Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

NCAA Football 14

Preview: NCAA 14 getting physical, getting physics engine

10:30 AM on 04.16.2013 // Steven Hansen

College gets physical. Finally.

NCAA Football 14 is going to be a much better game than NCAA 13. I can assure you that much because it has implemented a physics engine, the Infinity Engine 2. If the name rings familiar, the first iteration of the Infinity Engine was implemented in last year’s Madden 13, prompting me to give it high marks. Football is physical. Physics are good for football.

The six week lead time on NCAA 13 (ahead of Madden) prevented the team from having enough time to employ the physics engine last year, but now the series is getting its new iteration, one designed to remedy some of the growing pains of the first version of the engine. The post play hijinks, like players generally falling over themselves like drunkards or occasionally looking like some monstrous contortion straight out of an Asian horror film, are just one of the issues that have been addressed.

NCAA Football 14 (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [previewed])
Developer: EA Tiburon
Publisher: EA Sports
Release: July 9, 2013

The implementation of the Infinity Engine 2 addresses a lot of the problems with the series. The stiff arm move in previous games, for example, has basically been a dice roll, tied to a set of prescribed animations. With physics, your timing matters. You can deliver a strong hit, use it to try and jostle off an incoming defender, and so on.

The dive button is now less a defeated, sad looking belly flop, and more a viable means of tackling runners. It’s useful for making sure to go low against big, bruising tailbacks and the like. The hit stick has been dialed up on defense, but without the “suction” effect of canned animation, the bit I played felt fairly balanced. It’s not over the top, but when a big hit connects, you feel it. We had one nasty hit elicit some "ooohs" and cringes. Similarly, you can miss with a hit stick and impotently glance off an opponent. It is as it should be; hopefully it all holds up over protracted play. As most people who play sports games know, it’s hard to spot strange flaws or inconsistencies until you’ve played repeatedly.

In an effort to bring more analog controls to the series, there is a stumble recovery mechanic tied to the right stick. I didn’t encounter it during my hands-on, but supposedly it can be used to manually regain balance, which could be a neat idea. Most importantly, on offense your ball carrier is more apt at not running haphazardly into his own teammates, which was a frustrating occurrence in Madden 13. Ball carriers will now perform an Assassin’s Creed style move, extending arms towards linemen and other blockers, and run around them when appropriate instead of the ball carrier mashing his front into his teammate’s back as erect as possible. This might prevent those silly, awkward fumbles.

When you’re actually running about with ball in hand, NCAA 14 will be less kind to players scampering about like headless chickens. Proper cutting will hopefully preclude players from jetting around in unrealistic swerves while maintaining top speed -- I did a lot of that when screwing around in NCAA 13, often with Barry Sanders, which was hilariously unfair. The sprint button is also making a return and players have a visible stamina meter tied to their stamina statistic. Sprinting will obviously burn it up and so will special moves, discouraging you from getting too spin happy. As games wear on, the stamina meter will also shrink a bit, giving you a little less in the tank to work with.

The skills trainer for core mechanics is also a welcomed addition. “Call of Duty still teaches you how to run and sight and shoot. Everyone who plays a shooter knows how, but they still teach you. We’ve been guilty of adding new features and not explaining how to use them.” The game will now teach you how to run the option, for example, highlighting the defensive player you’re meant to be reading as you choose whether to keep the ball as the quarterback or to pitch it to the appropriate player.

A few other touches outside of the usual iterative updates are equally welcomed. A slight delay in player switching is meant to keep you from accidentally running players out of position. Hot routes are contextually sensible -- your outside, deep receiving threat is less likely to wind up pass blocking. There’s also “by personnel” play calling, meant to aid in the no huddle. Previously, running a no huddle offense and changing the play could lead to players out of position. Blocking is alleged to be improved as well. Someone (or someones) supposedly went through every permutation of offensive and defensive play selection to ensure the blocking matchups would be correct. We’ll see how long it takes fans to find out whether or not that’s true (mind, the matchups could be accurate, but player skill comes into play as well).

So, yes, NCAA 14 is probably going to be the best game in the series, or at least the best iteration we’ve seen in many years, albeit by virtue of finally including a bunch of things that should’ve made it into the series much sooner. The core of the game plays much better, anyway, and that’s the important thing. Maybe we’re closing in on a modern football game that can compare to other great contemporary sports franchises, though I’ll be cynical and say it probably won’t come until next generation. And even then, will it be more fun than NFL Blitz?

