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eFootball PES 2020

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
eFootball PES 2020 Game Poster Image
Feature-packed soccer sim delivers on-pitch fun.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

This game encourages healthy competition, playing by the rules (or suffering penalties if they're broken), national pride, and promotes outdoor activity.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The game features many thousands of soccer/football players from around the world, so if they're good role models in real life, they could be considered good role models in the game. But the reverse is true, too, of course.

Ease of Play

While there's depth to the gameplay, the player and ball are surprisingly easy to control during each match.

Violence & Scariness

It's not often or graphic, but players can be tripped. Plus, there are minor injuries sustained in some career/managerial modes.


Unmoderated multiplayer could expose kids to inappropriate language.


As with most sports-based videogames, there's a ton of branding -- in and around the pitch (field) -- on players, billboards, and in the broadcast-like presentation. Familiar logos of international brands are visible. Examples include Nike, Jeep, and McDonald's. There's an option to spend real money to buy virtual currency in the game, used to buy players in one of the modes. In another mode, you can create your own sponsor logos that will be displayed on the media backdrop during interviews. This is also the latest installment in the Pro Evolution Soccer franchise.

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 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 McDonalds. There's an option to spend real money (micro transactions) in one of the modes.

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What's it about?

EFOOTBALL PES 2020 is the latest iteration of Konami'sPro 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 this a worthy game to kick around with friends. Several new updates were included, allowing for things like better player and ball control, all complimented 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 build-up to a goal is fantastic, because you can feel the anticipation swell on the pitch while inching towards the big moment. Plus, the intensity can be heard through the stadium crowds, too, with a rise in volume and excitement. That said, some A.I. 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 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 (paid 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. While not too different than what came before it, footy fans should agree eFootball PES 2020 is definitely a kick in the right direction.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how eFootball PES 2020 compares to real soccer games. Are kids and their friends able to replicate some of the feats they see in games?

  • Does the player on-screen live a life you'd want to emulate? Why, or why not?

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