By Pavo Jurkic
November 29, 2019
We’ve had a fair share of time to go through the two most popular soccer simulations out there, and we’re coming back with a proper FIFA 20 vs PES 2020 piece!
Instead of dividing the comparisons into several sections based on, let’s say, graphics, gameplay, presentation, and so on, I decided to take up a slightly different approach.
We’ll cover each game separately, emphasizing both its pros and cons.
Since we’re all about esports here, we’ll also touch on the esports potential of both of these games, although I’m sure you all know FIFA takes that category home without breaking a sweat.
FIFA 19 will go down in history books as one of the worst FIFA seasons ever. Yep, perhaps even worse than the two pre-Frostbite seasons.
FIFA 20, however, promised a ton of additions, being marketed with a new FIFA Street-Esque Volta mode and a whole heap of career mode changes gamers wanted for years. Everything sounded great, and fans of the game couldn’t wait to see the new features in action.
Unfortunately, even though some of the newly-added features bring quality stuff to the table, the overall feeling seems a bit rough around the edges.
But, let’s cut with the introductory section and jump straight to FIFA 20 pros and cons!
Our FIFA 20 vs PES 2020 comparison can’t go without a section dedicated to the gameplay. After all, these two games are soccer simulation, so realistic gameplay is at the top of their to-do lists.
When it comes to FIFA 20, the gameplay does feel a bit smoother. Midfield feels a lot more like an action-building environment instead of a sprint straight to the opponent’s box. FIFA 19 was notorious because of long-shot goals frequency and dribbling efficiency. FIFA 20, luckily, fixes all that with slower, mistake-prone dribbling and improved defensive AI.
Timed shots feel nerfed too, but the good old cutbacks into the box still work. Scoring goals is slightly more complicated than it was last time out, but the same can’t be said about chance creation. In FIFA 20, you’ll actually need some sort of a plan to be a consistent threat in your opponent’s third. Sure, it all depends on the defensive abilities of your opponents, but if you’re playing against players who track back when off the ball, you’ll find yourself struggling to open up space and coming up with on-the-fly strategies to score that screamer.
Best of all, that annoying kickoff glitch is a thing of the past. While it can sometimes happen (once in, let’s say, twenty matches), it’s nowhere near as common as it was in the last couple of seasons.
FIFA 20 gameplay is fun, it’s challenging, and a whole lot smoother! Thank you, EA, it was about time!
As mentioned above, FIFA 20 career mode improvements were among the most heavily marketed updates for the all-new season of FIFA. And while they do bring forth stuff like dynamic player growth and manager appearance customization, which fans have been craving for years already, their release was under massive scrutiny, plagued with bugs and often rendering manager career mode virtually unplayable.
On the bright side, most of the bugs have been fixed by now, and manager career mode plays better than never. The overall presentation, especially for the English Premier League, brings forth the most immersive matchday soccer experience out there.
While we’re talking about the English Premier League, you should know it’s the only league in the game that features a whopping four domestic league levels as well as real stadiums for the entire Premier League and a few Championship sides. It’s rather impressive, to say the least. Don’t even get me started on the unique UI themes depending on the team you’re playing with.
Don’t worry; other leagues are pretty well-represented too. Stadiums in Spain and Germany are right behind their UK counterparts, with fully licensed competitions too. In total, FIFA 20 has more than 30 licensed leagues, 90 authentic stadiums, more than 700 official teams, and upwards of 17,000 professional players.
In terms of licenses, FIFA 20 vs PES 2020 comparison doesn’t make any sense. PES fans will argue their soccer sim of choice has Juventus and not some silly Piemonte Calcio… but is that really important considering FIFA’s overall licensing supremacy.
Even though FIFA’s esports presence isn’t near those of CS:GO, LoL, and Dota 2, it’s still there, which can’t be said about KONAMI’s soccer sim counterpart. Yes, PES 2020 starts its esports adventure next month, but it still won’t be able to beat FIFA in this category.
As far as FIFA’s esports presence goes, it all comes down to the biggest annual competition, FIFA eWorld Cup. More precisely, it all comes down to the FIFA Global Series. That’s the equivalent of the regular season where FIFA eWorld Cup represents the playoffs.
ePremier League is there too, pinning together some of UK’s greatest FIFA talents, spicing up the equation with Premier League rivalries, and enjoying plenty of popularity on the island.
All in all, FIFA’s esports scene is still in its early steps. There’s room for further development and I’m certain EA will do their best to push their soccer simulation to greatness. In other words, as far as the FIFA 20 vs PES 2020 esports comparison goes, FIFA is the clear winner!
Let’s face it; we’re paying a ton of money for the same FIFA game every year. Yeah, there might be a few changes here and there, but it’s still roughly the same exact thing. A giant update once or twice per year would suffice, but EA doesn’t want to give up on free cash.
Ideally, I’d like to see EA finally make the switch to one single FIFA to rule them all. No, I’m not talking about a subscription system here, which is something we already have with Origin Access Premier, but a single FIFA game that gets continual updates instead of reinventing the wheel every September/October.
FIFA Ultimate Team was brought to life in 2009, and thanks to high demand and massive profits, it became an instant hit. Since then, EA has been constantly pushing the focus off singleplayer modes and online season to its newly-found golden egg, Ultimate Team.
