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eFootball 2022 Review - The 'Dad Bod' of Video Games

efootball 2022 impressions


eFootball 2022 Review - The 'Dad Bod' of Video Games

This is a big year for Konami’s PES series. With the full rebranding to eFootball 2022, Konami has gone with a free-to-play model that caught the attention of many, including myself. With an early Online Performance Test to gauge its online architecture, Konami is attempting full-on cross-play at some point this year with eFootball 2022. Before that can happen, Konami has to release the game in its current state. With so many future promises of features and updates, it’s time to look at what’s here right now with our (in progress in perpetuity) eFootball 2022 review.

eFootball 2022 Review – What I Like

eFootball Reveal trailer

It’s Free

I thought long and hard about what to include in this section. There are some positives with eFootball such as the ball being more free, but even that needs some work as ball physics aren’t what they used to be. After much thought, “it’s free” is what I settled on. The community is upset — and those members have every right to be — but just think about the reactions if folks had paid for this.

On the flip side, just because the game is free doesn’t mean we should give eFootball 2022 a pass. That’s not what I’m saying at all. What I am trying to state is that you’re free to move on from eFootball 2022 if you don’t like it without any remorse. The casual fan who wants to check out a footy game might get sucked in by the free-to-play element of it, but the deterrent ($) to delete the game isn’t there.

What I Don’t Like – eFootball 2022 Review

Normally, here’s where I’d detail a list of the items, whether they be gameplay or off-the-pitch related, I’m not particularly fond of. With so much wrong with this release, I’m instead going to run through my first impressions of all things eFootball 2022 from the moment it appeared on the PlayStation Store.

Where Is It?

First and foremost, finding the game was tricky enough. Rumors around the actual release time were flying around on Twitter. Although the original date was slated for the 30th, the differences in time zones meant that it was available for us here in the US at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST on the 29th.

But where exactly was it? Well, I had to go to the eFootball game on the PS Store, bypassing the $39.99 Pre-Pack Edition to click on “Full Game” where I could finally download it. Although Konami insisted that it wasn’t a demo, the title of the game when it downloaded actually said “demo” on it. That being said, the total file size is roughly 42 GB, which puts it significantly behind NBA 2K21 (about 104 GB) and FIFA 22 (about 52 GB). A bigger file size doesn’t necessarily equate to a better game, but what it does potentially allude to is a bare-bones product that I think we all knew eFootball was going to be.


Immediately after loading up once the full game was downloaded, you’re treated to the worst color scheme you could imagine. Now, blue and yellow have looked good in recent years for my beloved Chelsea’s away kits as well as Arsenal, but as a choice for a menu it’s downright awful — as is the eFootball logo that blatantly mimics the euro logo. Perhaps it’s foreshadowing the eventual death by microtransactions, but again, how this made it past focus groups is beyond me.

Beyond the team selection menu, many of the menus are distracting, not user friendly, and at times they even make it hard to read the on-screen text. It seems like every year menus are a point of contention with Konami’s soccer franchise, so at least the company is consistent here.

Demo Settings

Most of us knew that only nine teams would be included in the demo, but to be honest, this wasn’t sold as a demo so it’s a bit misleading how some options are locked. Match time is limited to five-minute halves. You cannot change any weather settings, and for some reason only two difficulty levels are enabled, Regular and Superstar.

There are nine teams to use for matches against the AI, but if you play online there are a host of other teams to choose from. So why can’t we use these other clubs versus the AI? Again, this wasn’t billed as a demo but everything in it screams that it is. There’s even a tutorial disguised as “Training” that completely neglects to show you the on-screen controller commands as it does earlier in the video. You can thankfully change the camera angle from this new duel camera, which isn’t a very good camera to play on, especially online where most players use zoomed-out angles to see more of the pitch.

eFootball 2022 review


The pre-match activities were something from the trailers and Online Performance Test that I enjoyed, but after seeing them a few times I’m already skipping them. I do like the panoramic shots of the stadiums before the match with the pitch being watered and spectators making their way to their seats. The kit selection screen looks nice as do the warm-ups, but it’s here where we get our first taste of what the graphics will look like.

