Konami’s eFootball — this is the former Pro Evolution Soccer, in case you missed that — will finally get its full launch on April 14, more than six months after a terrible launch that sank it to the bottom of Steam’s worst-reviewed games.
eFootball version 1.0 was originally expected in November. When the free-to-play game launched with a slew of embarrassing graphical glitches, and its promises of overhauled gameplay failed to materialize, Konami put those plans on hold in order to repair the rest of the game.
In a blog post on Wednesday, Konami Digital Entertainment said, “we believe we have finally reached a level of quality that we can be confident of. [...] Rest assured, we still have some more functionalities that will be implemented in future updates, so keep an eye out for further information in the future. In the meantime, we certainly hope you enjoy this ‘New Soccer Game’!”
Patch 1.0 will add a new mode of play, “Dream Team,” formerly called “Creative Team.” Although somewhat like Ultimate Team modes seen in FIFA and other sports video games, Dream Team will let users choose their favorite players and managers, rather than randomly collecting players and trying to make the best team from them. Players can then take the team into online multiplayer or single-player vs. CPU competitions.
Prior to Patch 1.0, the game basically had one mode of play: local and online matches using one of nine clubs. A content roadmap published over the summer called for Dream Team and cross-platform multiplayer support to be added in the next major update. Wednesday’s blog post did not mention cross-platform support. Nor did it say anything about the Match Pass system of unlockable content that was supposed to support the game.
In terms of gameplay changes, Konami says it has responded to players’ criticisms of the game’s defense and changed some of the controls to make that more intuitive. “Pressing commands that were available in previous installments will also be reintroduced into the game,” the blog post said. eFootball 1.0 will also add “shoulder charge” and “call for pressure” commands to help players.
Passing, which players said was too slow and involved too many unforced errors, has been improved and rebalanced, Konami said. “We have generally increased the pass speed so that the pace of the game matches with the aforementioned defense-related improvements,” it added.
The rest of the blog post has a lot more detail about what is coming in Patch 1.0.
eFootball is available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. For 2020, Konami Digital Entertainment took a year off from PES’ annual launch schedule to remake the game in Unreal Engine 4, dropping the old Fox Engine developed for the Metal Gear franchise.
Currently, it has an aggregate user score of 1.45 based on 28,565 reviews on Steam, good for second place in Steam250.com’s Hall of Shame. It had been the worst overall until December’s War of the Three Kingdoms, a free-to-play card collection game heavily criticized for its microtransactions and monetization scheme.