eFootball 2022 is now the lowest rated game on Steam, less than a day after launch. Konami’s free-to-play ‘soccer platform’ was announced earlier this year as a successor to PES, with a base release planned to expand in perpetuity with optional DLC. However, even accepting its relatively small amount of content, players are sharing screenshots of terrible faces, broken animations, and plenty of bugs.
After more than a decade of annual releases, Konami did not release any new PES games in 2020, instead only selling a 2019 database update, eFootball PES 2020. As a consequence, fans of the series have been waiting for the double normal for a new game. and expectations for the eventual game have risen. eFootball makes some substantial changes to the series, including changing Konami’s own FOX Engine to Unreal Engine 4.
However, in general, eFootball offers much less than previous versions of PES. It contains only nine teams, which can only be played in exhibition matches, and its only online mode is “challenge events”, which according to the Steam page “may not be available in the first days”. Konami outlined a roadmap for post-launch, including online leagues, a team-building mode, and an esports tournament, but it’s nothing that sounds transformative.
So this explains a lot of the negative reviews. eFootball is not PES, and it is not what PES fans want or expect. Then on top of that, there are the faces. Here is Cristiano Ronaldo, captured by Reddit user Livid_Peach4593:
At the time of writing, eFootball 2022 has an “Overwhelmingly Negative” rating. rating on Steam, with 92% of its 7,540 reviews rating it “Not Recommended.” That puts him in a worse position than Paradox Leviathan DLC for Europa Universalis IV, which reached a negative 90%.
eFootball is now completely in meme territory, where people download it simply to see if it’s as terrible as others claim, and then rush to join the heap with their own negative review. (Out of around 2000 English reviews on Steam, 1300ish disappear if you filter reviews with less than an hour of watch time.)
It is a pity. Not because eFootball doesn’t deserve criticism, but because I want a soccer game that I don’t need to buy back at full price every year. He was ready for the ‘soccer platform’.