Before you enter the match, the Gameplan menuthat veteran PES players spend a decent amount of time in has been dumbed down and presented horizontally as opposed to vertically, which is how it was presented in eFootball PES 2021 Season Update. You can still move players around, but the tactics that we have all became familiar with over the past few years have been dumbed down with only five offensive team play styles available — and oddly no defensive tactics to choose from. I’m not sure if they’ll get patched in at some point, but how can you have one without the other?

Overall, everything so far seems bare bones and stripped down to the core, which doesn’t help to silence the whispers about this basically being a mobile game.


If this is being marketed as “next-gen graphics,” then I think I need to get my eyes checked. Kit textures look nice as do some of the more recognizable faces, but that’s about it. The crowd, which looked half decent last year is downright laughable. From the repeated models to the washed out pixels, the crowd looks like a throwback to the PS2 days where developers had to sacrifice crowd visuals for better graphics on the field.

Next up in the long line of disappointing visuals is the grass, which looks washed out and appears that players aren’t actually stepping on it, rather gliding on it. The authentic stadiums that are included in the game do look nice and the lighting is generally good, but there’s an odd silver/gray glow that illuminates around the players while moving. It’s like early green screen technology in use, and it’s something that wasn’t in PES last year.

I mentioned player faces before, and while some are good, the generic faces are again a huge letdown and look very out of place. None of this is as shocking or as scary as the odd mouth movements the players make in what I can only guess at Konami’s attempt at showing player emotion. This game has disappointing graphics, and considering what we were shown from the Unreal Engine in the engine reveal trailer, this isn’t close to the standard we expected.


eFootball 2022 gameplay

Now, here’s where the real problems begin. The game is as buggy as any AAA sports game I’ve played, including PES 2014 which was pretty bad at release but eventually became a decent game of footy after several patches. From the start, the passing speed is insanely slow, and with Konami changing up the pass assistance it’s hard to put any type of pace on ground passes.

After you kickoff, you’ll notice the sluggishness and lack of response by players when controlling the ball. It’s bad enough that Konami changed the dribble mechanics, which now means R2/RT serve as both sprint and dribbling mechanics depending on how hard you depress the button. With haptics not in the game, it’s hard to get a feel for this new feature, which should have been patched in later like “Sharp Kicks” — which again, will also be tied to R2/RT.

Returning back to passing, let me just say that it’s hard, which I would not mind at all if it were consistent. However, even with Pass Assistance Level 3 there are times where the ball just doesn’t go to the player I was trying to get it too. It seems like the game just determines when passing errors will occur, and it doesn’t matter if you’re playing way out of the back or through on goal with a 2-on-1 opportunity, it’s all completely random.

The overall game speed and match tempo isn’t bad, but it feels forced in the sense that the only time your players move quickly is when you mash the turbo button. Turning and dribbling are sluggish due to the lack of response, and while player weight and momentum have always been a staple of PES, those things do not feel as good as they used to.

Not only are there issues with player movement, but player awareness, which has always been hit or miss depending on the Data Pack, is really poor this year. Players completely ignore the ball at times when it’s passed to them, and the dreaded “run back to your position” issue still persists. Super Cancel is still in the game, but I’m afraid I’m going to wear out those two buttons if Konami doesn’t address this issue soon.

Player collisions, warping limbs, disappearing players, and other hilarious bugs have all made the rounds on Twitter. It seems like every time I play a match I see a new bug. Look, with demos you can expect to see bugs here and there, but as we saw with the Andrew Bynum NBA Elite glitch from years back, these type of bugs can ruin your game to the point where it’s hard to recover from it all.

Further down the list of gameplay issues — but equally as important — is the collision system or lack there of. Not only are the collisions visually appalling, but obvious fouls such as slide tackles from behind aren’t called. The ball this year is a little more free, but it seems as if the game cannot determine what’s a foul and what isn’t due to the ball not being glued to your foot. Keepers, which Konami cleaned up after years of being subpar, are back to being insanely bad. They often leave their box to close down an attacker that’s in no position to threaten the goal, therefore leaving a wide open net for you to pass into.

Before you even get into the box, the defending needs serious work. I do like the responsiveness of the tackle button in terms of how fast the animation plays out after you hit the tackle button. It’s one area I’d like to see improved in the FIFA series, but the new matchup mechanic seems like second-man press, which was supposed to be taken out of game as a way to increase the skill gap and appeal to competitive players.

