Back at it with another post around eFootball 2022. Surprisingly, Konami pretty quietly launched version 1.0 of eFootball 2022 a few days ago. It got no coverage from major outlets and even the football gaming people I follow on Twitter didn’t really make any mention of it. Unfortunately, even in its V1.0 status, this is still an incomplete game.

The player progression screen in Dream Team

One new mode

The biggest and pretty much the only new content in eFootball 2022 is Dream Team. What used to be called My Club is now Dream Team. As it stands, it’s pretty much the same concept. Scout players and build your “dream team” to take on others from around the world.

The new thing here is that you can actually buy the players you want rather than trying to use scouting tickets or the luck of the draw. If you have the necessary coins, you can spend 1.1 million to get Messi or Mo Salah on your squad. Otherwise, you’re going to use what little money you have to buy lower-rated players and try to strengthen them. Obviously, these are the base versions. There will be upgraded and special editions of all your favorite players over the course of the season. Unfortunately, I’m suspecting we won’t see too many upgrades based on real-world performance as most leagues are wrapping up over the next 4-6 weeks.

At launch, the different match types are extremely limited. Outside Online Quick Match, there is only one online and one offline Event match type. The offline mode at the moment allows you to play against different Spanish league teams. The harder the difficulty, the more reward points you can potentially earn.

There is the promise of the eFootball League coming in the next few days/weeks, but it’s not ready at launch. This is a strange move. Not sure why they launched the game but didn’t have the online season aspect of its flagship mode ready to go from the get-go.

Dusan Vlahovic wearing a Kitchee jersey as he celebrates a goal in eFootball 2022

On the pitch, the game is fine

When I’m taking my team onto the pitch, the gameplay is fine. I didn’t play enough since v0.9 to really notice too much of a difference, but I suspect those who have stuck around will see the changes.

I haven’t noticed any new animations, the pre-match cutscenes are still the same, and while some player faces have updated, there are tons that haven’t. Lazio is a partner club but Sergei Milinkovic-Savic still has a generic face. I built my Dream Team squad with a Serbian starting XI, which is why I know this. It’s possible more facial scans are coming, but this one stood out considering the relationship Lazio has with Konami.

You still can’t play regular matches with more than the handful of partner clubs that were offered back in September. Dream Team does feature a ton of clubs and players from all over the world. There are a few new leagues including the J. League and the USL. For supporters of MLS clubs, although their teams aren’t officially licensed in the game, the players are. This is a nice sign that maybe Konami is trying to get that league into its game to help their reach in North America.

This is just the first step of a multi-year project

It’s time to accept that eFootball 2022 was a failure for what many thought it would be and for how Konami poorly marketed it. The only real positive is that the foundation is all here for a solid follow-up. At this point, it’s unlikely we will get a dedicated single-player mode as we’ve had in the past. eFootball is officially in the same live-services camp as games like Fortnite and Apex Legends. Konami is going to have to work extra hard over the summer to win back the players it has lost over the last few months. They also need to do a lot to win new players. I’m just not sure that they have the manpower to do it.