By: Andrés Sanz (@sanzolome)
Year after year the two most important football videogames compete to win the largest number of users, either with gameplay improvements or with the licenses they can acquire. And although the balance is usually clearly on the one hand in terms of the greater number of sales, there are still faithful lovers of Pro Evolution Soccer since those times when it was known as Winning Eleven and International Super Star Soccer.
On this occasion, Konami gives us a new installment of his football franchise, now with the name of eFootball PES 2020 and with changes that enrich the gaming experience for lovers of this sport. Despite its shortage of licenses and problems finding other users in online modes, the gameplay is very dynamic and entertaining and, apparently, the Japanese publisher has listened to its users and has improved both game and interface features to unlike deliveries from previous years.
A dynamic gaming experience
Pro Evolution Soccer, as it was called in its previous versions, has always been characterized by giving the user freedom at all times. Whether your style of play is counterattack, or you like playing tiki-taka, eFootball PES 2020 achieves a very entertaining and dynamic gaming experience, which seems to me to be the most important feature regarding what we are accustomed to FIFA
This new version is not far behind if yours is to experiment to the fullest and learn to use all the feints and movements. But keep in mind that this is not why you will be invincible, since someone who has a more conservative style has the same probability of winning a match.
The rhythm of the game and the control of the ball feel familiar since you touched the control for the first time, and it is that Konami has made only some adjustments with respect to the previous version that I believe, have been enough to give a great experience of beginning finally
The controls have also been improved, a great job has been done in the movements without the ball, very useful to make feints and enrich the transfer on the court.
The right stick has also been given a greater weight, which in combination with the left stick, can generate incredible fluency when moving around the playing field without having to do so many feints or complex movements.
Unfortunately, the goalkeepers continue to have problems at the start, which is annoying at the time of a counterattack or a corner kick in which the goalkeeper's exit is essential.
To score a goal is not as easy as it seems. Even when we are alone against the goalkeeper, it is necessary to position our player well, choose the right power and give him a correct address, and even then, he does not always run with the luck of beating the goalkeeper.
Free and penalty kicks are very intuitive. At all times the camera is positioned behind the player to select the initial shooting position and power. Once the power is selected, the player will make the shot and give us the opportunity to give height and effect to the ball with the right stick. Without a doubt, getting a free kick goal is very satisfactory when it is achieved.
This last installment presumes an alliance with the manchego, Andrés Iniesta, who advised Konami to create a more realistic game feeling, modifying the positioning of the players and transmitting the sensations that are experienced within the field as a professional player.
The classic Master League
eFootball PES 2020 offers us the same game modes as in the latest versions, but without a doubt the one that has more weight is the Master League, which gives us the opportunity to take the role of technical director and through some scenes in which we will motivate our players and we will make decisions, we will impact the direction of our club.
We can choose between legendary coaches such as Cruyff and Maradona. Or, we can customize a new one.
We will see each other in the fight to climb divisions, classify tournaments and try to form the best club in the world. But it will not be an easy task, we who know this game mode know that keeping a club at the top requires a lot of work, negotiations and perseverance.
It does not have many differences from the previous versions, however, it is still a great challenge to play this game mode.
Online modes are also very similar to last year's delivery. Getting who to play with is a task for patients because if you want to challenge online and fast, you better not get close to this game mode. At least in the PC version it is very difficult to find someone to play with and the waiting times are approximately eight minutes. We will have to try the other versions and see if the times are shorter.
MyClub is practically the same as its predecessor. Although it is a bit more generous in terms of the profits that are obtained per game or tournament won, and something that is appreciated is that with the bonuses they give us at the start of the campaign, it is not complicated to build a team with quality players to compete with anyone.
There are a lot of tournaments and events that, in theory, will be updated throughout the year and that will give us enough points to support our team. It causes great satisfaction to enter renowned players to the squad and release them to familiarize themselves with the team.
The other online modes are identical to the previous version except for a new game mode named Matchday. Which will be an event linked to the dates of the most important derbys in football and will give users the opportunity to select a side which they will defend during a certain period of time to generate points, which will help their side to win the event … as in a Splatfest of Splatoon. A Matchday has not yet taken place, so we will have to wait to try this game mode that seems interesting.
It plays well and looks good
Visually, the game is sensational. The models are very similar to real players. Especially when it comes to the teams that are licensed and the best known players. It is impressive the resemblance of players like Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo or Ronaldinho, who are perfectly detailed and even have the same movements, celebrations and gestures.
The combination between the realism of the audience, the stadium and the audio, give the feeling of being in a real match. When the home team scores a goal, the atmosphere explodes and generates a visual and auditory spectacle.
eFootball PES 2020 currently has eight stadiums of different teams in South America and Europe, such as Camp Nou, Allianz Arena and Old Trafford, among others. Which look identical to the real ones. It is expected that the number of stadiums will increase later thanks to the Euro 2020 license that will be activated free of charge later for all owners of a copy of the game.
The default camera is very comfortable. It covers a large part of the court and gives us a clear vision of the positioning of the players without constantly seeing the minimap.
Shortage of licenses … as always
As usual, eFootball PES 2020 has a limited number of licenses, so we will not see real names, logos and uniforms of many teams and leagues. However, as it has rarely happened, a team has turned its back on the official FIFA game and has gone fully with Konami. This is the case of Juventus, an important Italian club that boasts eFootball PES 2020 as an official product.
An attraction that worked well for some years was the Champions League license, which, we missed since last year's delivery. However, in this edition they managed to obtain the Euro 2020 license, which will be a free DLC that can be downloaded later and will include more than 50 national teams and surely some stadiums will also be added.
For the first time I see a friendly and simple interface. Apparently, Konami listened to its users and implemented an easier way to navigate and select the different game modes and settings. Some functions implemented last year were also maintained, such as the rapid change during the game, which I find very useful. Or the change of strategy during the game, a function that takes longer.
The team strategy interface did not change much, but it seems to me that it does not require changes of consideration, since it is easy to select and customize strategies and change players.
Unfortunately, the licensing problem persists, and although in the case of PS4 and PC this is solved with an Option File that many users implement to have all the licenses, it is still an unofficial patch that must be kept updated manually.
We will have to wait for the next version of FIFA to be able to choose a winner this year, but for now, eFootball PES 2020 leaves a very good taste thanks to the most important aspect: its gaming experience. Although it has many aspects in which it can improve, eFootball PES 2020 is on the right track respecting its style and essence. Definitely worth playing.