E3 2002: NFL 2K3 preshow report

Visual Concepts' stellar football series goes back online.

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The Sega Sports NFL 2K franchise, which dropped jaws when it debuted on the Dreamcast and has made waves ever since, returns for another multiplatform release this year. Developer Visual Concepts is pulling together another ambitious entry in its premier sports series. The game will build on its predecessor's features by offering improved graphics that include redesigned 3D stadiums, improved animation, and updated player models with improved facial animation. The gameplay will get an equal amount of attention and feature a new franchise mode that's been redesigned from the ground up, improved AI, a new audible system, and improved commentary that memorizes past plays and team play-calling trends. You'll also find updated rosters, current team attributes and uniforms for the 2002 NFL season, the NFL's realignment changes, and the inclusion of the Houston Texans.

The biggest addition to the series, however, has to be online play. Visual Concepts has stated its intention to get the series back online, and now that the various hardware makers are finally making noise about their online plans, it looks like that will finally be a reality for most of the platforms. NFL 2K3 is slated to ship this fall on the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube. Look for more on the game from the E3 show floor this week.

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