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NCAA 14 E3 Video Analysis (video from madscientist06) Stuck
Posted on June 13, 2013 at 10:37 AM.

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My first thought after I finished this whole video was just, wow. So many great things going on from a gameplay perspective.

SIDENOTE: I am not a football whiz in the slightest. I know more about football than the average male, but by no means do I even pretend to be a guru of the sport. I can’t tell you anything about why you should audible to a hook zone with this defender, or why that teams gap penetration is horrible (I don’t know if that even made any sense)—but, I can tell you why line play and foot planting look great because I watch a lot of football on TV.

Broken down into simplest terms, do not expect to read this and get a full fledge X’s and O’s break down of the video—instead, expect an informed opinion on what is improved based on the video and why I think it will benefit the game.

Before I jump into gameplay, let me talk a second about presentation.
  • I see a lot of comments being made about the pre-game introduction, where people think it is weird showing the two teams playing before you actually play the game itself. Other games like NBA 2K do this, but it is a bit more "normal" in that game because teams usually play each other multiple times in the season—whereas in football, teams only play once a year. I would like it better if it just showed your team running through the tunnel, going through pre-game stretching, running plays, getting pumped up etc., but the montages to me are fine; I do see where everyone is coming from though.
  • The menus look great.
  • A few nice pre- and post-play clips were shown with players coming into the huddle, congratulating each other, etc. Really captures the moment.
  • I can see myself using the zoom cam. I think it zooms in a little too much after the play starts, especially on a run (unless it was just because the camera madscientist was using didn’t cover the whole TV screen).

There are other presentation aspects that I liked, but I really want to get into gameplay since there are a lot of things that can be pointed out that might slip peoples mind.

SIDENOTE: The game is probably being played on the Normal game speed setting. Some animations look like they happen too quick, which will be alleviated when users put the game on Slow or Very Slow.

Right from the kickoff, we see some good and bad things. The bad are the running animations, which we all knew weren't the best. They aren't HORRIBLE, but they aren't too great either. The good is the foot planting. One can immediately see that extreme swerve running will be a thing of the past. Swerve running won't be completely eliminated, but most of it will be gone with the new foot planting technology.

I do want to take back something that I said in a post a few days ago. I was bashing the running animations when the players just "turned" and did not "cut", basically saying that the players didn't even lean through the turn. However after looking over this video I am glad to say I jumped to conclusions and was wrong - the turning looks realistic for the most part. (Actually, one of my favorite parts of the video involves this very subject.)

At 5:15, the pulling o-lineman either misses a block or does not target the linebacker running directly at him. One of few sore spots in the video.

***The play at 6:00 is an important one - many good things seen here. To start the play off, one Michigan defender trips over his own teammate, which has nothing to do with anything really, it's just kinda funny and made me laugh. It happens in a realistic manner though, so that's a good thing.

What happens next is something that I have always wanted to be able to do in an NCAA football game. We have all seen highlights of quick, agile guys like De'Anthony Thomas and Kenjon Barner out of Oregon, where they run parallel behind the line of scrimmage and suddenly make a cut upfield that leaves the defender flying past them. (Remember my last blog post about NCAA 14 being more dynamic, then you will appreciate what comes next.)

Example, 1:09 of this video:

In previous NCAA games, the defender would somehow go against every law of physics, turn with you and tackle you - this took the immersion out of the game for me and made me really feel like I was playing a video game. However in madscientist's video at 6:02, not only does the virtual player cut upfield past the over-pursuing defender, it was the CPU ballcarrier that did it!***

At 6:41, watch WR #84. He has a pivot route, (I think that's what it's called) and his defender looks to be a linebacker that is playing man coverage. When WR #84 makes his pivot, the linebacker is left searching for his shoes. Bye-Bye psychic coverage. Also, look at WR #17 on the left side of the LOS. He is running a corner route, and the defender looks to be a defensive back with better man coverage skills. When the receiver makes his cut to the corner, the DB is just a step-or-two behind him. Good stuff here.

At 7:00, the CPU ball carrier is at work again. He tucks the ball into the HB's gut and pulls it back when he sees the DE converging, takes off right, cuts upfield past the over-pursuing defender (!!!) and cuts back to the right - all while using fluid motions and great foot planting. The CPU running attack and option honestly look deadly this year.

All-in-all, blocking looks great in this video, running looks awesome, CPU option and ball carriers look extra awesome, and I am one happy man.

This is just from one video, where usually I would be having to give myself false reasons to be excited about the upcoming game. I am happy to say that NCAA 14 is making me feel the same way I felt when NCAA 06 came out, my last truly enjoyed NCAA Football game.
# 1 The_Wise_One @ Jun 12
Agree 100%. This game is surprising me big time.
# 2 TjJunior @ Jun 13
Looks great, should have looked like this in 08 in my opinion, but what would be their major selling point now if they incorporated it that early in the console relevancy cycle?
# 3 Tomba @ Jun 13
FLOORED Absolutely LOVING the ZOOM camera its near PERFECT. CAPS be darned! The game play smooth the grass REALISTIC and it just looks like NCAA 08 but like 10X better! Will be happy to play and edit this one
# 4 Cardot @ Jun 13
We all have our pet peeves that others aren't bothered about at all. But I HATE when the pre-game has hilights of a game that hasn't happened yet. In any sports game. I don't understand this design decision at all. It kills the immersion for me and screams a reminder that I am playing a video game.
# 5 DetroitStyle @ Jun 13
None of these gameplay improvements will matter if it take 10 minutes to go from one menu to another :-P. Seriously though, this video looks phenomenal so far.
# 6 DetroitStyle @ Jun 13
Just wanted to add as well that kick returns have not changed. That's my only solid complaint from the video. Watch it at 2:35. The blockers in the upper left corner play patty cake for one hit and run up field into no mans land.
# 7 AlreadyKnoJ @ Jun 13
Wow are you kidding me, Number 58, at 5:18, DIDNT BLOCK ANYBODY. Cmon man what improved blocking, you still cant run sweeps with out the pulling guard missing his block smh
# 8 volwalker @ Jun 13
Blockers have been running up the field into no mans land on kickoffs since NCAA 06. This will never change. I know because I was playing some 06 last night and that caught my attention. This post has gotten me excited to play 14. The demo can't get here soon enough.
# 9 AlreadyKnoJ @ Jun 13
6:06 the safety didnt breakdown at all.... completely misses the tackle on the option... at 6:00 the punt returner magically gains possession of the ball, doesnt even attempt to field it.... Wheres the Infinity Engine???????? Im pissed
# 10 volwalker @ Jun 13
It's just the pregame. None of that matters except for solid gameplay. I guarantee you that 85% of us just skipped through the pregame stuff, even when playing the older games.
# 11 chi_hawks @ Jun 13
great write up. that video did look pretty dang good. The wr buring the linebacker and that fake-in then out route was awesome.

stupid question - is this game coming out on ps4 or just current gen?
# 12 inkcil @ Jun 13
I agree with disappointment in the return game...wish there was something that could/would ever be done to improve it.
# 13 AlreadyKnoJ @ Jun 13
Its a decent preview saw some things i like some things i dont overall im get the game.. its worth it
# 14 LegendKilla13 @ Jun 14
I Hate the new intros also. they should have kept it the same! Who cares that for some people it took too long to get into the game. all those people had to do was press X/A to skip it. Such a shame
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