Konami’s eFootball is dropping on September 30th, 2021. Konami Producer, Seitaro Kimura, recently provided a full preview of what to expect in the football simulator. Here are the critical points from Kimura’s presentation on September 3rd.
eFootball Gameplay Preview
Kimura explained manual dribbling allows the touch to be freely controlled by analog operation. Fine movements can be executed that invite the opponent to one foot, only to pivot and cross into open space with the ball. The pace of the ball near the player can vary from slow to rapid. PlayStation 5 haptic feedback and the adaptive trigger will control the touch of the ball, and body collisions will be an experience through the DualSense shock.
According to Kimura, the new feints and physical actions are universal. The quality of outcomes depends on player ratings and (potentially user skill), but there are not player-specific operations.
When running without touching the ball, players can maneuver around defensive traps at a different pace than the ball. Essentially, players will be divided from the ball but remain in possession to some degree. The ball control can move from slow to sudden, and body feints should be improved.
According to Kimura: “from the time of receiving the pass, it important to move, thinking about how to control the ball and create a situation in my favor.”
Movement is where eFootball has excelled in recent years. The division of the ball and player creates freedom of movement on the pitch and encourages creativity.
Reading the Opponent’s Pass
The opponent’s passes and shots are now more actionable when compared to past iterations of the title. Players can block them by moving into the lanes, whereas in past titles, this may have been a bit of a challenge within the game engine. Accordingly, Kimura stated the logic of pass and shot-blocking is improving.
Intense physicality is being reproduced in the game to simulate the beautiful game. On offense, it is possible to position and stretch a player’s body to protect the ball. Defensive maneuvers by the ball carrier may force defensive players to engage further in such physicality.
It remains unclear how the referee AI will handle these physical interactions. Gamers have strongly criticized the referee’s logic in previous iterations of eFootball.
The screenshots depict collision animations. We will have to wait to see to play it and run the new physics in real-time.
According to Kimura, a tuning update is expected post-launch to improve sharp kicks and passing, including incorporating “kicking with a sharp animation.” This mechanic takes time to load and will require freeing up time and space to make such plays.
Konami analyzed real 1vs1 scenes, evaluating the movement and speed of the ball and players. This data appears to inform the game’s player control. The game’s new locomotion system works in real-time to produce realistic movements depending on the positioning and broader situation.
According to Kimura, “When I was watching the video of the FC Barcelona era, I remembered the situation at that time in detail even though it was a game a long time ago, and I was showed the greatness of the first-class players.”
Fusion of New Tactics
Kimura’s presentation also outlined new team tactics and AI, based on the strategies of real teams. When combined with the physicality detailed above, and the manual dribbling, the range of outcomes expands. eFootball will also allow gamers to create their individual strategies and position different players on the field.
Konami reworked the camera logic to zoom in on 1vs1 duels and pan out in wider shots when the AI recognizes the pass or shot is more appropriate than executing precise dribble moves at a given moment.
Camera logic has also been a pain point in previous game iterations. Over the years, its seen patches and re-works by the modding community. Konami’s track record supports the argument that it will refine the gameplay before the presentation. We will know for sure how it all comes together on September 30th, 2021.