EA Sports does a solid job improving its games. Case in point, its NHL franchise transformed into the most elite sim you can find. That's not to mention the improvements that have come with such franchises as FIFA and Madden.
The company got the ball rolling with its first big effort for the summer/fall season, NCAA Football 14. Due for release tomorrow, this latest edition of the college football franchise has a number of additions over last year's game. Let's look at the biggest ones that will make a difference to both casual and hardcore fans alike.
Infinity Engine 2
Tackling and other motions scored a realistic boost with the new Infinity Engine 2. First introduced last year with Madden NFL 13, this engine makes tackles and runs look more realistic than ever, whether you've got someone tripping towards the end zone or a pile-on for a loose fumble. The game makes you feel every hit.
Several enhancements benefit the player a number of ways. Such examples include the following:
Stumble Recovery: With this in play, you can help keep a player on his feet by using the right analog stick to control his balance. This is ideal if a defenseman reaches for your feet as you run for the end zone, or if you don't completely clear a player with a juke or spin move.
Force Impact Trucking and Hitting: Being able to stiff arm players is a whole new way to use offense to your advantage, though you can still attempt to out-sprint, juke or spin your way past the opposition. The use of the Infinity Engine 2 makes these moves feel better than ever.
Acceleration Bursts: Hard cuts are easier to come by as you're running for the end zone, giving you more concentrated acceleration bursts. This will make all the difference, especially when your team is down.
Improvements to Dynasty Mode
We've talked in great length about the new Coach Skills and Power Recruiting you'll have on hand within Dynasty Mode, and these additions make things more streamlined when it comes to landing key prospects for your team. With a number of upgradeable skills available – presented in an easy-to-grasp role-playing style where you can level up in whatever key areas you see fit – Dynasty Mode is even deeper than before.
Bye Bye Tutorial, Hello Nike Skills Trainer
If you're a newcomer to the NCAA Football series or just want to get a grasp on becoming a better passer or runner, then the Nike Skills Trainer is the first place to stop. In this enhanced tutorial mode, you'll learn a number of the new abilities and put them to good use. Need to get a hang of the acceleration Burst system? Maybe you want better balancing with Stumble Recovery? A number of scenarios in this mode will make you a better overall player at your leisure. No power-hungry offensive coordinator to worry about.
Create the Ultimate Team
Ultimate Team is popular in a number of other EA Sports games– mainly Madden and FIFA – and the team at EA Tiburon finally saw fit to include it in the world of NCAA Football. However, you won't just deal with rookie players. This deck comes stacked with a number of veterans.
Virtual card packs containing such NFL players and legends as Peyton Manning, Randy Moss, Barry Sanders and more will be up for grabs. They will allow you to put them on your current college team as rookies, bumping up your stature almost immediately.
Other packs can be earned by challenging players online or locally in 10-game season modes, along with single game challenges. You'll be able to form various combinations from the hundreds of legends available. Best of all, you'll get some to start with, including Bo Jackson. You know, because Bo knows football.
As you can see, EA Sports has gone all out this year to attract the college football crowd. No matter what area you're looking to dive into – card collecting, getting deep into Dynasty Mode, nailing down gameplay techniques – there's something for everyone.
NCAA Football 14 will release tomorrow for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.