The update is considered the first ‘main’ release of the game, following an early launch last September which resulted in disaster for Konami following widespread negative feedback.
In an attempt to turn things around, Konami delayed the planned November release for Version 1.0.0 until it felt the update was at a level fans would find acceptable.
Five months after it was originally planned, Version 1.0.0 is finally here, and it includes a number of new additions on and off the pitch.
The main new addition is Dream Team mode, which was formerly known as Creative Team.
This is eFootball’s equivalent to the MyClub mode in PES or Ultimate Team in FIFA, and lets players put together their own team made up of players from various clubs then use them to take on other players online.
This will be accompanied by the game’s first ‘Season’, which starts on April 21 and has the theme of “New Gameplay Approach, Team Building and Licenses”.
In terms of gameplay, Konami says player and bell behaviour have been improved, while a new ‘stunning kick’ technique lets players pull off more effective passes and shots.
Version 1.0.0 of the game also includes new licenses from Japan and North America. The J1 League and J2 League are now licensed, and the game now has the MLSPA license. This means the game’s ‘American League’ still has generic team names but their rosters will be made up of real MLS players.
It also includes a fully licensed USL Championship, which is essentially the North American division below the MLS.
The first version of eFootball was released in September 2021 to widespread criticism.
The football simulator, which was widely panned for its poor gameplay and comical graphics, was named the worst reviewed game of 2021 by Metacritic.
Publisher Konami even publicly apologised for the game and promised improvements, with Version 1.0.0 planned to be the first major example of this.
In a statement issued to VGC last week, Konami said it believed the criticism was caused by several factors, including its move to a new engine and platforms.
“It’s hard to point to one deciding aspect,” a spokesperson told us. “The incompletion of the game came as a result of multiple factors including the transition to a new football game engine, the support of next generation consoles such as PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, the change of play style to free to play and furthermore, we tried to deliver new eFootball 2022 for players as soon as possible.
“Resultantly, the game received harsh feedback about the quality. Since eFootball’s launch back in September, however, we have prioritised improvements and corrections based on the feedback and opinions we received.”
In VGC’s eFootball Version 1.0.0 hands-on preview last week, we noted that the gameplay felt improved compared to the initial September release.
“Is it a FIFA beater now, then? Of course not,” we wrote. “But the fact it costs nothing to try out and is actually much more stable now at least makes it a viable alternative for people getting bored of EA’s offering. It’s a start. A fresh start, perhaps, but a start nonetheless.”