In the fall Konami wants to create the revolution of the Pro Evolution Soccer series with eFootball. Not only a new name should fix it, but also a completely revised concept. Full-price football as a free 2-play title: can it work? At least that's what the Japanese hope, skepticism remains - and anyway: Somehow the advance feels like a step backwards. It's like leaving the field to Electronic Arts and FIFA 22. 

It's basically the same battle every year: FIFA or PES - which is better? This year, Konami presented its own football offshoot shortly after the presentation of FIFA 22, but with far-reaching – and at least surprising – changes. The child is now called "eFootball" and it is also to be released as a free-2-play game. Sure, F2P is no longer automatically an indication of lousy quality these days, other games have long since proven that. Nevertheless, the new "Pro Evolution Soccer", which is no longer called, has a flaw even before its release.

Once for everything, please - except for Nintendo Switch

eFootball will release Konami for Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S, Playstation 4 and Playstation 5 and also as a mobile game. The Nintendo Switch are left out, so you probably didn't want to go that far with the restart. In view of the poor legacy editions of FIFA, there would be a great opportunity for Konami to assert themselves with a soccer game, especially on the Nintendo Switch. Does not matter. Mobile games are only played with the budget version for mobile phones or tablets.

The idea for eFootball doesn't sound bad at all: It doesn't cost anything at first, should be continuously expanded and enriched with new content, and there is a major update once a year. Except for the free factor, it's not as new as Konami fans want to sell. Instead of having to buy a single version with a serial number once a year, from now on you will simply expand eFootball. Revolution? Not even a little bit.

Things are getting smarter when it comes to the community. There should be cross-platform gaming - that would be revolutionary. The first cross-platform competitions will be offered as early as winter. And mobile fans? They can take part, but they have to use a gamepad. That is only fair, because having to go into the field with fumble control on the mini screen against the console player would hardly have been a sensible solution.

There is also a roadmap and it is currently quite poor: a meager nine clubs are apparently available at the start in autumn - well-known ones. But "choice" is different. After all, some of the usual Croesus teams are there: Bayern, Arsenal, Juventus and Manchester United, plus some South American teams. Lionel Messi is currently still busy advertising with his virtual alter ego - Paris Saint Germain is not one of the starter clubs of eFootball. It remains to be seen whether and how the football magician will find his way onto the pitch.

Konami also wants to make money with his idea. Paid DLCs will therefore exist, that's for sure. Apparently, other game modes will cost money, possibly also for other clubs or cosmetic items, maybe there will even be fees for tournament participation. Actually, you don't know anything, because Konami hadn't revealed much so far. Fans are accordingly concerned. And if you look at the developments in the free-2-play games sector, you say: you are right to be concerned. In the end, "eFootball" could become a penny grave and thus significantly more expensive than the annual new edition with the year.

Konami has published a six-minute trailer for eFootball. It reveals a lot, but by no means everything:

After all, there is also real development: From now on, the game will be based on the Unreal Engine 4, graphically the game should look good with it. Even very well. The trailer shows what fans can look forward to if they want to embark on the experiment. The "ultimate football experience" is what Konami talks the players into - the presentation shows that it could work. Visuals and animations look good. Not like "F2P", but like PES 2022. Hats off for this courage. The gameplay and the duels have also been handed down to make the duels on the lawn even more lifelike. Whether and how the whole thing will be compatible with the mobile offshoot? Wait.

Does everything sound too good to be true? Also waiting. So far, Konami has rarely had a lucky hand when it comes to rebooting their franchises, but it could work with PES – sorry, eFootball. Skepticism remains, however, because the "Free-2-Play" feature often hovers over a brand like the sword of Damocles. And it inspires greed. It may then get out of hand, fans will leave. In the end, FIFA triumphs 22. Just a nightmare scenario? Maybe, but quite realistic. If the "worst case" occurs, that was the attempt. Konami now faces a mammoth task to win the FIFA vs. eFootball duel.

And electronic arts? There, following Konami's presentation, the champagne corks are likely to have popped. It has never been easier for the top dog to defend his position on the field. Football with many licensed teams? FIFA 22. Choice of game modes? FIFA 22. Technology? FIFA 22nd prize? Probably actually FIFA 22 despite the price increase. E-sports? FIFA 22.

There is probably a lot to suggest that Konami has screwed up evolution - but that doesn't mean that you don't want to be pleasantly surprised.

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Last updated on 25.05.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API