Photo Gallery: (7 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Steven Hansen, Features Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure dtoidsteven Tips
Steven watches anime & sports, buys meat out of trucks, dates a Muppet, and is only good at cooking. He stands before you bereft of solace and well on the road to perdition. ('^ω^) more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
NCAA Football 14

  Jul 05

Review: NCAA Football 14

Giving it the old college try

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

hermosas chicas ucranianas

So that just happened: The Talos Principle

Sick, Sad and just dumb news: 25th November - Leighapalooza

Context Matters! Fanservice's Secrets EXPOSED!

To editorialize or not to editorialize: An editorial

Tiny Dangerous Dungeons REVIEW - The Pocket Metroidvania

Cblogs of 11/24/15 + Big Ass Fort

Primal Carnage: Extinction Review (PS4)

Belated Spoiler-Free SOMA Review

Friday Night Fights: The Blackest Of Fridays

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
'That's the best news I've heard in a long time!' Really, Fallout 4 NPC? You mean since the last time you had me kill another bunch of raiders at the exact same location? I'll pass along your thanks to Preston Garvey, by applying my boot to his bollocks.
TheKodu avatarTheKodu
I dunno if I just had a freak incident but I think Ubisoft may have just changed the Renown gain in Rainbow Six Siege to be less shit as in overnight they've patched it. If true, kinda good on them.
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
Does it mess with anyone else's head that when beating a SMBW level in Mario Maker the music doesn't do that little 'booowoo oop' at the end. [youtube][/youtube]
ScreamAid avatarScreamAid
I've developed a new hobby to indulge in while on Skype with friends: creating stupid Sonic OCs. I have so much fun making them for some weird reason, and once I have enough of them I might as well post a c-blog of them, am I right? Look out in the future
El Dango avatarEl Dango
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Boy howdy, does Divinity: Original Sin take a while to get going. But, it was worth it in the end. Probably the most hardcore RPG I've played. Stellar writing, at that! Combat's pretty amazing too. [img][/img]
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
So it seems I've locked into the Neutral ending for SMT IV and now I need to find specific challenge quests and complete them...? How (un)fun! Google is your friend - the videogame.
Riobux avatarRiobux
Interested in playing some Pathfinder? Trying to arrange a Dtoid Pathfinder group for Saturday nights (GMT) on Skype & Roll 20. If you're new to pen-and-paper RPGs, I don't mind at all and can bring you up to speed quick. Just comment if interested.
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Local convention had a great selection of game soundtracks 5 for $20! I got Halo 3: ODST (2 disk!), Gears of War 2, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Darksiders 2 (2 disk!), and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Some of the best soundtracks of the last 7 years!
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
Photos and videos are back on quickposts but clipping on some devices. We're going to add a new quickpost editing interface so photos and videos can only be displayed one way (a la twitter) to solve this. Also, a My cBlog link was added to your user menu
Flegma avatarFlegma
Machine-washed my Wii Fit meter yesterday by accident. Took the battery out and let it dry for the night. Luckily the meter still worked - but it had counted a fair number of steps more that day.
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Finally killed Ludwig, now if I could only get passed the 2 hunters on the second floor. that 2 some is rather annoying,and her holy blade kills in only a few hits. wish mine was that strong.
Casus Gaming avatarCasus Gaming
After reading a blog post about DMC4 I decided to watch all the cutscenes on Youtube. Tried the games years ago and couldn't get into them, but man that shit was stylish. Likeable protagonists, intense drama... still think DmC reboot wasn't that bad tho.
lewness avatarlewness
me on 1st ff14 raid (void ark): ooh so many people and lights, so many lights, lights, fuck I can't see, what is happening, i don't understand, is it tuesday already, get on the platform fuuuuck, wow void helm
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Just a reminder that you have until the 30th to get your Bloggers Wanted post, "Thankful it's over" in. I'm either going to tell you how I ruined my best online gaming experience or rip Twilight Princess a new one. Maybe both.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Huh. I just found out the developers of Hatred (remember that controversy?) region-locked their game to prevent it from being accessed by Australians. Destructive Creations are more censor-happy than Nintendo, it seems. Where's the outrage?
Oh yeah, I have an account on this site.
Parismio avatarParismio
Ever wanted to get that item behind that safe in the beginning of Fallout 4?:
Shinta avatarShinta
Got Resident Evil 4 Wii for $5. Uh ... this might be my favorite version. I'm just getting headshots nonstop. Did I miss any other Wii games that are frequently overlooked? Like, really obscure Wii games that no one talks about? I'm interested.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Poeple due not aprecciate teh hrdships of bein a squid.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -