A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that eFootball PES 2020 is a professional soccer simulation for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs. This is the latest installment in the Pro Evolution Soccer franchise. The game doesn't contain anything inappropriate, but parents should be aware that the game supports live online chat via headset microphone, so players might engage in inappropriate chat with strangers or hear strong profanity. As with most other sports games, PES 2020 also has a lot of advertising with a lot of recognizable brands, like Nike or McDonald's. There's an option to spend real money (microtransactions) in one of the modes.
What's it about?
EFOOTBALL PES 2020 is the latest iteration of Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer franchise. eFootball PES 2020 once again allows you to play as or against your favorite soccer team in a variety of solo and multiplayer modes. Along with refreshed graphics and animation to push the game's realism, new features include a remastered version of Master League (the celebrated managerial career mode), a brand-new competitive mode called Matchday (where you choose one of two different sides at the start of each weekly event), and new control options. These include better dribbling techniques (aided by consultation with seasoned midfielder Andrés Iniesta), upgraded trapping mechanics, context-sensitive kick accuracy and more realistic defense moves, ball physics, and smoother player interaction.
Is it any good?
Fans of this franchise will find this year's installment to be a gratifying game. eFootball PES 2020 doesn't mess with the formula too much, but new visual and control tweaks and gameplay additions make it a worthy game to kick around with friends. Several new updates were included, allowing for things like better player and ball control, all complemented with seemingly fresh animation and player models. It's not a complete graphical overhaul -- the menu screens are still ugly and convoluted -- but it's a noticeable upgrade over the past couple of PES games. The buildup to a goal is fantastic, because you can feel the anticipation swell on the pitch while inching toward the big moment. Plus, the intensity can be heard through the stadium crowds, too, with a rise in volume and excitement. That said, some AI players (especially in the defense department) still feel like they have work to do. Also, not all the leagues and teams are included (like the English Premier League) because of their exclusive licenses with other games (unlicensed teams are still here, but under a different name).
When it comes to modes, you still have all the solo and multiplayer modes you're familiar with, but the meaty manager mode, Master League, is super fun to play on and off the pitch, and has a better presentation and an interesting story with some twists. The myClub mode is relatively unchanged, allowing you to customize teams and use in-game GP currency or optional myClub coins (bought with real money) to buy additional players and add-ons. Also new this year is a competitive online mode, Matchday, where you choose a side and then face off against rivals in group matches to earn Event Points; the side with the most Event Points at the end of a tournament enters the Grand Final round with an advantage. It's fun, but not earth-shattering. It's not too different from what came before it, but footie fans should agree: eFootball PES 2020 is definitely a kick in the right direction.
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