Another year, another NCAA Football release. Much like the Madden series and Call of Duty, NCAA Football fans get to enjoy the annual release of a new title, with over half a million copies sold every year. So far the yearly release system has brought with it waves of criticism from players who feel that EA’s drive to release a new version every year comes at the expense of new quality gameplay and innovation. As the debate rages on between fans as to whether it is necessary to keep releasing entire games rather than updates, the latest instalment, NCAA Football 13, hits the shelves.
One of the bigger changes to this years iteration is likely going to cause a bit of a difficulty increase depending on how you play. Those passes have become more realistic and consequently more difficult. This new passing system adds a whole new dimension to the gameplay, which is a welcome challenge for seasoned NCAA players.
There have also been some tweaks to the graphics (such as the addition of motion blur) which, far from improving the overall presentation, actually gives the distinct impression of a rushed job. Although the game is more immersive as a whole, the numerous graphical glitches and commentary errors make for a disappointing overall presentation.
The Heisman Mode
Without a doubt the biggest change this year is the addition of the Heisman Mode, which elevates the game from being a simple rehash of NCAA 12. The Heisman mode allows you to play a season as any one of the 10 former Heisman winners with any team you choose. That’s right…you can make some truly hideous combinations such as putting Carson Palmer with Notre Dame! The Heisman mode makes heavy use of the new reaction time feature, which slows play down to allow for tactical moves. Perhaps this makes it a little too easy to beat the records set by the Heisman winners themselves. Overall this new element to the game is a definite success, especially as practically no new changes have been made to Road to Glory or Dynasty modes.
Freezing in Dynasty
The only major flaw I have noticed is that a few hours into playing Dynasty mode on the XBOX the screen freezes up and you have to reboot. This is incredibly frustrating, and judging by other user’s experiences it is a common problem with the NCAA 13. Hopefully EA will recognise this flaw and patch it quickly.
Is NCAA Football 13 a good game? Yes. Should you wait for Madden NFL 13 and buy that instead? Probably.