The eFootball PES 2022 “Performance Test” (aka. demo) is a Hot Mess and I’m Worried

There’s Still a Lot of Work to Be Done

Konami and EA have been going head to head for the moniker of football king since 1994. Splitting fans, gamers have aligned with one of the titles due to how they depict the beautiful game. After a season-long hiatus, football fans around the world have been eagerly awaiting eFootball PES 2022, which has been built from the ground up on a new engine and promises to be a true ‘next-gen’ rendition of the sport.

After missing E3, many feared the worst but in an odd move, Konami stealth released a demo, kind of. Titled New Football Game Online Performance Test, the demo shows a bare-bones version of what the new release will be like.

The Good:

Gone are the PS2-era pre-match menus, finally bringing the presentation in line with modern sports titles. Although this may seem like a little change, it emphasizes that this is the next step in the evolution of the franchise.

Rather than the quick and fluid movement of FIFA, PES has focused on realism by adding weight to players which have been embellished in the latest iteration of the game. Although this means the game plays at a slower pace, each movement and action feels deliberate giving a sense of strategy to each attack.

You can feint, shift and bypass players which was previously too difficult in the eFootball PES 2021 Season Update. Due to the dynamic camera that zooms in for one on one encounters, each movement is noticeable and is further enhanced by the lovely animation.

The Bad:

Although the dynamic camera has its benefits, there are certainly some issues. Due to the amount that the camera zooms in, it’s difficult to see runs and players in space which can result in wayward passes. In the final release, I fully expect traditional cameras to be available, but for now, you’re stuck with one camera angle.

This is not the visual showcase fans expected. Character models look fine but they are far from what a ‘next-gen’ version should be. Fans bob up and down in unison as if they are on the dance floor whilst House of Pain’s Jump Around is on full blast. Also with no commentary, the repetitive audio soundbites are glaringly obvious and break the immersion of the game.

Controls are ingrained into gamers. It doesn’t matter which version of PES you pick up, the button layout has always been the same. For some odd reason, Konami has decided to change this, moving the sprint button to R2. This may not sound like a big issue but it’s a pointless change to an established control scheme. Maybe they will be making use of the adaptive triggers in the future but this isn’t apparent in the demo.

Okay, this is not an actual demo and this is stated several times when loading up the game. It’s a network test meaning you can only do online matches. There are a handful of teams available with zero customization. Yes, you cannot alter anything except your lineup. That means you will have to use the preset camera, formation and one stadium for each match.

An Odd Decision…

There are a few positives with this release and it definitely gives an insight into what the ‘next-gen’ version of the game may be like but it’s just a bizarre introduction to the new engine. If it’s to test the network, why not do a closed test, inviting select members of the massive fanbase? With this open test, the issues that are littered in the half-baked game are on show creating a worrying picture of what’s to come.

Thank you for keeping it locked on COGconnected.

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