COMMENTARY | NCAA Football 2012 is set for release in July and looks like it will be one of the most complete sports games to hit shelves in a long time. EA’s Chris Waters sat down with representatives from Gamespot.com on the third day of E3 Thursday to talk about some of the game’s new features and answer questions from viewers.
After watching the interview, which included lots of live football gameplay, here’s why I think NCAA ’12 is the most exciting title to watch for in the near future, and not just for longtime fans of the franchise:
Visually, the game simply looks astounding. During the interview, GameSpot was rolling real gameplay which was shown from the angle you would watch a football game from on television, and there were moments when it really was difficult to tell it was a mere virtualization. EA’s design team has truly raised the bar in terms of visual presentation.
Another thing I noticed was the much more realistic movements of the players, which had been one of my frustrations with the EA football series previously. Now when you watch the running backs spin and duck and truck defenders, you feel more like you really could be watching a replay of LaMichael James or Mark Ingram.
Focus On School Identity
Waters spent a lot of his time talking about bringing a heightened sense of tradition and school identity to this year’s game, which will make NCAA ’12 all the more entertaining since tradition is such an essential part of the college football experience. Gamers will be able to see their school more fully personalized and fine tuned to represent the iconic moments that make football fans crave fall Saturdays. For example, Waters mentioned that Oregon fans will see the Duck enter Autzen Stadium on on a motorcycle during the pre-game.
Another feature EA has decided to go all out on is more customization in several areas of the game. For example, players can choose to have certain songs play at important moments in the game, like a key third down, the start of the fourth quarter, and up to 20 others; Virginia Tech fans can set the game to play “Enter Sandman” as their Hokies take the field.
Playbook customization has also made a comeback. Players can configure their strategies to include elements of the wishbone, pro-style, and spread attack all in one offensive scheme. When asked whether NCAA 2012 would see the return of the create-a-school feature, Waters mentioned that while gamers cannot create a school in-game, they can visit teambuilder.easports.com, where they can build their own team or choose from a database of previously user-created teams to download to their console.
All-in-all, NCAA ’12 has me more excited than any other game thus far showcased at E3 2011. Look for it to make a splash when it’s released in July, as it’s sure to please longtime EA Sports fans as well as newcomers to the franchise.