The lights are on
Last year, NCAA overhauled its passing game. The gameplay
makeover continues in NCAA Football 14, due out in July for the PlayStation 3
and Xbox 360. The first reveal for the game details developer EA Tiburon's focus
on improving Madden's Infinity Engine, as well as some unique college football
EA Tiburon decided not to integrate the Infinity Engine into
NCAA 13. The physics engine used in Madden NFL 13 (which came out months after
NCAA 13) aimed to realistically replicate hits to multiple parts of the body,
but ended up being inconsistent and unsatisfactory. With the benefit of more
time with the engine, EA Tiburon feels the engine has moved forward and is
capable of more nuances. Impacts such as stiff arms, hit stick tackles, and
dive tackles now jar the ball carrier appropriately. The team says it is also
cleaning up the engine's previous failings (such as players flopping around on
the ground due to minor contact) and not just heaping on features it can't
handle. We'll have to wait until we get our hands on a build of the game before
we can get a judge on how the engine is progressing.
More work on player movement is also planned for everything
for better direction changing (firm foot planting making for less swerving
while running) to active stumble recovery. Hitting back on the right stick will
help the runner regain his balance if he's tripped up. Finally, EA has
developed a new acceleration system. You can still use the right trigger for a
quick burst, but players naturally ramp up to their top-end speed on their own.
While these changes are certainly welcome, fans of the
college game should be heartened to hear that EA Tiburon is also tweaking how
the option works in NCAA 14. Twenty new option pitches have been added to try
and keep up with the play's prevalence in modern playbooks for so many different
Instead of just throwing in a bunch of new variations of the
option, EA Tiburon is re-working its blocking logic as well as runner's motions
through traffic at the line of scrimmage. Offensive linemen now try to prioritize
defenders better as well as execute different blocking schemes like double
teams and zone blocks. If they clear the line of scrimmage they also fire out
to the second level more effectively. Ball carriers, meanwhile, should no
longer run into the backs of their linemen, but instead pause with their hands on
the backs of their teammates while a hole develops. If executed properly, these
additions should be a big boon for the franchise, which has struggled with
these elements in the past.
To help you execute the option, viewing the play at the line
of scrimmage, the game highlights which defensive player you should read and
take cues off of. While this may sound like a dead giveaway in favor of the
offense, gamers still have to execute after the ball is hiked to successfully fool
the defense with the option. EA is also integrating videos and hands-on tutorials
for the option and NCAA 14's other new features.
Stay tuned for more on NCAA 14 on April 18 when the
changes to the game's presentation package are discussed.
With more than 20 new option pitches, a lot of work has to be done to get this play right
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