Player switching has its issues too as too often the game selects the wrong player for you. Perhaps it’s a skill gap thing and we all have to get used to pointing in the direction we want to switch to, but on the fully assisted switch settings the game should be smarter in who it selects next for us.

All in all, when it comes to gameplay, eFootball 2022 is in bad shape. If eFootball 2022 were a shape, it would be a dad bod. It kind of resembles something that used to be good in the past, but it’s still a good year and some life changes away from being able to take its shirt off at the pool.

efootball 2022 leaked videos

Bottom Line

Somehow, despite the poor trailer, misleading information, and money hungry cash grab that the Premium Player Pack DLC was/is, the game was released and managed to be worse than expected. There are bits and pieces here and there that have promise, and while it still feels a little like a PES game, there’s so much to fix at this point it begs the question, “Whose idea was it to green light this game?”

Was Konami trying to rush to get this out before FIFA 22 officially released? Maybe. But after playing eFootball 2022, I can’t imagine too many folks will be sticking with it right now. I’m sure Konami got what it wanted by way of downloads, but was it worth all the community backlash? PES/eFootball is a community game, one where the community took what Konami did and enhanced it, whether that be through PC mods, Option Files, or tactical guides. It created a sense of togetherness and community, as well as generating the feeling that no matter how small it may be you were a part of making this game better.

Even the decision to take a year off was universally applauded, but after two years of development this is the game Konami has released? The next big update is supposed to bring in some new modes and game mechanics, so I wouldn’t fault anyone who deletes the game and gives it a go then because, at this point, there’s only one direction eFootball 2022 can go, right?


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  1. "Was Konami trying to rush to get this out before FIFA 22 officially released? Maybe."
    Given the last 3 months of how this release was handled this has a high probability of being true. I believe whatever build Spoony and PESuni played was actually good. Konami having already blown past their typical release date were scrambling to stay in the conversation. Well they succeeded but for all the wrong reasons. When ESPN, and other non gaming sites are joining in on the dog pile then it's safe to say "ya done f---ed up". I guess if Madden can go two years in a row with a sub 1.0 user score on metacritic eFootball could do the same. The only thing eFootball has going for it is that it's free so people might give it another go.
    It truthfully blows me away how this has gone. Konami has never really been known to listen to their community but this is straight up weird.
    It feels like they were genuinely surprised of how that trailer was received and even went as far as justifying it with promise of what we hadn't seen.
    Now that we've played the game, yikers. I cant imagine anyone saying the game we got isn't way worse than could be imagined. It's that bad, in every way. Everything is a step back from previous versions.
    The saying "crazy people don't know they are crazy" seems pretty fitting here. I genuinely get the impression Konami doesn't know how bad this is.
    At least NBA Elite had the good sense of pulling the plug. What's really funny is I've played NBA Elite on a PS3 emulator and it's miles better at replicating a functioning sports game than efootball 22.
    If we are going with parent analogies like dad bod I think it's fitting to be a dad and say to Konami, "im not mad, I'm dissapointed". This is just sad.
    It’s obvious that they rushed this thing out to try to beat FIFA. I mean, as you stated in the review, it looks horrible, the gameplay is janky as all hell and the fact that you can only use 9 teams is disgusting.
    A good game released after FIFA is always better then a pile of **** before FIFA. It is beyond me why they released it at all. I dont like to make things personal, but the biggest PES critic before becoming an employer at Konami, Adam Bhatti surely must be ashamed of what they've released. Of course he can't state this out loud and he has to defend his employer, but man, surely he must be feeling pretty bad about this game as well. If he was still a PES fan/critic, surely he would have called Konami out.
    The paid game the will release later is the same base game, it is stated like that on their website, so dont expect the paid game being any better then this FTP thing. If they want to save some grace, they need to do a total 180 with this franchise on consoles. If not, we are stuck with a mobile game converted to consoles, that quite frankly, no adult is going to play. Sad to see this once proud frachise being flushed down the toilet like this.
    The paid game the will release later is the same base game, it is stated like that on their website, so dont expect the paid game being any better then this FTP thing..

