eFootball 2022 game review
The Japanese company Konami, with its eFootball series, formerly known as Pro Evolution Soccer, has long lost the battle to Electronic Arts and its FIFA, although in the early 2010s both franchises could compete for the title of best soccer simulator. Konami took radical measures to get back into the race: last year it gently restarted the series by adding the word eFootball to the name PES, in 2021, the company even refused the legacy of the franchise, introducing the conditionally free eFootball 2022. However, after the release, the game was criticized by the fans.
The key advantages of eFootball 2022
The developers of the game tried to work out as much as possible the familiar near-football things - for example, the arrival of teams to the stadium, which is not in the same FIFA. This is done well: watching the decisive matches in the Champions League, we see exactly what we can see on the TV screen before the real matches. However, in soccer simulators players sit down to play not to watch the arrival of the team at the stadium - after a while, most of them will skip the inserts, which are hardly different from each other. Another advantage of eFootball 2022 is that you can play this game for free. And that's the end of Konami's soccer simulator.
The main disadvantages of eFootball 2022
Since the world of soccer simulators is divided into FIFA and eFootball series, comparisons of the new game with its more successful counterpart are inevitable. And Konami's novelty does not stand up to criticism, noticeably inferior even to the older Electronic Arts games - and, most sadly, it loses even to the latest version of that now-defunct Pro Evolution Soccer series. One of the main problems is the lack of tactical options. Players are almost deprived of the tools to have any effect on the game before the start of the match or in the breaks. Nobody demanded from eFootball 2022 the depth of Football Manager, created just for fans of digging into scouting and wasting time negotiating with greedy agents, but at least some opportunities to change tactics would not hurt.
For several years now, FIFA has offered players to delve into the nuances of coaching - to adjust the depth and width of pressing, to choose the way the ball is played, to select the game scheme. Pro Evolution Soccer, released in 2020, although it was not as tactical, at least it allowed you to choose different schemes for playing with and without the ball. In eFootball 2022, you can't choose a scheme at all. Those who are familiar with the wonderful world of soccer from Konami's game are offered a superficial choice of tactics: "ball control", "counterattack", "fast counterattack" (as if a normal counterattack is conducted on foot), "long pass" and "all over the field" (whatever that means).
Gameplay that's hard to get used to
eFootball 2022 is very difficult to understand: what the developers propose to do when controlling the ball is hardly close to reality. The movements of the players and the ball are slow and clumsy, and you can not even try to read your opponent's actions - at first, the opponent can just let the ball past him, and the next moment he can burst into the game in the spirit of brutal defenders of the 1990s and take the ball away from where it seemed impossible. As a result, planning and executing an attack is complicated by the unpredictable reactions of the opponent.
The gameplay of eFootball will be difficult to get used to, both for FIFA fans and those who have believed in PES for years. The situation is complicated by uncontrollable jerks that don't end even after you remove your finger from the gamepad button. It does not help matters and incomprehensible play in defense and lack of team defense - often you have to send the player himself to the opponent in possession of the ball.
Flirting with the television picture
The developers of eFootball 2022 seem to have forgotten that a soccer simulator should be playable in the first place. Konami decided that instead of elaborating the controls, it would be better to convey the feeling of a TV broadcast of a real soccer match in as much detail as possible. Almost every time when the ball goes on the wing and the player is trying to figure out where he should aim, the camera runs over, so you can't see anything except the player with the ball. You have to send the ball further on pure gut feeling and believing in the best.
Outdated graphics and unfinished animation
Working out the fans in the stands is a nightmare for any soccer simulation developer. Everything that happens in the stands must be depicted well enough so that the background does not catch the eye, but at the same time it is important not to spend too much effort on drawing the fans - because the emphasis in the game is not on this.
The fans and bleachers in eFootball 2022 are not only a nightmare for futsim developers, but now for players as well. The fan experience hasn't been this bad since the early 2010s. Even then, the characters in the stands were made three-dimensional and responsive. Every year the quality of drawing fans has only grown. The creators of eFootball 2022 decided that it is all unnecessary, so in the new game the stands look like this.
Okay, if the fans were sacrificed for the sake of the high quality of the players, but the athletes were also hurt-especially their faces. When Cristiano Ronaldo does his SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII, it can seem like he's about to suck the entire stadium in. So wide is the mouth of the Portuguese champion. The frustrated goalkeeper at this point tries to drink water, but just flips the bottle upside down and squeezes the liquid past himself. A lot of other animation bugs, including the face animation, have already gone viral online in screenshots.
The bottom line
It is not clear who this game was created for. It is clearly not appreciated by FIFA supporters, and the fans of Konami simulators have already expressed their opinion on Steam, where the game has more than 18 thousand extremely negative reviews. Before the series wasn't perfect either: Pro Evolution Soccer could not boast the same advantages that FIFA still has - licensed teams, stadiums, tournaments under the auspices of UEFA, and the most popular Ultimate Team mode. But at least PES had an attractive and quite interesting Become a Legend mode, where the player had to make his way into the main roster of not the strongest club. eFootball 2022 can't offer that either.