eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020 PlayStation 4 Review

eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020 delivers an experience that competes with real-life footballing.

By RON, Posted 29 Sep 2019

It’s been a long evolutionary journey for the PES series over the past years. Pro Evolution Soccer didn’t just get a new release in 2020, but also a name change to eFootball PES, which may just be Konami’s finest soccer simulation produced so far. Online play has lately been the focus, and this release continues making it a top priority. While their undying license problem is still very much present, having to lost the official license for clubs such as Liverpool, the title has managed to secure those of Manchester United and, exclusively, Juventus. Despite the name change and all, the realistic gameplay and in-pitch superiority that PES is known for have made it into this year’s installment, as have a number of changes.

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eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020 feels yet slower than its previous release, making its gameplay seem a bit sluggish at first. After a few matches, however, you’ll notice that the change supports the ball physics, which feel more precise. This gives the ball a tangible feeling of weight with each pass, dribbling or sprint. Unlike previous releases, superstar players can’t simply just run past everyone with the ball glued to their feet. The more matches you play, the easier it is to notice the subtle details behind controlling different players.

eFootball PES 2020 has improved the first-touch control mechanic which was introduced in PES 2019. This improvement can be felt as the weight of the ball varies when received from different distances. Due to this, controlling the ball feels more precise and even the slightest of touches while dribbling or passing can make a difference. It comes in handy especially when trying to create space for a pass or shots, or even defending a counter-attack. This also simulates the player’s reactions to countering or receiving the ball which can differ quite a bit from moment to moment. Obviously, newcomers will struggle a bit to adjust with such minutiae, but it’s very much worth it once you start getting a sense of the ball’s weight and player spacing. Both the veterans and newcomers get to encounter the change in spacing in eFootball PES 2020, with which they will surely have a love-hate relation. Those who love their PES matches fast-paced and filled with counter attacks will now have to learn to be more patient when it comes to ball possession. It’s all about creating empty spaces between defenders and chances for forwarders to score goals.

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Unlike the past releases, eFootball PES 2020 makes it fairly difficult (and often rather impossible) to get past defenders using speed unless enough space is being created for the forwarders to catch up with a through-ball or a lofted pass. If you plan to score from a distance, you’ll always encounter the opposition’s defenders in close proximity, looking to force a mistake. This is good news for those football fans who enjoy a well-played goalless match; they won’t take too long to understand the realism of the pacing and spacing of PES 2020. Most of it is down to how smooth the gameplay flows. It’s not an easy task to pull off gameplay that takes each player’s individual features into account. But PES 2020 manages quite well to combine each smooth animation, putting together quite a realistic display. Newly introduced, the game’s default camera angle, which emulates the regular TV broadcast, view helps by providing a comprehensive view of the pitch, aiding the action of creating spaces during gameplay through clearly showing the positioning of each player.

eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020 also introduces Miss-kicks and Finesse Dribbling as new features. Miss-kicks occur when players get carried away and try to take one touch shots hurriedly, while a simple dash from opposition players can also cause a miss-kick. They add a heightened sense of engagement during gameplay, as you need to time each pass and shots carefully. Each millisecond matters when it comes to giving away the possession, if not timed correctly, especially with when it comes to Finesse Dribbling. It’s easily one of the hardest controls to master, but also one of the handiest, and they’re done by tapping the right stick in different directions while already running with the left stick. PES already had plenty of skill moves which can be used to fool opposing players or neatly dodge them, but the variety of combinations now possible through Finesse Dribbling makes attacking feel a bit more fluid and controlled. That being said, it can also be useful when facing a single defender or trying to outrun one while catching up with a through ball. However, as it’s difficult to master and pull off in most cases, results may vary. As long as there is a bit of empty space around for the player to make a run, however, Finesse Dribbling is definitely a skill to employ.


If the gameplay has made steps forward, the commentary sounds like it hasn’t improved since PES 2015. Most of the comment lines are same, becoming repetitive, and sometimes irrelevant. Discussing the tactics selected by the teams can make commentary sound more realistic and accurate, however there’s currently nothing like that on show. Thankfully though, the Manager mode in Master League has finally been given some attention. Despite the newly discovered never-ending loading issues, there are plenty of new cutscenes featuring the club officials and the team manager. This might explain the lengthy loading times. It’s, nonetheless, good to see the manager’s activities off the pitch like dealing with the press and the club chairman. Sadly, however, myClub and Become a Legend have pretty much remained the same as last year. BAL, however, does benefit from the realistic controlling of the ball, courtesy of the previously discussed improvements. One major difference from the previous game is that when the player is making a run, he doesn’t reach to his top speed immediately, requiring some time to do so. Thus, when chasing a through ball or a lofted pass, a player must anticipate it and time his run accordingly.

myClub hasn’t received any noticeable changes in eFootball PES 2020, given the overhaul it saw last year. This means that, sadly, you still need to sign special scouts introduced each week with gold coins. This make the game points you earn pretty useless at some point. Earlier, players had to choose to either spend coins or game points for buying scouts to sign players. They can still do that, just not the special ones introduced each week. It’s common to find people that usually struggle with their myClub squad as the player signing is done through a lottery-like system and a need for the right player is always in demand. So, every week you end up spending most of your game points and coins signing special players. And, as coins come in a limited amount, this leads gamers to buy them using real money in order to sign more players and strengthen their squads.

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eFootball PES 2020 has introduced Matchday Live, which lets your take part in a specific game week in live-streamed finals. It’s an attempt at approaching eSports, but, as the match is played online, the gameplay isn’t nearly as fluid as it should be. Considering the waiting time to get in the game and disturbed gameplay due to connection speed it’s not one of the pleasant sides of PES 2020. Online gameplay has always been a problem area for Konami due to region-based connection issues, and it still persists here. It’s rare not to experience a disjointed gameplay or losing connection, resulting in a loss points most of the time. If eFootball’s concept should see the face of success, this has to be improved going forward.

PES fans have accepted that the licensing issue of this series is never likely to go away. And yet, despite all its shortcomings it’s pretty apparent that the series is heading in the right direction as far as delivering a flawless footballing experience goes. eFootball PES 2020 has improved significantly in terms of gameplay and it’s a delight to spend time in the pitch. At the same time, it fails to deliver a smooth online and flawless experience, something we dedicated PES fans have been waiting to for a while.

Sarwar Ron, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PS4
Publisher(s): Konami
Developer(s): Konami, Konami Digital Entertainment, PES Productions
Genres: Sports
Themes: Soccer
Release Date: 2019-09-10

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