2022's New Football Games
For years FIFA and PES have been at the heart of the football gaming scene—almost entirely unopposed—and reaped the rewards of controlling this immensely popular market. This year, however, with a couple of new IPs on the horizon, 2022 promises to mark one of the greatest reforms in the landscape of football video games since the release of the very first FIFA title in 1993. The two Goliaths that once ruled the realm of football simulators are set to face stern competition for their thrones. Naturally, this is an exciting revelation because it will push developers to elevate their products and put forth the best versions of their yearly football titles. In this article, we will examine the current state of the football gaming industry while also looking to the future and delving into the new IPs that are set to be released.
FIFA 22 - The Worlds Game
This year with FIFA 22, EA has delivered a tidy but generally underwhelming and uninspired entry to their coveted global franchise. For the most part, FIFA 22 is another case of EA over-relying on their golden goose which is the vast array of licenses and club partnerships available at their disposal. This coupled with the astute visual presentation and the grand variety of game modes makes the final package feel more well-rounded and complete than other football games released this year. That being said, it seems you can’t teach an old dog new tricks because FIFA 22 is as comfortable with its lack of innovation as the average fan is playing and rediscovering the new game. Very few efforts are made to reinvent the wheel or simply improve on the previous game—click here to read more about the new features introduced in FIFA 22. The inflated promises of hyper-motion and the power of next-generation consoles expectedly fall flat on their face and serve more as trivial distractions rather than inciting tangible changes to gameplay. Lucky for EA, their lack of ambition won’t be the main subject of criticism in the football gaming world this year. The hot seat is already occupied by KONAMI and the studios’ latest release: eFOOTBALL.
It is no secret that eFOOTBALL had a catastrophic launch. The release build of the game was so dreadful that it quickly became the subject of mass scrutiny and controversy in the football gaming community. In fact, the launch was so turbulent and so poorly received that it prompted an official apology delivered by Konami to their devoted fans. Playing the game firsthand gave us a clear understanding of why Konami felt the need to issue the apology. Every facet of the game is rotten, from top to bottom. The mechanics are clunky and unintuitive, the graphics are comically awful and the gameplay is painfully dull and repetitive. The only possible redeeming factor is the fact that Konami released the game as a free-to-play title. Interestingly the public was generally opposed to this decision with most PES fans going as far as to say that they would rather pay for the game if they could get the old PES back. Nevertheless, Konami are sticking to their guns and to their credit they have since released a statement explaining that eFOOTBALL will be receiving consistent and devoted support throughout its lifecycle. The hope is that these many updates will eventually elevate the game to the standards of quality and realism that Konami and the PES series in general, are known for. The first major update of the eFOOTBALL lifecycle is v1.0.
Following the backlash and criticism of eFOOTBALL’s launch state, Konami decided to issue a public statement in which they apologized to the fans and promised to continue improving and updating the game on a consistent basis: “this work will be continuously updated, quality will be improved and content will be added consistently.” To their credit, Konami has mostly delivered on the promise of consistent updates with the game receiving frequent patches and minor bug fixes contributing to a generally smoother gameplay experience. However, while the frequency of updates had been steady and commendable Konami had yet to deliver on the two most important fronts: content and gameplay. But as we know eFOOTBALL is still—controversially—a work in progress, which bring us to the new V1 update. The v1.0 patch has replaced the old v0.9.1 build of the game and improved drastically on the things that matter by adding fresh content and revamping the gameplay