Release Date: July 9th, 2013
Publisher: EA SportsDeveloper: Tiburon
Platform: [Reviewed: Xbox 360], PlayStation 3
Rated: E For Everyone
It’s time to take a deep breath! Inhale… now exhale. Football season in the realm of EA Sports is upon us. Welcome back to jump into another exciting year of NCAA Football. Big brother Madden is still in the locker rooms preparing to hit harder than ever. So for now, NCAA is gracing the field. Can NCAA Football steal the show from under us this year? Time to find out. Get your gear, because we’re going in!
This review begins with one HUGE noticeable feature. It’s when you unseal your copy of NCAA Football 14. There’s no online pass! That’s right EA Sports have stayed true to their word and opening the value of online capabilities without the pass.
With plenty of time to jump “In The Game” as EA would put it lets first get the training out of the way; the new Nike Skills Trainer. You may be telling yourself that you KNOW how to play NCAA, but even after years of pressing down the field I even found myself a bit astonished with some of the new moves I picked up. If you’re still Mr. Know it all, Go gold in each of the training obstacles to obtain Ultimate Team Cards to use in the Ultimate Team mode.
The Remaining interface includes Dynasty, RTG (Road to Glory), Ultimate Team and 2013 Season. Online Mode is there too , but we’ll tackle that later. Presentation has been vamped up a bit, but it almost seem that the sacrifice for it is the loading times. After the cinematic intro, we come back to the field for gameplay, for the most part similar to last year’s NCAA.
The force of the Infinity Engine 2 is evident in NCAA Football 14. The “Force Impact” system creates richer animation, and more realistic tackling. Examples: stiff-arming the defense into the ground, more juke combinations, and most importantly the defensive handling. It’s all a true update to what lacked in the first installment and performs “closer” to perfection.
Graphically, players didn’t receive much of a change. The field however looks as real as it gets.
EA listens! Gosh Darnit they do! Welcome back RTG. You have the choice of once again, venturing the Heisman Challenge, using existing players or creating your player. Naturally I decided to create my own player. Expectantly, NCAA has added the ability to throw your face on the college field. Madden NFL is one thing, but to be able to reverse the times and see your face in your favorite or old team jersey is exhilarating!
Road to Glory takes you back to high school, a season truly missed in NCAA Football 13. One thing I found out the hard way, don’t skip ahead, unless you don’t care which team you end up playing for. When you head off to college, you’ll notice the new “Legend Score” option. Here you’ll find certain goals you can achieve to begin placing your name is the books.
Fight for string positions just as you have in NCAA Football 12 and prior. You have so many chances to earn the coach’s trust and earn the entire stadium’s support, allowing you to call an audible when needed.
Two setbacks in RTG is again, the loading time to start up each game and the slight hiccups in practice mode. While playing as a quarterback, my position switched to WR and I was unable to run the route or anything. It forced me to quit and jump back in, luckily NCAA accepted the save where I left off.
2013 Season allows you to simply focus on the action. Pick a team and knock down the barrage of players in your way. Ultimate Teams and Dynasty Modes also receive a handful of improvements. Dynasty opens the role a bit more toward an RPG-Like progression through recruiting and how you manage the team. There are 18 upgradable abilities that help you find the right people and keep your players calm under pressure by providing the right coaching tools.
Overall and without question, NCAA Football 14 is a must have for college fans. The return of Road to Glory was genuinely more than enough to excite me. The mechanics are solid in NCAA and delivers some of the most authentic gameplay year to date on current-gen consoles. Madden may be only a month away, but for now, it’s all about the college teams.
Overall Rating: 4/5