The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
They say success on the football field starts with the running game.
With all the crazy multi-receiver and option formations in college
football these days, this isn’t necessarily as true, but it’s a
philosophy that NCAA Football 11 uses to great effect. The new
locomotion running engine gives the game a powerful foundation, and it
drives the franchise forward by offering a fluid experience every time
you touch the ball. It’s one of the key components that takes this
series to the next level.
The locomotion engine’s fluidity and
realism transfer to the animations you see out of the ball carrier and
the defenders tackling him as well. Instead of seeing a player pop in
and out of specific right analog moves like in NCAA 10, such as a
running back jumping hard left or right on a juke, movements in NCAA 11
are more precise. A player will gather his body, plant his feet, shift
his weight, and then start accelerating again. It’s not all just a
pretty-looking sequence, either. You can combo moves better than in NCAA
10, and you don’t even have to use the right analog special moves to
reap the benefits of the new engine. Using just the left analog stick
feels nice and smooth, and I feel like I can make small cuts and
adjustments to follow my blockers and find daylight without having to
sacrifice control, jack the right analog, or have an obvious running
Offensive line blocking receives a boost thanks to reworked
double-teams and edge blocking on sweeps – which you can now see
diagrammed before the snap. That being said, it’s not perfect, and
you’ll still see some boneheaded blockers miss their assignments. The
most glaring mistake happens when backs try to step up and block on pass
plays. This is hard to do when they just stand in your quarterback’s
lap. These little annoyances (and some from year’s past – like magnet
catches and canned interception animations) keep the game from being
perfect, but they aren’t enough to spoil my enjoyment of the game as a
NCAA’s dynasty recruiting is another area of the game that
makes a big leap forward while still retaining some of its old flaws.
Being able to do it all on your browser is a huge plus, and the improved
feedback recruits offer lets you know exactly where your program and
pitches stand in relation to the competition. That said, there’s no
getting away from the fact that recruiting is still a grind, and if you
want to get blue chippers you have to be willing to put the time in (or
pay up the recruiting microtransactions). Despite these improvements,
it’s confusing when you are awarded the same number of points for topics
in which the recruit had differing levels of interest.
its flaws, but with improved on-the-field action, recruiting, and
presentation (including the option to generate custom stories on your
Dynasty), for the first time in years I feel like I’m getting the
college experience. I know what it feels like to be a man among boys
when dodging tackles, shrugging off players, and breaking for the end
zone. Saturday is no longer just a diversion before the pros take the
field on Sunday. It’s a time to build dynasties, crush the competition,
and bask in the glow of millions.
Email the author Matthew Kato, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
<p>While college football struggles with a terrible BCS system, no playoffs, and crumbling conferences, its virtual gridiron counterpart is just starting to hit its stride. NCAA 11’s new locomotion engine puts the skill of Barry Sanders at your fingertips, making running backs feel like real threats every time they touch the ball. Revamped blocking mechanics help make formerly useless plays like draws and counters legit options for the first time. The refined gameplay is impressive, with the only standout issues being ranging linebackers picking off too many mid-range passes over the middle and the AI ineffectively running the option. Off the field, EA wisely retooled the recruiting mechanic to give you more feedback as to how your pitches stand in comparison to other schools, and the new Facebook-meets-ESPN Dynasty Wire is a great tool that lets hardcore online dynasty players chronicle their seasons. NCAA also makes a greater effort at capturing the minor details that make college football great, but the crowds still don’t look the part and the commentary is starting to sound stale. Minor annoyances aside, this is the best NCAA title in years.</p>