Previously known as PES, eFootball was once considered the ultimate choice for football enthusiasts who favoured authenticity above all. However, transforming from a high-budget competitor to FIFA to a free-to-play option has yet to be successful thus far. EFootball 2022 got severe criticism for its disastrous debut and struggled to regain footing. Nevertheless, eFootball’ 23 now commences a fresh season with the aspiration of providing a worthwhile gaming experience that captures players’ interest.
eFootball 2023 is a much better and improved game than its predecessor eFootball 2022. However, it’s more complex than that. Firstly, eFootball 2023 is not an entirely new game like we often see in annual sports games released yearly. Instead, it is more like a new “Season” with some gameplay updates added along the way. If you want a fresh football game experience after playing eFootball 2022, then eFootball 23 might not be for you. While there have been some tweaks and improvements since the initial release of the free-to-play version, there are a few areas where Konami’s efootball has made significant changes to consider it a whole new experience.
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The gaming community has provided substantial positive and negative feedback for eFootball 2023, a game available on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC. We have gathered all the reliable reviews for eFootball PES 2023 that we have encountered thus far.
eFootball 2023 Review: What’s new?
When it comes to Konami, they highly value the gameplay experience. The company, known for its presence in the field, has experienced significant changes with each data update. eFootball has made notable progress in terms of games. The initial release of the Online Performance Test, a disaster, has been enhanced. However, for this discussion, the focus will be on the gameplay in Update 2.0.
When compared to the original release-day game, it’s night and day. When compared to 1.0, it’s more sundown than sunup. The dribbling that so many, including myself, loved from 1.0 had a nice balance with a defence that made you defend with timed challenges.
In version 2.0, the emphasis has shifted towards defensive moves with excessively strong tackles that offset the dribbling, which remains as good as in version 1.0. The capability to navigate challenges with specific players was enjoyable and crucial for a few reasons. Firstly, it helped beat the initial opponent and either opened up some space to dribble towards the goal or generated a more advantageous passing angle to advance the ball through a forward pass.
The new version 2.0 of the game forces even the most skilled players to get easily pushed off the ball unless they use the shield command, which still needs improvement. The lack of balance I previously mentioned means that quick one-touch passes to speed up the game is the most common strategy to beat a press. This leads to continuous action from one end of the field to the other. Additionally, playing online often requires a slight delay, encouraging players to adopt this fast-paced style rather than playing at different speeds. In contrast, offline play is more favourable because not all AI teams apply pressure; some prefer to drop their defence levels, indicated by the light blue colour, allowing their team to defend deeper in their half.
In addition to the numerous instances where having freedom with the ball works to your disadvantage, players also appear to lack the ability to follow the ball. The fundamental principle of soccer is always to keep an eye on the ball, but unfortunately, in version 2.0, the players fail to track the ball accurately. Additionally, the game sometimes compels you to pass to players you did not intend to pass to. This is usually why many PES players opt for full manual control, although it requires courage to play completely unassisted online.
Far too often, players frequently lose sight of the ball, and then you have to switch to them manually, which leads to a slight pause when your newly selected player gets involved. These minor interruptions can significantly impact a fast-paced game like eFootball'[ 23. These two problems are among the main reasons for the inconsistent outcomes experienced in online matches.
Version 2.0 of the game has its positives when it comes to gameplay. Engaging in AI Events and competing against the computer can be enjoyable due to the extended matches and diverse AI strategies, which provide a refreshing change from the repetitious Quick Counter/Possession tactics commonly used online. It would be great to have an Edit Mode feature that allows us to view authentic club names, official badges, and kits. I dedicate much of my eFootball experience to playing against AI opponents.
This update’s kicking and passing animations are more diverse and seamless than any previous ones. In every match I play, I consistently come across fresh animations, and once Player ID is fully reintroduced, we will witness the most polished PES/eFootball game ever.
The core aspects and principles of the game have been established, and Konami will enhance certain aspects of the game’s mechanics (such as collisions and movement) while gradually reintroducing beloved features like Player ID and ball physics. Achieving the ideal balance is undoubtedly challenging in today’s sports video game genre. Fans worldwide are requesting gameplay updates, and they desire the same transparency that companies like EA demonstrate with FIFA’s Pitch Notes, so they can evaluate the changes and form their judgments.
eFootball 2023 Review: What has not changed?
First, the available game modes in eFootball have mostly stayed the same in recent updates. This means that there are limited options for offline play against AI. Although there are Starter Events against the AI that offer rewards like GP, the main focus is still on online play, specifically League Play and Worldwide Clubs. Unfortunately, these diversions can become monotonous and uninteresting because, with each new season, you face overpowered teams in the lower divisions. While it can be satisfying to defeat these expensive teams, many players are discouraged from playing against them if they start their eFootball journey.
The biggest downfall of eFootball 2023 lies in its live service, which is quite ironic given the lack of other diversions. Compared to FIFA 23 by EA Sports, Konami’s game needs more unique content. However, this also makes it easier to handle the Dream Team mode in eFootball’ 23 compared to FIFA 23’s Ultimate Team.
