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eFootball PES 2021 Season Update Review

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Fast Facts

eFootball PES 2021 Season Update

Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Website: https://www.konami.com/wepes/2021/us/en-us/all/
Genre: Sports
Platform: PS4
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 15/09/2020
Price: £24.99

A code was provided for review purposes.

Welcome to a review which I never thought I would get the chance to do, but when I had some spare time and the game review code was sent over, I could not pass on this opportunity to return to a game I played to death in the PS2 days in PES4, PES5 and PES6.

I was so into the games in my late teens/early 20s. I was one of the first competitive players in the UK at the game along with a few hundred others before Twitch, YouTube and online gaming was a thing. We used to meet up in random places in the county from Brighton to Birmingham, playing against each other in mini World Cup esc tournaments, cramped in small buildings with 16 TVs and 16 PS2 consoles battling hard. Eventually, this evolved to the PES League which was regional with the best player moving to a final (I actually made it to the PES5 one in BT Tower London), and it also spawned the North vs South tournament which I made the Quarter Finals.

PES 2021 Review
The new Master League interface

Unfortunately, next gen hit and PS3 and Xbox 360 versions never for me stood up to the old games. Something was missing, and then I took the step with work and the game problems to stop playing PES and moved over to FIFA with its own vices and grips.

After booting up eFootball PES 2021 Season Update game for the first time in 12 years, memories and expectations already there. Three games in and I’m glad I am back firmly in the PES camp. The feeling of passing around the defence and slowly building up to make space is back, and I can see why the previous version PES2020 won so many awards at E3 2019. Essentially this is PES2020 with updated players and kits with some UI changes, and that’s it; this is shown in the cheaper price.

PES 2021 PS4
The camera captures most of the action

Only Choice

Personally with the new console leap this year and no real next gen football title, this is a great time to miss out on the new FIFA and give eFootball PES 2021 Season Update your time and I think you won’t be disappointed.

I won’t bore you all with how to play a football game or why people pick FIFA or PES, but essentially PES uses square to shoot, and only a handful of teams are licensed in game. You have West London Blues for Chelsea for example, but this is all fixed with a great editor and if you have a PlayStation, a quick Google will throw you to sites who do a complete option file to download that changes everything in game to look official.

PES 2021 Review
Close-ups post game show off the graphics

I’ve started this review on day 1 after just 3 games and that would not be a fair reflection, so I’ve decided to start a Master League which is PES‘ own career mode. You take a club with either the actual players or a squad of made up youngsters and play out season after season, adding to the squad or developing talent. This is the core mode for single players and has been around since PES3 and I got to say it appears to be back to its best.

Konami also offer a day 1 live update which will add the latest data to squads and ratings; due to that, any ratings or team lineups you see will not be same data you get on release.

Master League

I’ve started my career as Maradona and the manager of Dunkirque in French League 2. I picked the manager as I thought he was a legend and Dunkirque as I love the place in real life, and also have a small love for history. I start with a Massive 35m transfer budget and 2.4m salary budget (you can adjust this when you start: very easy, easy, normal, hard). I went with easy just to experience buying, and then the gameplay on the middle of the 5 levels.

Become A Legend interface

I manage to sign Sarr from Nice, Lincoln from Flamengo and Igor Gomes from Sao Paulo. The board expect a top half finish in league 2; the three signings are all around 73 overall which is better than the 65ish ratings you start with in the youth squad option I went with, so all went straight into my team.

I go straight into the season with a 3-1 win and Lincoln debut hat trick, that feeling that this is my team and I want to develop it is back. One game into Master League and it has me!! I sat and played half a season; we are currently sitting 4th, and Lincoln has been a superstar, but what really stood out was the drama of matches.

When I lost it was due to the other team playing better, my team not being fit or from that last minute lack of concentration. I too snatched a 96th minute cup winner against a far superior team before being destroyed by a top tier club next round. That feeling that it’s fair is something I have not felt in any recent FIFA game.

PES 2021 PS4
Arsenal are one of the premierships licensed clubs

The Game Has Changed

You also have a Euro 2020 mode which is the game mode of the cancelled tournament, Myclub, which is PES‘ version of FIFA Ultimate Team. Spending real money on chances to get players for an online team, Become a Legend mode where you play as one player from the team and try and become a legend, Online modes and a weekly challenge cup mode.

Konami also do live updates changing player ratings, updating transfers and adding boots and faces during the season, which is a great addition.

The in game commentary is dire and you won’t buy this game to be impressed by the vocal game of the in game matches. It’s also near impossible to beat players with dribbling; unlike FIFA you have no skill moves bar the fake shot, feint and flick over, and the gameplay is noticeably slower than most.

PES 2021 Review
Every EURO 2020 team is present, even my homeland Gibraltar

The graphics are stunning, at times some of the players look almost lifelike and compared to FIFA, which let’s be honest is the main and only competition, it looks great. They have focused on making player animate like real life, if it’s Bale’s crossing or Ronaldo’s run, it’s all here. The flicks and runs look exceptional when I compare them to other games. Konami have really pulled the boat out here and I can see why they went with an update to the current game.

Sure, sometimes the player will miss the ball or your pinpoint pass will be wasted as your player pushes it too far ahead, but that’s football right?

I didn’t try online prior to release due to no servers, but speaking to a friend who played the 2020 version, it was a much improved service but still lacks when compared to EA’s efforts.

Overall

PES 2021 PS4
Editing players has never been so in depth

I was more than impressed with eFootball PES 2021 Season Update and it has taken me back to the good days, stuck me firmly in the single-player football game mindset and took the frustration of online away from me. I think this will be my football game of choice this year, I can’t wait to get a few years into Master League, tackle the Euros and maybe become a legend!

If FIFA has you frustrated, take this year to try eFootball PES 2021 Season Update, you won’t regret it.

Rapid Reviews Rating

You can purchase eFootball PES 2021 Season Update for PS4 at the following link: PlayStation Store.

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