Konami has announced that it will be releasing a pared-down ‘season update’ in place of a new entry in its annual eFootball PES franchise as it works on a next-gen soccer sim.
In a press release sharing the news, Konami explains that it is hard at work developing a ‘dazzling’ new title , presumably named PES 2022. It is waving goodbye to its trusty propriety FOX engine for an updated engine that will ‘truly embody’ the beautiful game.
The developer points to more realistic players models and animations, improved physics, and photo-realistic next-gen visuals as cornerstones of the franchise’s ground-up rework. The next-gen title will also usher in major enhancements to eFootball PES’ popular myClub and Master League modes.
Konami aims to begin testing the new game in mid-2021, with an eye on a full release on PS5 and Xbox Series X later next year.
Konami published a short teaser promo featuring none other than Lionel Messi in impressive graphical detail. It reveals that Konami is building the game using Unreal Engine, implying that the ‘updated engine’ may potentially be Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5. Epic’s engine enters preview in early 2021, with a planned full release later in the year.
For a sense of the engine’s potential, check out the stunning tech demo running on PS5 that stunned the gaming world back in May.
To make way for the ambitious task of injecting new life into eFootball PES, Konami has opted to scale back its ambitions for what was, until now, expected as eFootball PES 2021. This year’s PES will launch as a ‘streamlined offering in the form of a ‘season update.”
The update will refresh existing rosters to match real-world player transfers, much like FIFA’s Switch Legacy Edition. Consequently, this year’s PES will release at a much lower budget price than yearly mainline entries and include ‘several bonuses.’
Despite the disappointment of no full-blown PES title this year, we can be more than certain the pared-down ‘season update’ will still be better than FIFA 21. Not least because of PES’ superior mechanics, player models, and gameplay. No amount of surface-level next-gen beautification or license poaching can detract from the fact that PES is simply a lot more enjoyable to play than FIFA.