NCAA Football 14 is coming out on July 9th and according to EA Sports' NCAA Football 14, the Oregon Ducks have the best offense in the game. Alongside Alabama they are the only two offensive squads in the game who boast a 99 ranking. In fact, the only thing separating the Ducks from the Tide in regards to ranking is 4 ranking points. This isn't about who is going to be a better team this upcoming season. This is about who will be the best video game team.
The production team at EA Sports has once again stepped their game up, updating their physics engine to create a more realistic, big time feel to their game. EA Sports is aiming to keep it real with this year's edition of their perennial blockbuster. With the new Infinity Engine, the hits are harder, the cuts are sharper and the game is played more in real time than before, when NCAA would have to rely on predetermined animations in the engine. Gone are the days of polygons running into one another and resulting in tackles. Now defenders will react when a ball carrier tries to juke or stiff arm their way past them.
The Infinity Engine made its debut last season with Madden '13 and will be making its way to the college ranks this year. So, what does this all mean when it comes to playing as the Oregon Ducks this year and how does it give Oregon the offensive advantage over a team like Alabama? First and foremost, this year's edition will see the addition of what is being called the "acceleration burst." The burst allows a player to cut through a hole or a cutback lane and use their natural ability to get into the open field, just like the real game. Developers have been working on blocking also, so instead of linemen running by the man about to make a tackle to lay a block down field, "real AI" will cause linemen to make the right block to spring a big play. In this new "real AI" the ever present bubble and tunnel screen will be blocked for properly allowing the speedy players to do speedy things on the field. In the past, spread teams such as Oregon were punished by the limits of the game engine but this season, it could prove to make the Oregon offense just as deadly in the game as it is in real life.
Tiburon is well aware that their last offering of NCAA Football was less than stellar and they are looking to right the ship in that regard. Attention to detail has been paramount when it comes to removing unneeded elements like clunky graphics behind menus. Cut scenes have been added and shortened so as to provide players a unique experience each time they play the game. A half time show starring Rece Davis and Kevin Pollack will be added and commentators Kirk Herbstreit and Brad Nessler will focus on what is going on in the game and how each drive effects the potential outcome in real time.
NCAA Football 14 looks to take a major step forward in creating the game that fans want. So tell me, what do you guys think about EA and Tiburon's efforts in creating a new, sleeker, faster, collegiate experience? Don't hold back, be sure to keep it real. I'll be asking somebody to have a dialogue with me for the second part of this post when it comes out next week.