The football gaming community has always debated about the two prominent games in the market over the years which is FIFA and PES. While FIFA has been known to grab all the licenses and celebrities, Konami has done that it can for PES and almost always got the gameplay bit right. Konami’s PES for the record has always been about the gameplay and not about the club and the player names. Here’s my review of the eFootball PES 2020.

Graphics, Music and Cinematics

To start off, the new PES 2020 comes with excellent visuals in the game, with excellent character models and audience and coach animations. But things may not be as pleasing when people launch the game. It seems PES 2020 still has the bad trait of poorly created menus. And these menus and the interface could sometimes be rather confusing. But moving on, the ball and gameplay animations are top notch. And what really pleases me is that Konami has actually improved on the player collisions and are pretty spot on about how a fall or tackle would be. A shoulder and shirt tug actually feels like one without being like the defending player rubberbanding.

The selection of music has always been one of the key additions to the FIFA and PES games, and it’s no exception this time around. It has quite a few catchy tracks that would obviously appeal to a lot of people. But music is of course a subjective matter. Another thing that I feel that needs mention is that the commentary during the game still tends to become repetitive when you’ve played the game for 40 hours.

PES 2020

The cinematics come into play when playing the career modes, and I did try playing a few different ones. But here again, it seems Konami has just developed a handful of character designs. And these character designs are rotated when different characters are selected by the user. And the cinematics are limited as well and seem to repeat for each season. We could definitely had done with a bit more variety with these.

PES 2020

The different modes in the game are pretty consistent to what we have seen previously. But the player designs have clearly taken a while for those players that they have the licenses for, and Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi look better than they ever have in either PES or FIFA. But it’s the design of the lesser known and generic players that still suffers. Some of the procedurally created characters in the career modes look just ridiculous, and just blatant copies of each others.

Trading players in the career modes have definitely become better and is quite a bit dynamic. You actually have to pre-plan quite a bit for purchasing costly players and still negotiations don’t always go your way. The rest of the modes are pretty much what we have seen up until now.

Controls and Gameplay

There hasn’t been any change in the controls of the game per se but the gameplay sure has evolved quite a bit. It is no longer just keep your players running on the field and then swap out a couple of them and have an almost as efficient team. Planning seems like a big part of the game and tough opponents will take a toll on your players. Stamina conservation seems like an important tactic and sometime coming back from a deficit becomes rather difficult when you’ve run the players too hard.

PES 2020

Tackling in the game has become more dynamic and recovering from a failed sliding tackle seems to take longer now. You either get those tackles in or face a very credible chance of conceding that goal. Goalkeeping ability definitely makes a very visible change in how they handle the offensive. As for the midfielders, holding on the ball while not sprinting is still the most effective way of retaining it, sprinting just categorically increases the chance of losing the ball. And this is true no matter how skilled the player with the ball is. Shooting and passing have definitely improved and its angles and uniqueness is absolutely upon the user or the users controlling the players on the field.

Should you buy the PES 2020?

PES 2020

The new PES 2020 may not have as many licenses as the new FIFA does, but it definitely is not being outdone on the field. The gameplay is as consistent from Konami if not better. The menus and the UI of the game could definitely do with some improvements, and those can be easily done. The commentary, animations and characters in the game surely could have done with a bit more variety. But when it comes to things that really matter, which is the gameplay, PES 2020 is top notch and uncompromising in its accurate depiction of action. Recommended for all football fans.

Rating: 3.5/5