It’s almost that time of year: fresh cut grass, dew settling on each blade, the sun cresting the edge of the concrete walls, hot dogs freshly roasted on the hot coals of your grill…okay, okay. The time is not quite here yet, but with the end of the wait in sight for the yearly release of the NCAA Football series by EA Sports, it’s ever closer to the start of the college football season.
It might release in early July, but every year the news begins to swirl I can feel the rush in my bones; the excitement from the passion and pageantry that can only be coupled with college sports. Electronic Arts might have their bread buttered on the side of Madden, but there is no comparison even with features lacking between the two; NCAA Football reigns supreme in my book. This year looks to put NCAA Football back on the map of innovation, or at least bring some of the more lucrative features from Madden to this year’s iteration.
Madden allowed them to iron out the kinks and introduce it to the masses. Fortunately for college football fans, they will reap the benefits. The Infinity Engine it is all about making the game more accurate and allowing for gamers to have more control over their individual player they are in control of. Fluidity of running, juke moves, and the ability to have your player make more unpredictable plays – like breaking off a 30 yard run after trucking someone – is the heart and soul of Infinity 2.0
If you’ve ever been to a college football game and a pro game then you know exactly what is coming next as a key difference that sets the experience apart between the two. The key word is experience. When attempting to replicate the feeling of college football it’s about rabid fans, ridiculously loud venues, and the history-rich traditions that flows through every single stadium in the country. This year NCAA Football is attempting to offer up more realistic stadium features like proper music placement and crowd noise fluctuation at various parts of the game.
When you’re watching the game at home on your TV, ESPN has done a great job of perfecting the home experience and NCAA Football is trying to do just that themselves. The long overdue focus is on improving the commentary provided by Brad Nessler and Kirk Herbstreet, the color commentators for the game. While they have been a solid duo for many years, the overall recordings and voice overs haven’t changed in the last four games. It was time for a change and EA is addressing that by applying a dynamic commentary to each game. Now Nessler and Herbstreet will talk about the game as it changes and the commentary is designed to fit each game’s individuality.
The fan favorite from each of the pro games is the Ultimate Team. The NCAA Football version utilizes conferences, past players, and direct team playbooks to make up the popular card game. The name of the game is to create a better team than your opponent and to play your cards more effectively than them as well. The more actual games you play, the more coins you earn and the more packs of cards you can buy to improve your team. It’s a fun alternative to the traditional football formula, but can sometimes feel like a time waster more than anything. NCAA Football is getting it’s first set of game changers since NCAA Football 11 offered up more presentation options than ever before.
NCAA Football is about capturing the passion behind each week. There is not a game played today that has more hinging on each individual week and where the regular season matters as much as the post. It looks as though EA is finally giving gamers the experience that they deserve and innovating the way the game is played. Fans of simulation football will be brought even closer to the action; and if you’re a follower of college football then you understand the importance of that in your football game. EA looks to be providing just that in NCAA Football 14