Kickoff is coming
Will it all come together? While theres no way to tell for certain yet, were cautiously optimistic now that weve played it and spent multiple hours grilling the games development crew. If nothing else, theyre passionate about college football and how their game represents the sport. Buoyed by a larger staff and higher dollars spent on key areas, the games makers are confident that NCAA 13 will hit a lot of high marks.
Without further adieu, heres what were most excited about with NCAA Football 13.
An added dimension is the inclusion of several hours of video featuring each winners story, interspersed at various points throughout the season. During your campaign to capture the Heisman, youll hear them talk about different things that impacted them during their college careers, adding an element of story and emotion to a mode that could otherwise feel much more mechanical.
The list of players is interesting, ranging from recent winners like Robert Griffin III, Matt Leinart, and Mark Ingram, but also reaches back to players like Tim Brown, Herschel Walker, and Jim Plunkett. Others include Doug Flutie, Andre Ware, Charlie Ward, Carson Palmer, and Eddie George; the variety of players and styles should provide plenty of interesting moments. Were definitely excited about this one.
For the casual fans...
Automatic dropbacks for quarterbacks, with the steps and timing set up for the play, are also in this year. The QB will take just a few steps for slants but 5 or 7 when longer patterns are in play. Because of this, the player will have a little more time to survey the field and read the action.
For years, casual fans would never control a receiver once the ball was thrown because the results could easily be disastrous. This year, the game will help keep your user-controlled receiver more centered towards where you should be going (unless you do something drastic), allowing a greater range of playmaking abilities.
For the hardcore fans...
The new ball trajectory system will also give experienced players a new level of control, creating the ability to effectively place the ball where it should be based on a number of factors. Shovel passes will happen when a receiver is just a few yards away, while dropping a medium pass over a linebacker is also possible. With more than 20 trajectories, many passes that used to be impossible will no longer be so.
An immersive world
In addition, an in-game ESPN ticker will have all the scores rolling by in real time. Its all part of the plan to immerse you in the college football universe, with in-game updates coming on a regular basis at appropriate points in the game. Instead of operating in a mini-vacuum, the goal is to make you feel like youre a part of something bigger.
Speaking of athletes, there are now triple threat players available (those who can play QB, REC, and DB for example) who can take your program to the next level. New scouting options will help you unlock true attributes to help in comparisons so you know who to ultimately offer that precious scholarship.
Perhaps the coolest thing is that the game offers a website with improved offline and pre-season options, meaning you can do all of your recruiting via the web. In fact, its easier with a mouse and keyboard or touch screen than a clunky controller and lets you keep in touch with your dynasty no matter where you are.
The development team has spent a significant amount of time fixing the issues it ultimately uncovered, but just as crucially they also expanded their ability to diagnose problems as they occur and understand the root cause. The team cant guarantee that no problems will happen this season, but they are strongly stating that there will be far fewer problems and ones that do pop up will be dealt with much more quickly. The Online Dynasty issues were painful for everyone involved last season, and no one wants to see them happen again because when an Online Dynasty is running well, its as enjoyable of a sports experience as there is today.
The final gun
Between marked improvements in gameplay on both sides of the ball, the addition of a new time-sink Heisman Trophy challenge, and the critical problems around Online Dynasty getting fixed, NCAA Football 13 is lining up quite nicely this season. Were cautiously optimistic that this will be the best NCAA game of this generation, thanks to the ramped-up investment of people and resources thats taken place over the past year. Time will tell, of course, but what weve seen so far has been positive. Heres hoping the finished product hits the mark.