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Konami's free soccer game evolution

Konami’s free soccer game evolution

After the problematic start of last year, Konami is ready to restart with the eFootball project. Version 1.0 of eFootball, which we were able to preview during an event in London, sets itself the daunting task of eliminating the disappointment of users who have not found in eFootball the worthy successor to Pro Evolution Soccer. And while the feedback has been largely positive, there are still many unknowns about the new vision for virtual football according to Konami.

A new beginning

Although the development team has provided an initial look at the new modes that will power the eFoobtall content offering, Including the dream team (equivalent to FUT) and the subdivision into thematic seasons that will accompany the evolution of the title, the design of the test focused exclusively on improvements made to the gameplay. During the preview we had the chance to try our hands on both Training courses to learn about new game mechanics Which involved a partial rewriting of the control system, both in friendlies in which it was possible to choose between nine licensed clubs.

It’s clear how the team effort started from user feedback and many critical issues that were overcome with this new version arise from direct confrontation with the fan base. First, the game engine has been more effectively optimized. On Playstation 5, the only platform available during the testing session, we didn’t find the most obvious problems that have plagued eFootball since its launch. Most of the work has been done on fixing bugs related to collisions and overlaps between polygonal models, which are now more stable and have potential bump and shock feedback, although there is a feeling that some of the bolder collisions still need to be corrected by processing some degree of refinement. hand by hand, With this improvement, arbitrage also looked more interactive and consistent with the action on the playing field, giving the appropriate weight to each foul. However, the application of the feature rule still seems counterintuitive to us, a condition that is not reported in any way on the screen and its activation does not always come in time.

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in general, The graphics sector got a good upgrade In terms of overall image quality. The use of soft shadows now gives depth to a scene that previously seemed absent, both on the field and on the players themselves, and even the stadiums have received a small – but unfortunately not entirely convincing – revamp. The arenas structures are still among the best structures ever seen in a football game, yet the spectators in the stands cannot reach standards of quality on a par with the architectural achievements.

There’s a lot of variety in the crowds occupying the curves and stands, thanks primarily to the alternating animation with more heterogeneity, however the polygonal mass of viewers and textures doesn’t recreate a realistic scenario once we’ve stopped to carefully consider the stands.

For gamers, the models and animations seemed to us unchanged compared to what we’ve seen so far with one exception: Konami has actually patched one of the less successful aspects of the graphics engine-This is the facial animation during the festivities. After a goal, we now have more thoughtful and synthesized reactions regarding facial expressions, thus involuntarily avoiding comic scenarios, which unfortunately have become one of the symbols of the snarling start of football.

To test the resilience of the Unreal Engine, it will be necessary to put the title to the test once its entire ecosystem has reached its full potential. Not only seeing the graphic display of players outside the licenses, but also manual testing of all the different versions of the process, which we remember is still a huge multi-platform project aimed at embracing not only the previous generation of consoles, the current one and PC system, but also mobile devices.

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Also in terms of gameplay, version 1.0 brings significant improvements. Partially stabilize the game engine Allows you to create more realistic matches, allowing for logical and less confusing procedures. The focus on 1vs1 clashes is now justified in the new collision system that restores proper physique to contrasts, while the AI ​​has shown its teammates that it knows how to adapt to the user’s vision of the game, always managing to follow the evolution of offensive and defensive actions.

After this new test, we can also confirm that eFootball is a title that is not intuitive and easy to approach. The pace of play tends to be slow and even the most exciting moves are not designed to pressure players’ reactions. We’ve already managed it Test the importance of compression and leg coveragea setup that breaks down offensive actions using the player’s body to cover the ball, and now an important development of gameplay has been added to the whole, an implementation of “amazing kicks“It’s kind of an improved version of any kind of football, whether it’s a pass or a straight shot on goal, and it’s a very risky option but with great potential.

It will be up to the player to decide from time to time if they prefer a classic shot with a decidedly stronger shot but with low accuracy, a factor that can often lead to missed achievements in even the simplest of scenarios. The really odd option is to have the shutter button virtually syncronize with the input of stunning kicks, a decision that inevitably slows the pace even further in front of goal, making running motions sloppy and inaccurate.

In short, a good dose of practice is needed to get a feel for the fun approach It seems to refer only to familiarity with classic PESbut is actually placed in a quandary halfway between aggressive style by seeking out physical contact and thoughtful management of positioning tactics.

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In eFootball 2022 It is possible to organize a dynamic and detailed game as well as interrupting the actions of opponents by means of smart coverage of the field; At the same time, it’s also easy to lose control of the tempo and give way to the bold and awkward sequences of bouncing balls and occasional touches that “sloppy” the title simulation claims. However, with a little practice, you will immediately notice improvements in the fluidity of exchanges and in the implementation of team tactics, an element that indicates a certain depth of gameplay despite its not immediately recognizable characteristics.

ball in the middle

It is up to the players to decide whether to give or not Another chance in eFootball after a less than exciting launchBut the free-to-play nature certainly motivates a second contact with football.

With version 1.0, we may still be far from the final look for eFootball 2022, but the obvious improvements made by the team have laid a solid foundation for building a new scaffold. Once again, the ball goes to Konami: the success (and survival) of the project It largely depends on how eFootball will be supported in the near future In terms of content. Moreover, there is an urgent need for a roadmap that can strongly indicate the direction that the Japanese team will choose to take in order to obtain long-term support for a project that aims to become a reference point for football matches but on the basis of balance. He has not yet come out of the pre-game warm-up stagesIn short, the eFootball 2022 tournament is yet to come.