Game Review | eFootball PES 2020

To reiterate what was stated in my Master League review, I am a big fan of the Pro Evolution Soccer Franchise, and I’ve got a good relationship with the team at Konami responsible for the game. This is not to say that I won’t do my due diligence to be as ethical with this review as I do with others, it’s just to make you fully aware that I may have some biases. As always I recommend getting a second and third opinion whenever watching any of my reviews. With that out of the way, let’s jump right into it and talk about eFootball PES 2020.

eFootball PES 2020 is the latest entry in the Pro Evolution Soccer franchise. The eFootball addition to the name is Konami’s way of expressing their dedication to the esport aspects surrounding the game. Modes like Matchday clearly reiterates that intent, and with new and old partner clubs having their own eSports teams we’ll likely see more and more growth in the PES eSport scene. As noted in my Master League review, which you should check if you want more details on that mode, PES has seen it’s most significant changes in the quality of life department. The main menu is cleaner with all tabs fitting on the screen at the same time as well as moving most of the modes under other tabs. This sees tournaments and other local multiplayer modes under a single menu, while Matchday and other online modes sit under a similar online menu.

Speaking of Matchday, this new online multiplayer mode sees players competing for a particular team for myClub rewards and the glory of seizing victory for their team. How this works is by adding the total amount of wins from each player onto a side of their choice and comparing them. As I see the mode is a good incentive to get players playing online. There’s even a myClub implementation which allows the use of myClub teams for some matches, however despite me liking myClub I don’t think it’s a mode for everyone. It being a mode with lootstyled microtransactions makes it not suitable for some users. Personally I don’t find their implementation in myClub to be too egregious since I’ve played it over the past two years without spending a dime or having to put in ridiculous hours to get players I wanted, but I’m a special case. I’m an individual with enough self control to not use my money in such a way. I don’t believe kids and some other adults are capable of that, so for that reason even if the game has a PEGI 3 or E rating I won’t recommend it for anyone who is not an adult capable of properly managing their money, or without appropriate supervision to prevent excessive spending.

This is myClub

For those responsible enough, myClub and Matchday can really be fun. In my first Matchday match I represented France and lost due to disconnection from the server, then in myClub I lost 3 – 1 and in both cases I was rewarded well enough for my time, and that’s the thing. That’s why I said before that I don’t think the microtransactions in this game are too egregious. It’s because of things like that. The game constantly keeps rewarding you with rewards to improved your team, and in previous years that happened across an entire season of the game, so there was no feeling of needing to spend yourself into poverty to get what you wanted. So far it seems to be much of the same and I like that. If ever it pushes the limits like other games I’ll just ditch the mode and focus on Master League exclusively.

myClub has also seen some improvements like the base level of players being 1 and not 30. This means when you get a new player they will all be at their current baseline capabilities and can then be leveled up further to surpass that level as you play. This is a big step in the right direction to prevent users from becoming overwhelmed with the task of training players just to get them to their base level. National team players have also been added as featured players in line with the acquisition of the UEFA EURO 2020 license. The presentation for players stats has also been improved this year. Now we have more information readily available about more players on the screen without having to click on them. Clicking on a player seamlessly transitions to show more information about that player without having to load into anything. This was a huge surprise to me and I hope this is the direction the devs continue in when designing menus for the game in the future. Less loading screens and more information neatly on a single screen is always a plus in day and age. Visual esthetics mean a lot people, it’s the reason we like RGB on our PC or in the case with PES, new kits and player face models. With myClub now having new special 3rd and 4th kits, users will find more ways to appease their visual desires in the mode.

The rest of myClub has remained mostly unchanged from the previous game. You can still trade duplicate players, play ranked matches, compete in special tournaments, level up players, play co-op or against a friend and also against Ai controlled cloud saved teams. In myClub, players are still ranked from white to black ball levels with white ball players being the lowest ranked and black ball players being among the best. This ranking system is useful, but keep in mind some players may be ranked low, but they may have very high potential to level them up to even higher levels than some of the highest ranked players. The scout system is just as it was before and so are most of the agents. I have noticed no limits on some premium currency agents so be aware of that, as the limits was something I praised the previous entries. I won’t get into any more details on this mode, but if you’d like more then feel free to subscribe to my dedicated PES channel on YouTube for streams, tutorials and more.

Back to the topic at hand, eFootball PES 2020 has gained even more licenses this year including the aforementioned UEFA Euro 2020 which will be fully added to the game via an update during the second quarter of 2020 and will include over 50 fully licensed national teams. The game also includes the addition of more leagues inclusive of a fully licensed Serie A, Brazillian second division, and unlicensed versions of the Spanish and Italian second divisions. Konami has also acquired 3 massive licenses in the form of Manchester United, FC Bayern Munich, and an exclusive deal with Juventus.

This means these teams will receive full detailed 3D recreation of their stadiums, and players in the game. Oh and they don’t end there. Konami have gone on record that they will be announcing even more partnerships and licenses for the game, I’m holding my fingers crossed for the J-League and maybe a North American league.

For those wondering how to get the kits for unlicensed teams, you’ll need to get the option files. These can be found by simply searching for them in Google, but I recommend PES World as the best place to get them and PES Universe as an alternative. Keep in mind PES World’s option files are free and PES Universe requires payment.

Finally the most important thing about the game and the reason most of us choose PES over its competitor, the gameplay. This year they have added more animations and detail to the game in the visual department so as to have a more authentic look to the game, but even more so the feel of the game has been improved a lot. It’s amazing how much the inclusion of new animations such as the new ball trapping system can add to the experience of playing the game. PES has always had great physics and mechanics for how players react while on and off the ball and these new animations improve upon that. Personally you won’t even need to do anything special to see them. It all depends on the players personal style and also the situation they’re in. This also affects passing and shooting accuracy. A player who is off balanced may play a bad pass or vastly miss his shot, and these changes are not just for attacking. Defenders have also improved in the way they approach situations. Some may stretch a leg behind them or use their heads to stop a shot or pass. These make for more realistic challenges situations. There’s even tactical fouls. With all of these improvements along with the new fitness dribbling, which I’m still learning, this years game feels and looks better than last year’s in motion.

Oh and Become a Legend has not changed. If you play that mode alone then skip it this year. The only difference I’ve noticed is that it uses the menu from Master League, that’s about it.

Final Verdict

Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference, and eFootball PES 2020 is a perfect example of that. From a first impression point of view the game doesn’t seem to have been a big improvement on last year’s game, but then you play it and you play some more and you experience for yourself what is truly an authentic recreation of the real game. If you’re looking for a great football game, keeping in mind it does have lootstyle micro-transactions in one of its modes, then eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020 is the best option this year.

The copy of eFootball PES 2020 used for this review was provided to us by its publisher, Konami.

Qudduws Campbell

That messy hair bloke: Romantic, Food lover, Gamer, Sports Fan, Manga Reader, Tech Head, Podcaster... Pretty much do a bit of everything.