01 Oct 2021 4:17 PM +00:00

FIFA 22 vs eFootball 2022: We can't write off Konami's free-to-play title just yet

FIFA 22 is now available worldwide, and despite a heavy asking price - £70 / $70 on Next Gen consoles - the EA title has been very well received.

That said, we were very excited for the launch of eFootball 2022 - the free-to-play successor to Konami's PES franchise.

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You may have seen this week that despite the game being completely free - it has been nothing short of a flop with fans.

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FIFA Fanatics

It's not uncommon for games in the FIFA series, or almost any EA Sports title - to be slated by the fans.

It feels different this time though.

Madden 22 may not have been a smash - but FIFA 22's gameplay suggests that the developers are listening to the fans and the series is back on track having never really flown on the previous generation of consoles.

Improved control on the ball, more intelligent movement from your forwards and greater defensive positioning actually makes FIFA 22 feel realistic.

Gameplay aside, there hasn't been too much added - Ultimate Team receives an "optimised" Division Rivals and FUT Champions format, with just 20 matches required for Weekend League.

Create-a-Club arrives in Career Mode, and street mode Volta includes power-ups and fun games to play.

£70 is a big asking price, but if the gameplay keeps people playing all the modes for longer, then it is worth it.

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eFootball Fumble

We knew something was up with the eFootball launch when Konami pushed back embargo dates for flimsy reveals, and next to no gameplay was revealed ahead of release.

As a result, the "soft launch" with just two games modes, no Edit mode for an Option File, and no real explanation for the issues at release, saw it go down like a lead balloon.

That said, Konami has now released a statement announcing "this work will be continuously updated, quality will be improved and content will be added consistently".

We did know that eFootball would be limited at launch, but perhaps not as much as what was released - with the community claiming that it is just a "mobile game" for console.

If Konami can bring back the award-winning gameplay that we saw on PES 2020, include Next Gen graphics optimisations and roll out multiple game modes, that would certainly breathe some life into the game.

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The clock is ticking

Given eFootball was first teased over a year ago at E3 2020 and only released PES 2021 as a "Season Update" of PES 2020, what has been delivered so far is not good enough.

The official roadmap of the game suggests it won't be up to full speed until the winter - with the online Creative Team mode (eFootball's equivalent of Ultimate Team) not going live until mid-November.

efootball-2022-roadmap
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LONG GAME - eFootball won't be fully fleshed out until the winter

That roadmap also doesn't include the arrival of the DLC for classic PES game modes such as Master League, the Career Mode that was a huge hit with fans.

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We must remember that eFootball is not a traditional sports game that will follow annual releases, free-to-play service titles like Fortnite and Apex Legends are updated regularly.

An update is coming in October, crossplay arrives in the coming weeks (something FIFA doesn't offer) as well as the successor to the online mode MyClub.

It's not game over for eFootball - but it's a HUGE two months that lie ahead.