NCAA Football 11



PS3/XBox 360

Reviewed on PS3

It's been awhile since I purchased an NCAA Football game. I think 06 may have been my last, but I could be wrong. For me ever since the current generation of consoles came out NCAA and Madden have been sub par experiences to what was available on the PS2/XBox. This year EA has finally gotten it right....almost.

First off NCAA actually looks good this year. It's pretty, and it seems it's no longer playing with year old Madden technology. The new lighting system really surprised me in the first screenshots and it carries into on the field motion well. Everything looks far better than it has previously. The game also no longer relies on pre-canned animations as much as in the past. Your players make more natural moves. Thankfully and finally my receivers actually stop at the sideline with a foot in bounds and try to stretch for a catch instead of just catching the ball out of bounds. Your AI defense is still prone to having 15 passes a game hit them right in the hands with no interception. Yet they will make a crazy jumping, twisted backwards interception you would never expect. This has been driving me crazy for 10 years now....I guess I should just get used to it. ESPN integration is finally being used in a good way. Though I am really tired of Herbstreit and Nessler for commentary. It feels like the same shit for the last 10 years. And I actually miss Corso.

EA returns with it's now called Road to Glory mode (i think it was legend mode or something last time I played it). This allows you to create a high school player. Play through the state playoffs and get recruited by a college, and then naturally play through your career at the collegiate level. You can also export this player to be used in Madden. RTG mode also thankfully uses a camera angle now that is useful. But you lose all the presentation you get in a normal game. No TV presentation or commentary. I understand that it's you on the field and all, but just hearing the stadium announcer gets old quick.

Online dynasty is where NCAA 11 really shines this year. Sobay, War, Cherman and I are all playing together. And we are having a blast so far. Recruiting your new players can be done via the system or from your computer. You can also publish your own stories about your school, upcoming opponents and what not. It's a fun level of interactivity that has never been done before. The beauty here is with a 12 player limit, you don't have to worry about scheduling every single game with another real person. Most of your games will be vs. the cpu. This allows the season to move along at a good pace. As we won't have to worry about fitting into each others schedules until we choose to schedule each other or meet up in a bowl game. See you at the BCS Championship Sobay!

Story and Presentation

ESPN integration this year ups the experience. RTG mode features video of Erin Andrews. Clean menu system. You can write your own stories in Online Dynasty!

9.0

Graphics

Keeping the score a little low here. The on field stuff looks great, but the crowd not so much. A little frame rate slow down from time to time.

8.0

Sound

Crowds are loud and rowdy, but Nessler and Herbstreit drive me insane at times. EA! Redo the damn Play by Play. On the field effects are par for the course.

8.0

Gameplay and Mechanics

New animation system prevents many issues of previous entries. New AI is much improved as well. Best playing football game I think we may have ever had.

9.5

Longevity

If you get into an online dynasty you could be playing this game for a long time. If not some of the other modes may not last you. RTG isn't that much fun. But you always have online play.

9.0

Verdict

A much much improved game of football. Better presentation, better gameplay, better graphics. And I simply can't say enough about online dynasty.

8.7