Nowadays, every notable FIFA event uses FUT as the go-to game mode. The card-based system brings forth an addictive and very entertaining gameplay experience, where players gather the best cards and combine them to create wicked teams.
Unfortunately, this creates a paywall for wannabe pros, since the easiest way to get good players at the start of every FUT season is to invest a lot of money in the game itself. It can be frustrating for players who rely solely on grinding their way to Weekend League success, which is sort of like a jumping board to the FIFA esports scene.
Last but not least, let’s talk about Volta. To be honest with you, I was eager to start playing it just because I was a huge fan of FIFA Street back in the days. FIFA Street 2, to be more precise. Unfortunately, Volta just isn’t a good game mode. What was supposed to be FIFA Street on steroids turned out to be a watered-down copycat.
It’s basically sped-up regular FIFA gameplay with some added flair to spice things up aesthetically. It’s not worth the hype. Even two months after the game’s release, it’s still a mess, and one of the weakest links in FIFA 20.
For those of you not in the know, the newest addition of KONAMI’s soccer simulation has an extra word in its name. It’s no longer PES 2020; it’s eFootball PES 2020. With this name alteration, KONAMI is obviously announcing their entrance to the esports scene.
Unfortunately, a simple name change is not enough to bring FIFA’s esports scene down from the pedestal…
Older PES 2020 games were miles behind their FIFA counterparts. And we’re not just talking about the usual factors such as the graphics, lack of licenses, and buggy gameplay, we’re talking about massive user interface issues that have been an unavoidable part of PES titles for quite a while.
Luckily, things are starting to look and feel better. eFootball PES 2020’s menus have been drastically improved. It might seem like an irrelevant thing at first, but their organization and design make for much more fluid page-to-page navigation than ever before. It’s still not on FIFA’s level, but is definitely heading in the right direction.
When it comes to the presentation and animations, FIFA 20 vs PES 2020 are on par with each other. However, I have to give credit where credit is due, and PES 2020’s upgrade over last year’s iteration is more than noticeable.
For starters, players move much smoother across the playing field, with smoother movement, dribbling and shooting animations, fewer animation cuts, and buttery transitions. The collision system seems to be better, too, especially in 1v1 high-speed encounters.
If I had to decide which of the PES 2020 pros is the most important, it would definitely be this one. Gameplay, gameplay – the most important factor in the gaming world. Typically, the most important factor, to be precise. As you all know, PES and FIFA were always neck and neck as far as gameplay goes. It was a matter of personal preference more than anything else. Both games had their ups and downs (gameplay-wise) over the last few years, but they were generally neck and neck.
This year is, at least in my opinion, the first year in a while where PES gameplay feels a ton better than that of FIFA. It’s just much smoother, offering a feeling of greater control over the players, and the ability to create smart, organized attacks with great passages of play. Best of all, you’ll never score the same goal twice in eFootball PES 2020, and that’s something you can’t say about FIFA and its hot scoring zones.
Unfortunately, while PES 2020 does a great job gameplay-wise, its cons are there to mess up the overall marks.
The biggest issue of all KONAMI games is the lack of official licenses for leagues and teams. This is an age-old issue, and KONAMI can’t seem to stop it. Back in the days, at least they had UEFA competitions on board, but now that’s gone too with EA grabbing rights to both Champions League and Europa League.
Yes, PES doesn’t have Piemonte Calcio. Juventus is in the game, and KONAMI’s soccer simulation is the only one that features Cristiano Ronaldo playing for The Old Lady. PES 2020 on PC is easy to mod, though. You can install official kits, logos, and leagues without too much hassle. However, the same can’t be said about consoles.
In the end, it’s on you to decide whether you can live without the official logos, kits, and leagues. It’s not that big of a deal for most people, but a nasty deal-breaker for me…
Let’s address the elephant in the room – PES’s lack of esports presence. Yes, I’ve taken the eFootball Open into account, and I’m still certain PES won’t have a healthy esports scene this season. Of course, we don’t know how well eFootball Open will fare, but even if it brings forth excellent numbers, it will take more than one decent event to endanger FIFA.
When it comes to esports presence, there is one clear winner, and it’s FIFA! It’s the soccer sim people think of when discussing soccer esports, and it will take KONAMI a lot of time to even contest such a flattering figure.
Even though I praised the gameplay, presentation, animations, and user interface, I still can’t help but notice the game feels unpolished. It’s not directly tied to the game mechanics, and it’s not related to lack of licenses. It’s the online portion of the game that I’m referring to.
As stated earlier, KONAMI marketed the online component and even added eFootball to the game’s name. Still, they failed to do the important stuff, such as optimizing the game servers and adding more features to MyClub, PES’ equivalent of FIFA’s Ultimate Team.
Personally, I value FIFA 20 more than KONAMI’s eFootball PES. When it comes to FIFA 20 vs PES 2020 gameplay, I’m aware that PES brings forth a more amusing and realistic experience. However, the problem is, I’m all about competitive play, and PES doesn’t have it. Yes, I’m exaggerating a bit here, eFootball PES 2020 is doing its best to promote a healthy online environment, but I just can’t see it happening anytime soon.
FIFA, as usual, has its fair share of mistakes and bugs. It’s not the perfect soccer simulation, and it takes no genius to understand that. However, it’s still the only option for competitive online gameplay. Whether we’re talking about the esports scene or competitive FUT and Weekend League, the results are the same. Competitive FIFA has high demand, and its momentum will only keep rising…