For years, EA’s FIFA games have been the uncontested king of the football castle.
However, Konami’s new disruptive title eFootball could be the game to draw EA’s loyal following away.
Konami says it’s a football simulator, placing emphasis on ball control and strategy. It plays like a brand new £60 release – while also being entirely free.
At release, owners of the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X, PC and even mobile will be able to play together.
Following the battle-royale style formula, eFootball offers a game pass, a set of milestones to achieve by playing and winning matches, similar to that found in Warzone or Fortnite.
Whether the free-to-play aspect will be enough to attract players away from FIFA however, is a question only time will answer.
Due to exclusive contracts with the Premier League and the Bundesliga, among others, EA’s titles feature an exhaustive list of teams and players – names unavailable to other game developers.
The team at Konami regularly updates the stats of each player (such as speed and agility), depending on how each team performs in real-life football.
Micro-transactions will allow players a chance to obtain legendary players whose stats will not change.
An advanced game pass will also be purchasable – but Konami insists people will not need to pay to win, only to advance faster than others.
The graphics are as impressive as FIFA’s, and the in-game commentary adds a sense of realism.
Players can choose from multiple stadia, at different times of the day and different seasons.
At first glance it appears to be a worthy adversary for the EA goliath. The cross-play feature will allow almost all gamers (apart from those on the Nintendo Switch) to play together and earn experience points.
However, unlike Activision’s Warzone, your eFootball progress is linked to whichever platform is being played on. That means that progression earned on the Xbox, for example, will not be accessible when playing on mobile.
eFootball will get regular updates to players and stats, with new features such as team creation coming further down the line.
Whether the free-to-play aspect of the game will match EA’s broad offering of teams – but at a premium price (£69.99 standard version on PS5) – is uncertain, but industry watchers will be keeping a close eye on its progress.
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