Sony Computer Entertainment America has released the first screenshots from and information on NFL GameDay 2002 for the Sony PlayStation 2. The series' initial appearance on the PS2 seemed rushed and ultimately didn't live up to expectations. So, Sony's 989 Sports studio has a variety of enhancements and additions planned for this year's incarnation. On the visual front, NFL GameDay 2002 will feature revamped player models and textures. Facial features, jerseys, skin textures, and skin colors for every position have been 3D-scanned into the game. Additionally, animation routines such as drag downs, multiple-player tackles, lineman battling for position, pass protection blocks, and ankle tackles have been redone using motion-capture. New catch animations, including bobble catches, one-handed grabs, and diving two-handed snags have also been added. Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, who will serve as the official cover athlete for the game, was brought in for a variety of motion-capture sessions.
On the field, the physics engine has been tweaked and the AI has been enhanced. The defensive AI is able to read offensive formations better and make the appropriate audibles. On offense, quarterbacks read blitzes and make quick screen passes and offensive linemen trap block on defensive linemen, according to Sony. As a result of the planned changes, Sony hopes that this latest version of NFL GameDay can live up to the series' considerable lineage.
A new announcing team of Dick Enberg and Dan Fouts provides the commentary in NFL GameDay 2002. All-new analysis and back-and-forth banter has been added to the game. NFL GameDay 2002 is currently on schedule for release on the PS2 in early November. GameSpot will have more in the coming weeks.