This aspect largely relies on the player’s thoughts and preferences. The Dream Team mode will seem lukewarm if they are fine with the ongoing effort for improved benefits. On the other hand, it will be ideal for individuals needing more time to dedicate to a solitary game.
Moreover, getting more highly-ranked cards in the Dream Team is easy. Numerous methods exist to earn top-tier currencies, and Konami regularly distributes exclusive cards. Thus, building an impressive team doesn’t require much effort. Each card is accompanied by a year-long contract, providing plenty of time. The Dream Team may become tedious for certain individuals, but the overall content available in eFootball’ 23 has expanded.
In general, the Dream Team might seem repetitive for a few, but the overall available content in eFootball 2023 has expanded. Furthermore, the recent FIFA World Cup introduced numerous unique cards and personalized occasions, which provided additional incentives to the community.
The lack of a career mode is a significant missing part of the game. This means that players who enjoy selecting and gradually improving a club will not find any specific feature for this purpose. Konami has stated that a manager mode will eventually be added to through downloadable content, but a timeline has yet to be given. The fact that there is no functional not online diversion has left many community members feeling disappointed.
Although there have been some improvements since its first launch, referees in eFootball 2023 primarily act as spectators as they witness defenders engaging in excessive physicality with attackers without any fear of being penalized for a foul.
In the latest 2.0 update, the balance has favoured defenders, causing the risk/reward dynamic that was effectively achieved after the 1.0 update to disappear. The most prevalent method of defending now involves forcefully barging in and repeatedly executing tackles and/or shoulder barges.
The pairing of online lag and Konami is like Jurgen Klopp and high defensive lines. Despite being a game that focuses on esports and fostering players together across various platforms, the online lag encountered can quickly ruin the experience. Not only do you have to contend with your opponent, but you also find yourself battling against the game itself due to delays in input and sporadic interruptions.
The contrast between online and offline is strikingly different, with offline play offering a remarkably seamless and swift experience. Similar to many other games, eFootball 2023 is plagued by questionable cheaters. However, with limited options for gameplay and a focus on facilitating crossplay, it needs to deliver a reliable online experience.
Although the online experience could be improved, one area in which Konami could improve is by including more options for online matchmaking filters, particularly pass support options. In any online soccer game, certain players prefer to use high levels of assistance for passing, resulting in a game that feels like ping pong as players continuously pass the ball with one touch. This is likely done to reduce online lag. Still, this argument loses credibility when encountering players with flawless connections, suggesting laziness is the only reason for their preference. Manual players have long desired the ability to play with fellow like-minded individuals, but they are currently compelled to take the risk of being matched with random players.
One of the major complaints I observe on social media about Fight Forever revolves around its visuals. Some individuals argue that it resembles a PlayStation 2 game. Others expressed dissatisfaction with certain wrestlers’ character designs. I understand these concerns, but it’s not as terrible as some make it out to be. The contrast between how different characters appear can be quite drastic. For instance, some wrestlers look incredibly lifelike such as Thunder Rosa, Adam Cole (Bay-Bay), Kenny Omega, Miro, Cody and Dustin Rhodes, Jon Moxley, Sting, Kris Statlander, Darby Allin, and the list goes on. However, some wrestlers could benefit from some improvements, like Ricky Starks, Eddie Kingston, and even AEW World Champion MJF, to name a few.
Every wrestler has approximately 20 different moves at their disposal. A gentle press of the X button on the PS5 controller will initiate a mild grappling action. By then, you can indicate any direction using the left analogue stick and complement it with the X button to execute a specific move. Adding to this, if you simultaneously press square, you will unleash a striking attack. Generally, these lighter grapples consist of fundamental wrestling techniques like suplexes, headlock takedowns, or power slams. This same control scheme applies to stronger grappling actions, which can be executed by holding the X button. These moves are more personalized to each wrestler.
For those who appreciate good gameplay and exceptional visuals, eFootball 2023 combines positive and negative aspects. They continue to disappoint. The appearance and design of player face and models do not contribute to this problem, so I have no grievances. However, the quality of the grass, the initial visual element that catches my attention during a soccer match, is comparable to that of the PS3 era.
Although some players have gotten used to the upgraded grass/turf modifications, engaging in a game on grass that does not resemble what we observe on television is disheartening. Moreover, the visual portrayal of the audience still needs to be better, as there are numerous replicated models scattered throughout the crowd that you might rarely come across. This may be the sacrifice we must make for the ability to play across different platforms. Still, ultimately it only supports the group that posits this as a mobile adaptation or contends that it is suffering due to the inclusion of mobile players.
eFootball feels improved compared to its previous version but remains a slow-paced soccer game. Although soccer is known for being slow-paced, eFootball could use more speed to add excitement. Currently, it feels light and lacks intensity in tackles.
eFootball 2023 is undoubtedly the best iteration of the game so far, yet it still has flaws. It takes a long time to find a match. After finding an opponent, you might have to wait several minutes while they adjust their settings. It’s still a huge omission that there is still no Master League in the game.
All the content is free, and the increased rewards allow players to develop their squads without spending money. However, being free doesn’t excuse the game’s shortcomings; fans can give it a chance.
While the available content may be insignificant, it is a good option for those on a tight budget who prefer to avoid games requiring excessive grinding.