Only shortly after the reveal of FIFA 22, the new part of the eternal competitor Pro Evolution Soccer was presented. In contrast to the presentation of the EA-Kick, there were some surprises with the presentation of Konami’s new football simulation. From now on, the name of the traditional series is eFootball. Without any PES or Winning Eleven in the title.
The release strategy represents an even bigger cut, because eFootball will be a Free2Play title that is constantly being supplied with new content. Once a year there should also be a big update for the start of the new seasons. The time of the annual single releases is over. eFootball just keeps growing.
Cross-Platform-Gaming und Road Map
The title is due to be released for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series and Mobile in early fall. So we are assuming a release in September, as usual. All players should also be able to play against each other or with each other across platforms. The various cross-play options are gradually finding their way into the game and there should be cross-platform tournaments in winter. However, mobile gamers rely on a gamepad for cross-play.
The road map published by Konami also shows that eFootball will initially be very limited in terms of content. At the start there are apparently only nine teams to choose from: Arsenal FC, Barcelona, FC Bayern, Juventus Turin, Manchester United and the South American clubs Corinthians, Flamengo, River Plate and Sao Paulo FC.
Content and monetization
Exactly how additional teams and leagues come into play is not yet known. However, it is already clear that there will be paid DLCs. Konami will also ask the players to pay extra for other game modes. Much is still unclear here. Not a word was said about the monetization of eFootball in the approximately six-minute long reveal video.
So many fans of the football series are all the more concerned, since the two popular game modes myClub and Master League were also not mentioned. There is already speculation as to whether the team building mode listed in the road map will replace one of the two modes. There was also no mention of the editor in the announcement video, but according to Konami he should be on board again. How it will look like with the Free2Play alignment is not yet known.
Improvements on the lawn
Konami promises the ultimate football experience on the pitch. Above all, the game should benefit from the engine change that was made. Instead of the in-house Fox Engine, eFootball now uses the Unreal Engine 4. In the trailer, this was expressed in better lighting and somewhat more detailed player models. However, one cannot recognize a particularly large graphical jump.
The animations have been noticeably improved, however. According to Konami, eFootball contains four times more animations than the last PES part. This should primarily affect the one-on-one situations. Both as a defender and as a striker, you should now have more options here.
This is ensured by so-called motion matching, which is supposed to reflect the individual reactions of all players and is calculated based on factors such as speed and the position of the ball. Every animation should now be perfectly adapted to the game situation, which, according to Konami, should lead to exciting, but above all realistic duels on the pitch.
In order to properly integrate motion matching into the game, the players Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique were brought in, who not only supported Konami in an advisory capacity, but also immortalized their movements with motion performance recordings in eFootball.
The gameplay of eFootball looks wonderfully smooth and the information on the one-on-one situations sounds promising, but due to the restructuring to Free-2-Play, without precise statements on monetization and popular game content, one can be skeptical at first .
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