The brand new update for eFootball has finally arrived, with gameplay fixes and a brand new game mode - Dream Team - breathing new life into a franchise that looked destined to fade away.
Following a difficult year for the game, the arrival of Season 1 bookends a particularly tumultuous journey, but is the game any better for the new fixes and inclusions?
The short answer is yes, but that doesn't mean to say eFootball is doing all it can to become a genuine competitor in the football gaming sphere.
eFootball's biggest attraction is its gameplay, with the more methodical style providing an authentic experience.
Compared to my first impression of the game a few months back, the changes made in the brand new update have made eFootball an enjoyable - if not sometimes imperfect - experience.
There are still some glaring issues, most notably found when players refuse to lock onto the ball, quickly ending any momentum you endeavoured to start in an attacking move.
General ball control and passing patterns feel more authentic than FIFA 22, with one-touch passes and wing play feeling particularly true-to-life.
Whilst eFootball still has a long way to go to challenge FIFA 22's crown, it's important to remember that Konami's offering is available for free.
eFootball was never going to emerge like a phoenix from the ashes and capture the hearts of every gamer.
Glaring issues across the board remain potent, with convoluted menus, a confusing training system, and a severe lack of offline teams/game modes really holding the game back.
Whilst no one expected the game to be fixed with one major update, it does feel like you're looking at an incomplete puzzle with a glaring hole in the centre.
Dream Team - Konami's answer to Ultimate Team - is a pleasant change of pace, but the convoluted nature of the game mode left me asking questions, as opposed to making me want to play on.
Overall, the game mode shows promise, but that promise seems to be hidden behind messy layers that leave a lot to be desired.
eFootball provides much-needed competition for EA Sports and the FIFA franchise.
Whilst the game is far from the finished article, it does show promise that could be elevated with further tweaks/additions in future updates.
With deeper immersive gameplay than FIFA 22, and a more tactical look at the beautiful game, Konami has launched a rocket that will need constant fuelling to reach the landing ground.
I firmly believe that with the right support, eFootball could once again become a contender in the football gaming sphere, providing much-needed competition that will see everyone raise their game.
For more articles like this, take a look at our eFootball page.