camera zoom, will be much more interesting than in the past, as they will take into account many new factors such as the technique of the players, the position of their body and the speed of the ball.

EFootball dribbling This should put the outcome of the action in the hands of the players, as well as allow the most imaginative players to perform in serpentines or look for passes and winning shots. The other side of the coin is the renewed management of the physicality of the athletes who, unless they control a Lukaku, should favor the defenders. Furthermore, Chiellini's colleagues will have new movements to intercept the balls that pass through their parts, as well as they will be able to use their body to eradicate the ball from the feet of the opponents.

As already mentioned, moreover, the physics of the ball has been revised and will allow, after a future update, to perform new precision shots such as crosses, shots and long balls. Also in this case the player will have to know how to use these new possibilities to his advantage, since the players will take longer to prepare to play them.

The new eFootball menus As far as we have seen the menus are been revised, simplified and made more readable and usable. Also, it seems incredible, but after a decade Konami has finally decided to use other buttons besides START (which hasn't existed for a few generations and its role has been heavily scaled down) to be able to skip the celebrations after the goals. >
Konami then mentions the new ways of setting up tactics, the fact that the game, as in reality, will never be interrupted after a lateral foul, a better reading of the fouls by the referees and elements of this type. But we repeat, this, in our opinion, must be the beginning: the Japanese house is called to improve its game day after day, week after week. Only in this way can he hope to regain the scepter of the best football simulation. Especially now that there are two other competitors: UFL and Goals.

Unreal Engine

The face of Messi in eFootball From this first taste of eFootball we cannot say that we are enthusiastic about the eFootball graphics sector. The cross-gen nature of the game can be seen in the animations, still a bit cumbersome and unrelated to each other, in the fact that the players seem to skate on the playing surface and in the collisions, still not perfect. The improvements compared to the past are there and are evident, the polygonal models are well cared for and the animations more varied than in the past, but after two years of work and the adoption of the Unreal Engine we were hoping for a more radical difference.

On the other hand, the work done on the presentation of the matches, the lights and the reconstruction of the stadiums was excellent. From the video it was not possible to understand if there are steps forward also in terms of sound, with stadium samples, choirs and all that outline that makes cartel matches truly special experiences.

Despite the many details of gamescom 2021 eFootball is still a very mysterious project with many shadows, but just as much potential. The biggest of these is the itinerant nature of the project which, if exploited properly, could allow Konami to constantly and sensitively improve its game, without having to wait for a new phantom edition. The other security is the gameplay which, despite some corners still to be rounded, has been built on the excellent foundations of PES. The doubts are on Konami's ability to keep his game fresh, consistently adding new interesting content over the months, updating the squads, modes and licenses. In addition to finding an economic model capable of supporting the entire project, without falling into pay-to-win, and developing an esports scene up to par. Only time will tell us how things are, but the revolution has officially begun.


Traveling project The gameplay is that of PES Free-to-start DOUBTS The economic model what it will be ? Is Konami able to dynamically evolve the game? Have you noticed any errors?

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