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HomeGamingThis year's best football game is… PES 2021!

This year's best football game is… PES 2021!

PES 2020 I played 276 hours. Funnily enough, I played PES 2021 for 267 hours. That was ‘just’ a meager update and yet that game managed to fascinate me again for a whole season. The chances of eFootball 2022 even coming close to such numbers are just as likely as FC Barcelona winning the Champions League this season. Like the fallen Spanish superpower, eFootball is a shadow of itself, completely unworthy of PES. PES 2021, on the other hand, might last another season!
eFootball. Well, what else can I say about that? It’s not even a full game. It’s an online demo – and a bad one at that. I could write an entire epistle about how syrupy it plays, that the crowd moves in 15 FPS, about the weird faces that players pull or that core functionalities of PES, such as putting pressure with a second player so you can close the pass lines yourself, at the old dirt have been put. But how much sense does it make to waste words on this game? I don’t even want to go on with it, let alone start that game again. That half-baked roadmap also gives me no reason to keep that game on my Xbox.

PlayStation 2 football

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 have often made a frantic attempt to break the duopoly of EA with Fifa and Konami with Pro Evolution Soccer. Without success of course, because it was precisely by releasing a football game year after year that Fifa and Pro Evo were able to improve incrementally and build up brand awareness.

Important difference only: Konami is no newcomer, who is now bravely taking on the beer quay. It was the developer of the world’s best football game for decades. It is therefore mind-blowing to see Konami throwing its entire legacy overboard with eFootball, right down to the name.

You only see it when you realize it

This is how eFootball puts us in a tricky situation. Since Fifa 22 isn’t really anything to write home about either, it lacks a good football game this year. Or is there one? While testing eFootball, I restarted PES 2021 to be able to compare the two properly. Immediately I noticed again how good the game is. Sometimes you only know what you have once you have had to miss it.It is especially noticeable in what kind of harmony your team moves and what kind of authentic gogme your fellow players have. Near the player with the ball, they make runs on their own to create play opportunities, or even point where they want the ball. Not because Random_Animation_26 is started, but because there really is a possibility. I don’t play alone, but really with a team that thinks for itself.

A through-pass through space!

In addition, PES translates my input on the controller to the screen unfiltered. I have to time a shot or pass well myself, taking into account how fast the ball goes, from which angle someone is approached, how good the player in question is, whether it is a left or right leg, etcetera. If you succeed, you will get fireworks on the screen. A through pass in space is not usually for Wubbo Ockels (Sierd de Vos fans get it), but for exactly the one I have in mind. There are no rules and scripts, just laws of nature.

Time I If I’m wrong, I’ll pay the price for that. Am I hitting a ball hard in the barrel? Then there is a chance that a player cannot take the ball perfectly and has to tap creatively with the outside of his shoe. Sometimes it will go well, sometimes it won’t. That’s football. In any case, the player does not bend improbably to take that ball perfectly with the inside of the foot, only to curl up flawlessly in the intersection with R1 + O. PES is not graceful for its outward appearance. It is sometimes beautiful to see, but functional. It fits the context.

At best, eFootball reminds me of the PlayStation 2 era

Another example of where PES 2021 is much more context sensitive than other footies: there is no separate button to shield the ball. That’s not necessary either. If you dribble slowly and put your body between the ball and the opponent, you automatically shield the ball. That’s what footballers do. But that doesn’t happen in a full sprint. Context sensitive things like that make PES 2021 look incredibly fluid, organic and realistic. It’s definitely not the most beautiful game, especially when it comes to players’ faces. But the animations and especially the footwork (quite essential in a football game) are still unparalleled. You don’t need HyperMotion machine learning gimmicks for that.I also would have preferred Konami to have further developed this game and made it just that little bit better. Sometimes a ball goes through a foot, referees can always do better and I would have liked to see a real next-gen version of PES. But it only took one jar to rekindle my love for PES 2021. So you know what? Figure it out with your new footies. I’m just playing PES 2021 again this year and I can recommend it to everyone.

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Adrian Ovalle
Adrian is working as the Editor at World Weekly News. He tries to provide our readers with the fastest news from all around the world before anywhere else.

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