Game Review: eFootball PES 2020 is battle of the feet

Updated: Sep 22, 2019, 08:01 IST | Jaison Lewis

Will PES 2020 finally break the reign of FIFA, or is it doomed to be second best? Read to find out

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eFootball PES 2020
Rating: 3.5/5
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Platform: PC, PS4, XBOX
Price: PC: Rs 3,900; PS4/XBOX: Rs 3,499

This year, PES has rechristened itself eFootball PES 2020. It is a bold move to call yourself the quintessential electronic version of football, but can it live up to the claim?

We all know FIFA is the reigning champion of football games in India and around the world, but there are many inaccuracies in the game. The way FIFA handles the ball and passes are unnatural and heavily favour the attacker, making it an unbalanced game. On the other hand, it is super simple to pick up and play and makes for a great party game.

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PES doesn't have these issues. Even in its current iteration, the game is well balanced and the ball and character animation are beautiful and life like. However, if this was the end of the story, PES would have been an instant winner.

To begin with, the new installment of the game looks good. Graphically, the game is the best it has ever been. There are a bunch of actual players listed with some good licences in place. The stadiums are meticulously recreated and the feel of being there is just exhilarating. Every game you play, especially with friends, will be filled with great moments—the sort of fluidity you can only see in a real game. All the modes are fun; we especially liked Become a Legend, where you get to craft and play a single character through their career. The mode lets you customise a character; you can make him look like you or someone famous. But, the options are limited and it maybe difficult recreating someone accurately. Nevertheless, handling just one player on the field and steering their career is satisfying. The MyClub mode lets you take on an entire club, letting you carve out a path to victory.

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The eFootball mode, though, was a hit-and-miss for us. Finding an opponent on the PS4 involved a lot of waiting, which wasn't fun.

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The issues don't end there; the in-game AI was riddled with problems. They sometimes let balls slip by and end up getting in the way of teammates, while approaching the goal. Thankfully, it doesn't happen a lot, but it is still annoying. The game is also constantly updating its player stats and other components of the game. It is frustrating because when that happens, you can't do anything, but wait.

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While calling yourself eFootball is a tall claim, there is no doubt that PES 2020 is a more accurate representation of the game. The ball mechanics, the players, the fumbles and the struggle to score every goal are a testament to how enjoyable this game is. That said, it might have a few takers, because the learning curve and the attention required is a lot more than a FIFA regular is willing to invest. If you are a FIFA gamer who loves the physical game as well, you should give PES a shot. It may surprise you.

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