Exklusive: eFootball 2022 Preview – Old Strengths, New Weaknesses

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eFootball could be really awesome... we are still worried about it though. | © Konami

FIFA's biggest competitor, Konami's eFootball 2022, is about to launch. Formerly known as PES, the iconic series is set for a reboot with a new name and free-to-play system. Despite a slim offering at launch, can it still be successful?

With eFootball, Japanese publisher Konami dares to make a change to their popular Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) game series. So far fans haven't been thrilled with what has been announced.

Now Konami have shown a preview of the upcoming soccer game. Could this insight bring some light into the darkness? We're sad to report that, once again, Konami could not really convince us.

eFootball 2022 – New Gameplay Features for Attack und Defense

Before the hands-off presentation for eFootball 2022, Konami made a bold statement: "The game has changed." With the change to a specially modified version of the Unreal Engine 4, the gameplay should also change. An important key point here are 1v1 duels. There will be new possibilities to win duels in attack as well as in defense. FC Barcelona icons Andrés Iniesta and Gerard Pique have again been appointed as experts.

The good ol' Signor Iniesta has worked with Konami to refine dribbling and ball control. For offensive actions, "greater freedom" is promised to beat the opponent with tricks and feints. However, no new animations or tricks have been specifically announced. And we haven't seen too much of that either - dribbling looks nice, though, and also seem "free-er", i.e. easier to execute.

You want more detailed information on eFootball 2022? Then read our previous articles on the game:

Mr. Gerard 'Shakira' Piqué on the other hand has helped develop new defensive options. The new Physical Defending command, along with new animations and maneuvers, seems to have noticeably changed defensive play. It now seems easier to block passes and shots. Also, there is a greater emphasis on physicality in duels, making them seem more impressive and powerful.

Furthermore, new features such as 'Power Shots' have been announced, adding a new type of finish to players' arsenal. Tactics have also been reworked, and the presentation has been tweaked with new cutscenes and transitions.

However, you couldn't necessarily see too big a difference from the last PES games. And that was also the thing about this presentation: eFootball 2022 looks great, but just like PES. That's not a problem: PES has always been great in terms of gameplay, and eFootball will certainly be the same. But what about the content in the game?

eFootball 2022 – What Will Be Available at Release?

Very little... very, very little. You can play friendly matches with nine fully licensed teams, both online and offline. FC Barcelona, FC Bayern Munich, Juventus Turin, Manchester United and FC Arsenal will be available, among others. In addition, there will be PvP online challenges that give you specific missions and rewards.

After that, major updates will expand the game. In the fall, a free expansion is supposed to introduce the "Creative Team" mode, which is supposed to replace MyClub from PES. This mode is Konami's equivalent of FIFA Ultimate Team. New playable teams, cross-platform matchmaking, and eSports tournaments are not scheduled to appear until the Winter Update. Exact release dates for these expansions are still unknown.

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Konami is still holding back on other single-player modes, such as the popular "Master League" career mode. According to a FAQ, these modes are supposed to come in the future. However, they might cost you something:

We plan to implement additional modes in the future, such as Master League, which will beavailable on mobile as well for the first time. Certain modes will be sold as premium content.

And that's the problem with eFootball 2022 so far - the game looks great, as always. But there will be hardly any content at release, it will mostly come later. eFootball 2022 therefore looks like a demo of a game, which will be patched to completion later. Nevertheless we have to emphasize: the game is free. When it is released on September 30th for all current consoles and PC (unfortunately no Switch version) – just play it! But know beforehand what you're getting into.

September giveaway EG
HyperX gear given away for free? We must be having a laugh...Find out with a quick click on the image above.

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