30 Sep 2021 1:16 PM +00:00

eFootball 2022 Review in Progress: Only two game modes available at soft launch

A new dawn has arrived for football games, with the long-awaited release of eFootball 2022 - the rebrand of the iconic PES franchise - arriving.

It is the biggest ever free-to-play football game, but it must be noted that this is a "soft launch" for the new series which just two game modes available - and a handful of clubs.

First Impressions

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It's harder to go beyond "first impressions" with so little of eFootball currently available.

If we start with gameplay - we appreciate what Konami has done with the new zoomed-in camera (where the camera zooms in when on the ball), but if you take a couple of touches in midfield - you have to resort to the radar to know where to pass.

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LIMITED - Just two modes are available at launch

As for the new match engine (On Unreal Engine) - we thought we would see a significant step forward on the pitch, but from what we've seen, it's a step backwards.

The classic PES gameplay lives on in nice crosses and automated actions on the pitch, but as a result, players cannot take many touches on the pall - making a profitable tactic just hoofing it up to your strikers and stealing the ball off defenders.

We've already seen opponents online line-up with four central attackers to make the most of this - and we can only hope that over time this title is developed to improve the flow of the game.

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ARGIE BARGIE - The intro to the game features a match between Messi's Argentina and Ronaldo's Portugal

It really does feel like the PES games of old but on the PES Mobile engine - which is exactly what has happened - and it does make you think that this has only been done to facilitate cross-platform play with the mobile version.

The new cutscenes before and after matches are really smart - allowing you to see into the dressing room, watch the players warm-up (whilst you pick the team) and even see the Man of the Match being interviewed after the game.

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Game Modes

At launch, there's just two game modes available - one online and one offline.

Match Authentic - Match

Just a handful of teams are available to play with - Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Manchester United, Arsenal, Sao Paulo, Corinthians, Flamengo and River Plate.

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BEHIND THE SCENES - A nice new touch on kit selection

You can pick from iconic stadiums such as Allianz Arena (Bayern Munich), Allianz Stadium (Juventus), Camp Nou (Barcelona), Emirates Stadium (Arsenal) as well as the generic eFootball Stadium.

Give yourself a couple of games on here to get a hang of the meta before you go online.

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Match Authentic - Events

This is where challenges will appear to take on other players online.

In the current event - Worldwide clubs, you are able to pick any club (both licensed and unlicensed) from the English, Spanish, Italian or French top-flight, as well as Italy's Serie B plus Zenit, Celtic, Rangers and Bayern Munich.

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MUCH IMPROVED - The eFootball UI is far better than what we so on Pro Evo

The first challenge is to win one match in three games - with the second challenge to win two matches out of three.

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Rewards are on offer - which we think will be redeemable once the online "team building" mode becomes available.

We experienced no lag online and it was as if you were playing offline against the opponent, but just remember they will look to exploit the game - so we recommend a five back at the formation.

Other options have been greyed out on the home screen: Match - Creative, Game Plan, MyTeam and Contract - which we believe will be related to eFootball's equivalent of Ultimate Team.

The first major update of the game is expected on 11 November, but we really hope there are more reasons for players to play up until then.

We played eFootball 2022 on PS5. eFootball 2022 is available to play now on PS4, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC. The mobile version is coming soon.