October 27, 2021

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The best soccer game of the year is... PES 2021!  |  vertical

The best soccer game of the year is… PES 2021! | vertical

eFootball. Well, what else can I say about that? It’s not even a full game. It’s an online demo – and bad at that. I can write a whole message about how it’s played, that fans move at 15 frames per second, about weird faces players drag or basic PES functions, like pressing a second player so you can close scrolling lines yourself, in old dirt. But what is the meaning of wasting words in this game? I don’t even want to go on with that, let alone start that game again. The half-baked roadmap doesn’t give me a reason to keep this game on the Xbox either.

At its most positive, eFootball reminds me of the PlayStation 2 era, when games like This is Football, Club Football, David Beckham Soccer, and Ronaldo V-Football sometimes frantically tried to break EA’s duopoly with FIFA. and Konami with Pro Evolution Soccer. Without success, of course, because it was precisely by launching the football game year after year that FIFA and Pro Evo were able to gradually improve and build brand awareness.

The only significant difference: Konami isn’t a newcomer, and now it’s bravely tackling a sidewalk beer. It has been the developer of the best soccer game in the world for decades. So it’s amazing to see Konami throw away its entire legacy with eFootball, right down to the name.

This is how eFootball puts us in a difficult situation. As Fifa 22 isn’t really anything to write home about, he’s lacking a good football game this year. Or is there one? While testing eFootball, I restarted PES 2021 to be able to properly compare the two. Immediately I noticed again how good the game is. Sometimes you don’t know what you have until you have to miss it.

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Especially remarkable is the harmony with which your team moves and the authentic style of your teammates. Close to the player with the ball, they run on their own to create playing opportunities, or even to determine where they want the ball. Not because Random_Animation_26 was started, but because there really is a possibility. I don’t play alone, but really with a team that thinks for itself.

Additionally, PES translates my input on the console to the unfiltered screen. I have to time a shot or pass myself, considering how fast the ball is moving, from what angle someone is approached, how good the player in question is, whether it is a left or right man, etc. If you succeed, fireworks will appear on the screen. The space pass isn’t usually for Wubbo Ockels (Sierd de Vos fans get it), but exactly what I had in mind. There are no rules and texts, only the laws of nature.

After all, if I get it wrong in time, I’ll pay for it. Do I hit the ball hard in the barrel? Then there is the possibility that the player may not be able to take the ball perfectly and must creatively tap the outside of his shoe. Sometimes things will go well, sometimes they don’t. This is football. In any case, the player does not bend improbably to take the ball perfectly with the inner part of the foot, only to circle flawlessly in the intersection with the R1 + O. PES is not graceful for its outward appearance. Sometimes it’s nice to see, but it’s practical. Fits the context.

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On its most positive note, eFootball reminds me of the PlayStation 2 era

Another example that PES 2021 is more context sensitive than the other foot: there is no separate button to protect the ball. This is not necessary either. If you dribble slowly and put your body between the ball and the opponent, you automatically protect the ball. This is what football players do. But this does not happen in a full race. Context-sensitive things like this make PES 2021 feel incredibly fluid, organic, and realistic. It really isn’t the prettiest game, especially when it comes to players’ faces. But the animation and especially the movement of the feet (so essential in the game of soccer) is still unmatched. There is no need for HyperMotion machine learning nonsense.

I would also prefer that Konami improve this game and make it a little better. Sometimes the ball goes with the foot, the referees can always do a better job and I would have liked to see a true next-gen version of PES. But it only took one jar to revive my love for PES 2021. So you know what? Discover it with your new feet. I’m playing PES 2021 again this year and I can recommend it to everyone.