PES 2020 is on its way, with the game's demo going down an absolute hit with fans.
There have been some seismic changes from Konami title this year, and it looks to be so far so good in their quest to full-on challenge rivals FIFA for the first time sine the mid noughties.
With so much to dissect about the new game, RealSport looks at the key changes that could be the tipping points that make FIFA players move to PES and change their cult following into worldwide fandom.
Fans have scoffed at PES in the past due to its lack of licensing. Last year, they hit rock bottom after losing the UEFA rights for the Champions League & Europa League to FIFA.
Pro Evo have fought back though, and in a big way. They went after the exclusive rights for Juventus and succeeded, meaning the eight-time defending Italian champs won't feature on FIFA 20.
That was backed up by new partnerships with Bayern Munich and Manchester United, and renewals with Barcelona, Arsenal and Celtic.
Exclusive rights have also been secured for the Brazilian domestic setup, which could mean the national could solely appear on PES 2020 this year.
There is a feeling that PES is well and truly back this year, and the much improved licensing is just the tip of the iceberg.
Represent your club in Matchday Mode
The brand new feature Matchday Mode has been developed to bridge the gap between virtual space and reality. It condenses the essence of football culture into a competitive format that lifts you out of your seat and places you on the pitch alongside your icons.
Once a player chooses their team, they will face off against opponents in group matches to earn points – the side with the most points at the end of the group phase will move on to the Grand Final with an advantage. Win or lose, all Matchday participants will receive rewards for their efforts.
Konami’s promise to revolutionise ‘eFootball’
eFootball PES 2020 has been developed to give the player a greater sense of agency, with new interactive dialogue systems in the Master League game mode putting the reins in the hands of the player when controlling story progression.
Players can choose responses that suit their personality, helping them to create their own personal Master League story. This includes custom sponsorship logos for team kits, and the availability of legendary managers such as Johan Cruyff, Diego Maradona and Zico to use as your avatar.
Konami’s pursuit of realism in this year’s game resulted in an increased consideration of fan feedback, bringing impactful changes such as the Finesse Dribble to instil gameplay with a sense of freedom and control.
A new feel for the game
The gameplay this year certainly feels slower than that of previous years, but this was planned to give the players more time on the ball. The slower gameplay pairs especially well with the close ball control, giving the game a fluid and intuitive feel.
This ultimately creates more time and space in the final third for players to break down a defence and pick out the final pass.
You have the opportunity to get a feel for the gameplay yourself already, a full month before release, thanks to the PES 2020 Demo.
Enhancements to the physics engine allow for a deeper gameplay experience, with improved ball physics and unique first touches creating the authentic feel that the developers strive for.