eFootball 2022: The PES successor only plays at the regional league level

eFootball 2022: The PES successor only plays at the regional league level

eFootball 2022

There was a time when the comparison between FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer led to miserably long discussions. Both soccer simulations had their fan base and, above all, their raison d'etre. Not even the closest friends could agree which disc should be thrown into the computer or console for game night. But times have changed.

eFootball 2022 tested

1 Hardly any size 2 Even less size 3 Konami, bet six! 4 Descent into insignificance While Electronic Arts brings an upgrade of its predecessor to the market year after year, Konami has tried to reposition itself in the last few months. After the rather bulky name change to eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020 two years ago, things are now short and sweet again: eFootball 2022 is the new title of the Japanese developer and publisher Konami. Initially released as a Free2Play version with little scope, a 40 euro expansion including a match pass, creative team mode and some shop elements will follow on November 11th. However, these future plans are absolutely irrelevant when we look at the current state of the PES successor.

Hardly any size

The Emirates Stadium at Arsenal London is one of five licensed venues. Source: PC Games Already weeks before the release, Konami announced that the scope of eFootball 2022 will offer a little more content than a demo at the release. However, our opinion on this differs from that of the Japanese company. With just two game modes, nine licensed teams, six stadiums and gameplay that has deteriorated significantly compared to its predecessors, eFootball 2022 is nothing more than a trial version. On the one hand, we can play offline friendlies against the A.I. or drop a friend, on the other hand we have the Worldwide Clubs online mode. There we play 1-on-1 duels against human players.

Although Robert Lewandowski scored the 1-0 lead shortly before, we look into very emotionless faces. Source: PC Games The fully licensed teams include the five European teams Bayern Munich, Arsenal London, Manchester United, Juventus Turin and FC Barcelona. There are also FC Sao Paulo, Corinthians and Flamengo from Brazil, and River Plate from Argentina. The game will be played in the arenas of the European clubs and the Konami-designed eFootball Stadium. In the online mode we have several teams available, but without the official licenses of the respective clubs. So we play there for example with Liverpool R against Chelsea B. Players like Kylian Mbappé, Virgil van Dijk or Timo Werner are still animated and easily recognizable. Why these teams are not available for the friendly games and why we are only allowed to start a game with the licensed clubs remains a mystery.

Even less volume

But that's not all. When it comes to game settings, eFootball 2022 only offers a very limited number of options. It is easier to enumerate which functions found their way into the game than the other way around. We only have two of six levels of difficulty to choose from: advanced and superstar. All others are available, but still grayed out and cannot be selected. We doubt that Superstar, as the highest level of difficulty, will make a lot of friends for the release. The same applies to the playing time. We can only set a half-time of five minutes, although all options up to a 30-minute half are already displayed. Grass length (short, normal, long) and playing field condition (dry, normal, wet) can be changed, but do not show any effects. Tactical settings can also only be adjusted to a minimal extent before a game. In eFootball 2022, only ready-made tactics can be set before the game starts. At least in opposing standard situations, we can determine whether our team defends with space or man coverage. Source: PC Games

Konami, bet six!

Let's get to the strengths of earlier PES titles, the actual gameplay. In the meantime, Konami has repeatedly managed to outperform the competition from Electronic Arts when it comes to the pure simulation of a soccer game. Even the predecessor eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020 offered a strong feeling of play on the virtual turf. But times have changed. With the switch to the Unreal Engine, not only the graphics and the presentation should improve, but above all the gameplay. However, the project went completely wrong. eFootball 2022 is playing much more sedate than previous parts. In addition, players react much too late or not at all to certain commands. And that's not even the worst.

eFootball 2022's standard camera zooms in closer to the action on the pitch during duels. Sometimes that can be quite annoying. Source: PC Games The collision query in duels is a joke to say the least. In a duel for the ball, it happens more often per game that the ball possession changes several times in a single situation. As soon as we try to push our opponent away in defense, both players also like to stop completely or get caught in each other. In addition, every now and then the players on the pitch do not recognize when the ball is right next to them and simply run past it. These gross mistakes happen so often that there is no fun in the game right from the start. In addition, there are problems when selecting players, commands that do not work and an artificial intelligence that does not live up to its name.

Descent into insignificance

Neuer, Süle and Upamecano are good too recognize, but FIFA 22 is clearly ahead in terms of recognition value this year. Source: PC Games Even in terms of optics, eFootball 2022 leaves a lot to be desired. Even the two-year-old predecessor looks better than what Konami has to offer with the current title. At least before the games, the football simulation improves the atmosphere a little. We see players warming up or scenes from the dressing room as the teams prepare for the upcoming match. But that was about the positive effects of the new engine. The lawn looks like a blurred area without individual blades of grass. In addition, the audience disappears in the background to a large, gray mash of pixels. And the 22 players on the pitch don't exactly shine with their external appearance and by that we don't mean the questionable hairstyles of some footballers.

Weird facial animations and questionable proportions are the order of the day in the PES successor. Source: PC Games In close-ups before the game or in replays, we immediately notice the wooden animations and emotionless faces of the players. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Konami has not used a manual repeat function so far. In addition, the actors' arms in particular appear extremely disproportionate to the rest of the body in some settings. A real stadium atmosphere doesn't really come up either. Although the fans keep singing chants from the stands, these are also very limited due to the small number of teams. The same applies to the commentators: With Marco Hagemann and Hansi Küpper, eFootball will again rely on the well-known PES duo in 2022, but their sayings are repeated after the second game.

On the older generation of consoles we had in ours Also test to struggle with constant stuttering. In addition, there are long waiting times and permanent disconnections in online mode. It remains to be seen whether Konami will be able to turn things around again with updates. With so many bugs, poor gameplay and very small scope, we doubt that eFootball 2022 can be serious competition for FIFA. On the other hand, it is much more likely that Pro Evolution Soccer will be the next brand to be buried by Konami after Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill and Castlevania.

My opinion

By Michael Grünwald


[email protected] Yawning boredom on and off the square. I'll go play PES 2008 again. I can still remember times when I spent the whole night with some friends playing Pro Evolution Soccer. That was a few years ago, but at least in terms of gameplay, the series was consistently convincing. What eFootball 2022 delivers, however, is an absolute farce and virtually the white flag over the competition from Electronic Arts. Although I'm waiting for innovations and a step towards realism in FIFA too, I've rarely deleted a game from my hard drive as quickly as the PES successor. Of course, the 40-euro expansion is already in the starting blocks, but it can stay stolen from me. Even if Konami were to suddenly pull all the licenses in the football world and a graphical improvement out of its hat, eFootball 2022 would still be a really lousy game. eFootball (PC) 2/10

Graphics - Sound - Multiplayer - eFootball (PS5) 2/10

Graphics - Sound - Multiplayer - eFootball (XSX) 2/10

Graphics - Sound - Multiplayer - Pros & Cons Tactical possibilities with opposing standards Exciting scenes in front of the goal Extremely weak gameplay Very little scope Hardly any tactical adjustment options Server problems Muddy textures Sluggish controls More pros & cons ... Conclusion Despite free-to-play you should Stay away from eFootball 2022!

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