Eons ago, Konami promised that free-to-play soccer sim eFootball would add in PES’ enormously popular single player Master League mode – but while there is more solo content coming in this months v3.20 update, you’ll have to wait a little longer for the hotly anticipated addition. My League aims to ease the wait, allowing you to play full seasons in single player, with changing weather conditions and exclusive rewards.
It works like this: you’ll replace a real team from your chosen league, whether it’s in England or Italy. You’ll use the players you’ve unlocked from the game’s gacha system, and will face off against the AI in an attempt to top the table. There’ll be custom cut-scenes and other flourishes to plot your progress, and you’ll be able to play through the mode as many times as you like. It all sounds like a way to make the current dream team gameplay appeal to those who prefer to play offline.
If you do play online, then improvements are also coming to that aspect of the experience as well. A new tiers system will ensure you’re matched against players who are of an equivalent skill level to you, while co-op will soon allow you to join strangers, so you don’t necessarily need to coordinate with your friends. You’ll be able to use emojis to communicate the highs and lows of your matches, or just strategise on the fly with your new-found allies.
There’ll also be a new login feature which incorporates a penalty taking minigame, where you’ll need to score a goal in order to advance your way up a ladder in order to unlock in-game rewards, like virtual currency, et al. And that’s pretty much it for the time being.
So, the critically maligned game continues to improve, but perhaps not at the rate former PES fans may have hoped. The gameplay is pretty good now, and there are more things to do – but without that meaty single player mode, it’s always going to feel second-rate to old-school fans of the franchise. Hopefully we don’t have to wait too much longer for Konami to finally resurrect one of the best solo sports games modes ever made.