For fans of international football, or soccer as we Americans call it, they will only have to wait less than a week for the latest installment of eFootball PES 2020 to hit shelves. Set to be released September 10, 2019, PES 2020 is sure to have the biggest football fans chomping at the bit to play as their favorite footballer from the biggest, most popular clubs in the world.
This year's newest exclusive club partnership is with the powerhouse Juventus of Serie A in Italy. For those of you unfamiliar with Juventus, perhaps you've heard of their most recognizable superstar, Christiano Ronaldo. That's right, super human Christiano Ronaldo stars for Juventus; he signed with Juventus before the start of the 2018 season after starring for Real Madrid for a number of years. However, you won't find him on this year's cover though. Instead, you'll find not just one but four superstars of the soccer world. First, you have Lionel Messi (in the red and blue top), perhaps one of the other most recognizable players in the world, of FC Barcelona. Whether you're a fan of soccer or not, chances are that you've heard of Lionel Messi. Not only does he captain FC Barcelona, he captains the Argentinian national team. Second, in the black and white top, you have Bosnian national Miralem Pjanic. He stars next to Ronaldo for Juventus. Third, in the red top [with the Chevrolet emblem], you have Scottish national Scott McTominay of Manchester United. You can catch him roaming the central midfield on the pitch during Man. U. matches. Last, but certainly not least, in the red top [with the T-Mobile emblem], you have Serge Gnabry, a German national who mans one of the wing positions for FC Bayern Munich. BONUS: the legendary Ronaldinho graces the cover of eFootball PES 2020 Legend Edition.
Because of licensing and exclusive rights contracts between international leagues and clubs and gaming companies, you won't actually get to play every club from every league of every country in the world. Instead, you'll get to play a select number of clubs and leagues. Konami, and PES 2020, has signed some of the most recognizable clubs in the world to exclusive licensing partnerships. This means that only Konami has the rights to use the clubs' full name, logo, kits, and stadiums when developing the game (no other gaming developing may use any aspect of the club in their games). Other developers can still retain player likenesses in their games [Lionel Messi will still look very much like Lionel Messi] but they may not use FC Barcelona logos and kits nor Camp Nou Stadium. Some of the other exclusive clubs you can only find in PES 2020 are Arsenal and Manchester United of England, A.C. Milan, Inter Milan, and Juventus of Italy, Bayern Munich and Schalke 04 of Germany, and Boca Juniors and River Plate of Argentina. Other leagues from across Europe, Asia, and South America have exclusive rights with PES 2020, including Serie A in Italy, Superliga in Argentina, and the Chinese Super League.
With an assist (ha! see what I did there) from the ever-increasing capabilities of motion-capture technology, Konami has been able to design more life-life players and stadium environments. More life-like players and stadiums only enhances the user experience. Players movements are more fluid and less "A.I." Konami has also put a huge emphasis on movement of the actual game ball. I'm willing to bet that most people don't even consider movement of the ball when it comes to sports games. If you watch live soccer (or any other sport, really), the ball can spin, rotate, and bend depending on how the player kicks it. Knuckle balls don't spin! England's darling, the legendary David Beckham use to be able to bend the trajectory of the ball in such a way that no keeper could predict where it was going (thus the phrase, "Bend it like Beckham" was born). Not only is the movement of the ball improved, but so is the accuracy of ball placement. Again, kicked balls can be unpredictable. Konami has put an emphasis on power sensitivity and ball placement accuracy. No longer will it go the exact distance and and to the exact spot that you want/need it to. Much like live games, players will have to work for the ball.
PES 2020 features a new game mode available to play: Matchday. The use picks a side for which to play and aligns themselves with other players from around the world. Match by match, you'll be facing off against an opponent from "the other side" of the bracket in Group Matches in order to earn Event Points for your side; the more matches you play, the more points you earn. You'll still earn points even if you don't win your match, but only the best performers from each side will get to move on the Grand Final. According to Konami.com, "Win or lose, all Matchday participants will receive rewards for their efforts after the Grand Final finishes; however, to the victor go the more impressive spoils. The Grand Final will also be viewable via a livestream feed in Matchday mode, so be sure to add your voice to the roar of the crowd in support of your Representative."
Much like other sports games franchises out in the market right now, PES 2020 has remastered their Master League (comparable to Franchise mode with other sports games). In Master League, you are the team's manager, responsible for managing the club's development and the transfer market. You're essentially building your club to survive the season but from behind the desk. One of the biggest, most noticeable changes to Master League is the transfer market. According to Konami.com, "The transfer market in PES 2020 will use a brand-new algorithm built on a rich library of real world football data to ensure that transfers, transfer fees, salaries and various other elements are in close alignment with reality." This should definitely make for a more interesting and realistic market. It won't be so easy anymore to obtain all of the world's superstars onto one club!