Name: eFootball PES 2020
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4 Pro
Acquired: A copy of this game was provided by a publisher for review purpose
Konami and its football game, PES has been in a bit of a ditch after losing the Champions League license, this year, however, they’ve obtained the license for Juventus, and they even got it exclusively. Could the rest of the game live up to the acquisition of “The Old Lady”? After hours on the pitch, I am finally settling down to do a review.
Although you could technically call the career mode somewhat a story, I’ve decided to not make it a unique section, since it’s pretty much the same as just playing lots of matches.
As expected, eFootball PES 2020 has slightly better graphics than the 2019 version. There’s not any revolution, but it’s a steady improvement. The players still aren’t as real-looking as in FIFA, but it’s getting better. I do think that the audience and stadium look better in PES though, especially the audience. The menus too are looking good and are easy to maneuver. It’s altogether easy to find whatever you’re looking for.
One thing I’ve never liked about PES though is the tactics and formation screen. I find it a less than ideal way to set up your team and changing your players around. It might just be me that has too little experience with the PES series, but I feel like there’s time for a change here.
In the sound department, it’s pretty much business as usual for eFootball PES 2020. There’s a lot of licensed music in the menus, although none of them fit my favorite genres or artist (where’s Halestorm and Lindsey Stirling?) – they do feel fitting for a football game. In addition, we have the regular commentators and ambient sound when entering the stadiums. Nothing new, but why change something that works?
The gameplay of eFootball PES 2020 is probably the highlight for me this year. Sure, it’s cool with new licenses, but nothing matters in a football game if the gameplay isn’t any good. Luckily, that fear was far from justified, with gameplay that feels the best ever in the series. The last few editions of PES have felt a few years behind their competitors in the FIFA series, and although I haven’t played FIFA20 yet I am 100% certain that PES can’t be far behind this year.
Personally, I’ve been struggling with getting a grip on how the ball reacts to my input as a player in recent years. This year, however, I am very pleased to announce that I can actually get some nice flow in my game and actually play proper football, and not just kick the ball up to my strikers.
As usual, you additionally have a career mode, and a “make your own team” mode, which is, as usual, a nice addition to the game, even if it feels a bit too un-personal for my liking.
The game also includes an online mode, as is due since we’re in 2019. Unfortunately, the game’s servers felt a bit “dead” to me during my time with eFootball PES 2020 – obviously, that would be okay if it was in the “reviewers only” period, but it hasn’t been any better since the launch date. It’s still a very long waiting time between entering online mode and actually find someone to play against. We’re talking maybe 15-20 minutes, which is simply too long. That being said, once it did connect, it all went very smooth, with little lag and at no time I got disconnected by mistake.
Now, I played the game with the alternate controls (using circle to shoot, etc.) and it all works really well. The players are doing what you expect, with the running feeling natural and the buttons being responsive. Generally, it all works as expected without any issues. The only thing that prevents it from receiving a top score is the lack of a more efficient way to dribble.
Honestly, it’s a bit difficult to write about the replay value in a footballing game. Of course, you play match after match after match. And that has to be expected to work in a game like this. In addition, you have a career mode, which in addition to the matches allows you to hire players and make several different tactics. I do wish there was a bit more to do outside matches, but it’s not too bad. You do have some replay value in the online mode, with the addition of Matchday. Where you pick one of two teams and play for that side in order to tally up as many points as possible.
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Replay Value 9
The short summary is that eFootball PES 2020 is the best in the series so far, and by far. For the first time with the series, I actually had a lot of fun playing match after match, and at several times I found myself lost in the game for hours at a time. The game is a steady evolution of the series with better graphics, better gameplay and a control scheme that just works. I do wish for a better tactics screen and more ways to dribble around the opposition, but it’s nothing game-breaking. All in all, eFootball PES 2020 is a safe buy, and if Juventus is the team for you, it has them to offer as well.
User Review( votes)
- Looks good
- Great gameplay
- Good controls
- The tactics screen could use a revamp