    There isn't a paid version. The 39.99 "pre-order" is for people who wants some coins and some "exclusive" chance at some cards in whatever the MyClub replacement will. Any additional modes will be paid DLC but the base game ie exhibition online h2h I believe will remain free.
    nothing new with Konami in the last 7 years I and  everyone I know  in japan who work with Konami all hate work for them they only focus on games for mobiles, good luck with that, there many reasons why Kojima left this toxic company who does late payments for freelances
    Worst PES game of all time. Really, it's not even PES anymore. After changing the name to eFootball it was pretty much a sign that they were going for microtransactions and mobile gaming bs. EA sucks with their FUT garbage as well, but at least they continue to improve career mode and try new stuff like volta, journey and hypermotion. Konami have basically ruined the game from top to bottom and it's just a shell of it's former self from back in the glory days of the PS2 era.
    After playing this last night my concern quickly turned this the end of PES???*
    The controls were horrendous and virtually unplayable especially from a defensive approach. Having two years in development is even more concerning.* My best comparison would be similar to when EA brought back NBA Live which didn't go over well.*
    Also, I totally agree with the menu colors being awful. And why is Messi wearing an eFootball shirt? Why does the E look like a Euro sign or something you would use for microtransactions and why is it on the score board? Just terrible from top to bottom. 
    It's probably not available to the public but has it ever been stated how much money these exclusive deals that get signed are costing. It's just hard to believe that whatever money was paid to get the likes of Juventus, Atlanta, Man U, Arsenal, Serie A etc don't come cheap and that releasing a game/demo in this state doesn't somehow hurt the prospects of keeping or voiding those deals. Given the backlash it not only hurts Konami but to some extent the clubs and leagues that signed the deal to some extent.
    I'm not a series vet, but I liked the running momentum at least. I don't really play too many soccer games though but that type of momentum could be used in other sports as well like american football.
    I see this game getting SLAMMED but I found it to be OK - not really my cup of tea though. I downloaded it partially to see what all the flack was about but it didn't see as horrendous as many people say. Nothing to compare it to really though as the last PES I played was maybe 5-6 years ago and I don't play fifa since the early 2000s
    It's probably not available to the public but has it ever been stated how much money these exclusive deals that get signed are costing. It's just hard to believe that whatever money was paid to get the likes of Juventus, Atlanta, Man U, Arsenal, Serie A etc don't come cheap and that releasing a game/demo in this state doesn't somehow hurt the prospects of keeping or voiding those deals. Given the backlash it not only hurts Konami but to some extent the clubs and leagues that signed the deal to some extent.

    Juventus and Bayern must be kicking them self big time. I know most Bayern fans were pissed when the club signed this deal and they couldn't have their real stadium in FIFA even though the Bundesliga is fully licensed in the game. I can't see such clubs wanting to be linked to this disaster much longer. Hopefully it wasn't a multi year deal and they can get out of it, because FIFA is the much better game and it's not even close anymore.
    At least if you wanna play the proper PES game you can still play the PC versions with the realism mods, which are a million times better than anything Konami ever made.

    Given the backlash it not only hurts Konami but to some extent the clubs and leagues that signed the deal to some extent.

    It's possible, but this mindset is one of the reasons companies are not interested in jumping in to compete with the likes of Madden, NBA 2K, FIFA, The Show, etc. The modern idea that putting out a flawed game embarrasses the real life sport/teams that it is representing, and there's too much money involved to even bother risk trying. It's why we used to have a ton of licensed sports titles out every year, and now we have...not as many.
    Is it possible for them to disappoint more than they already have? Guess we'll find out in 3 weeks. Will we at least get the version Spoony got to try a few weeks back? Even a version of "new football game" with better graphics would be an improvement over the "demo".
    So I played a quick match yesterday (well it's always quick when you can't adjust the game length lol). It's still just so amazing that somebody pushed this out the door. There were a few brief moments were it's like yeah this looks solid then you see two players collide one flops to the ground and teleports 10 yards away then the other tumbles backwards losing the ball in a third direction. Another moment you'll see a beautiful bit of skill then the player starts turning with the speed of a WWII tank. Next week we'll see if we'll be able to salvage this.
    Also funny they are still running weekly events. I know Juventus made a tweet about one of them. Are people actually playing these events how can the stomach it.
    Edit: Apparently the update isn't happening to sometime in November now. Ship is steadily sinking.
    Sent from my Pixel 4a (5G) using Operation Sports mobile app

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