EFOOTBALL PES 2020 REVIEW Danilo D’Ambrosio goes with an outstretched foot off an opponent throw, seeks some space on the right and climbs into it. He looks up and sees that Radja Nainggolan’s made a smart run clear of his Bologna marker and deftly out-foots it to catch his line, whereupon Nainggolan ravenously eats the ball and the yards before him. It’s a few seconds of lithe, deeply human football that is chopping off half of the enemy team, and with the final third theirs for keeping, my Inter attackers are coming down on the field, smelling blood.

Perisic is the spearhead of that moving line, and with a finely balanced strike, Naingollan picks him out. All he has to do is dink it up past the flailing arm of the manager. He surrenders on the jog and lets the ball roll past him harmlessly.

PES 2020

Such is the freeform, mercurial football that PES has practiced for several years now, generally persuasive and often disappointing. Only this time it’s not called football, it’s eFootball, the character added probably some kind of enthusiastic nod at esports.

Nevertheless, don’t be eFooled, the modes remain the same as they always were: become a Hero zooms the microscope in on a single player and helps you to live a life— though nothing as choreographed as FIFA’s The Journey— while the Master League is there to chase team glory in offline form for a long time, and MyClub offers the main showpiece: a full-fat, menu-laden odyssey of online competition, team-building, team-building,… Local gaming, along with classes, quick play and co-op, offers a new Matchday feature comparable to limited-time attacks in MMOs. Of course we know these things: they’ve been that way since Pangea’s inception in ocean of games.

What’s improved is what’s happening on the field, slightly but perceptibly. In all aspects of the game there’s an influx of new graphics and the end result is indeed a more authentic football game. That’s not to suggest it’s always a prettier one — for every new bit of a bicycle kick mocap, an awkward end, or a throw that would have been right at home in the Joga Bonito ads, there’s a multitude of different ways to show players tussling each other, miskicking the goal, slipping or crowding each other out.

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