NCAA Football 08 Campus Legend Hands-On

We go from being a star player in high school to a backup college player in our latest hands-on with NCAA Football 08's campus legend mode.

Every year tens of thousands of high school football players dream of continuing their careers at the collegiate level, but most of them will never know what it's like to play in an enormous stadium in front of 60,000 rabid fans. EA Tiburon is doing its best to make sure that dream comes true for everybody in NCAA Football 08's campus legend mode. We recently spent some time with the mode at EA's Summer Preview event and tried to see if we had what it takes to take our game from high school to a Division 1 powerhouse. It wasn't easy, but it sure was fun.

You can start your campus legend career in a number of ways: You can take over the career of any existing collegiate player, you can create a player and start him off in college, or you can create a high school player. Just be sure to pick a position you enjoy because you can't change it once you've begun. Should you go the high school route, you'll start the game as a senior who's about to take part in a 16-team playoff featuring schools from real cities in whatever area you said your player is from. The first three games take place on what looks like a typical high school field with a small number of bleachers packed with fans. If you can make it to the championship game you'll be rewarded with your first taste of what it's like to play at the next level because your game will take place in the stadium of the nearest major university.

Your focus isn't just on winning playoff games; it's also on playing well and garnering the attention of college recruiters. This means you'll have to make every play count, especially since your coach can bench you if you're stinking up the joint. But be aware that if you're blowing out the other team, your coach might call off the dogs and pull you too. Because you're a player and not a coach, you'll have to run the plays that are sent in by the head coach. EA is toying with the possibility of letting you call audibles if you're the QB, but no final decision has yet been made. You'll have control over only the player you've created, and the game will quickly simulate any play you're not involved in, though you can choose to watch any play you'd like. While it's only natural to want the ball in your hands on every play, it's surprisingly fun to throw a block that springs a player free for a big gain--especially if you're a quarterback. QBs naturally get the most action and receivers the least, but you can call for the ball if (like any receiver worth his salt) you think you're open on every play.

Once your high school career has wound down you'll be presented with a list of the schools that want you to don their colors. While this is a small victory, your journey has just begun. Do you go to a small school where you'll come in and challenge for the starting job right away, or do you swallow your pride and ride the pine at a major program? We chose the big school route and headed off to Nebraska to see if we could channel our inner Tommy Frazier. As expected, we were way down on the depth chart. Heck, we were lucky to just get into the stadium. But we didn't come this far to be a glorified water boy; we came to play, and that meant working hard in practice.

When practice started we were shown how far behind the next player on the depth chart we were. Basically, you'll need to earn about 21 practice points for every one overall rating point between you and the player above you. When your rating equals his, the job is yours. After practice we were awarded points that went toward improving our quarterback's accuracy, throwing power, carrying ability, elusiveness, spine move, and juke. While a backup quarterback's role is mostly limited to mop-up duty in blowouts, other nonstarters will need to be prepared to contribute to special teams, both on offense and defense. In addition to practicing, you'll need to figure out how to best spend your free time. You can choose to study, go to the movies, or play pickup basketball, which may raise or lower certain attributes or even cause injury. Being all about our education we decided to stay in and hit the books. Hey, we said we wanted to be like Tommy Frazier, not Lawrence Phillips.

Even though it has been just a short time since our last hands-on time with the game, it's already looking and playing even better. The new gang tackles look great, and while there are even more animations in this build, the frame rate was more consistent and smooth. EA was tight-lipped about other aspects of the game, but we were able to get a few tidbits on some things to look forward to. Not only will there be 115 stadiums, but UCS's new stadium will be in the game, as will Vanderbilt's new digs and Alabama's upgraded stadium. We also got a closer look at the beautifully detailed trophies that will fill your trophy room...if you're any good.

NCAA Football 08 is due out on July 17 for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. We'll continue to bring you the latest on the game as its release date approaches.

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Discussion

38 comments
derren22
derren22

i like what they did but they could how added a lot more thing but i guess 09 will be better

moose5202
moose5202

I wish I could turn my work in days late, kinda like how the gamespot review team doesnt have a review up for NCAA or AllPro days after the release. Why am I paying for this???

Dadriverman
Dadriverman

Ok GameSpot you need to get the review on this game, it's out already.

MrArmageddon54
MrArmageddon54

well from what I saw this game is horrible I bought it to play the high school mode and guess what no high school I bought the ps2 version so if your buying it for that then don't buy it

indigovenom
indigovenom

a football role playing game, thats whats up, bravo. now if only you can bag the prom queen...hmmm

juliusIII
juliusIII

Superstar was very disheartining. I never could shave off anything on my 4.5 40. I like the fact that this time you'll actually go through the progressions of being down in the depth chart, playing special teams, and working hard in practice to finally play your position and make a name for yourself. It was ridiculously easy to win the Heisman since NCAA 06. Hopefully Campus Legend is as good as it sounds.

mavraam
mavraam

I think that this will be just as good as madden for me but the campus mode will push it over i can only get one and i think ima get this cause super star sucked last year for madden

mavraam
mavraam

hell yea go IOWA STATE! F* CK IOWA

Hades_30
Hades_30

I love MLB 07 The Show, simply for the Road to the Show game mode. NCAA 08's Campus Legend sounds the same, and I'm looking forward to taking a high school kid and making him a big time NCAA star.

juliusIII
juliusIII

Campus Legend did not need all this gimmicky crap, but NCAA has always pushed out a likeable game. Hopefully, you'll still be able to carry a player through the NFL( Im wit u on that note phsknights) (hell, I still got a feeling of nostalgia for the old high school football games for the origional Playstation). Oh, by the way........ GO TROJANS GO RUTGERS GO NITTANY LIONS GO YELLOW JACKETS GO AZTECS WEST COAST EAST COAST DIRTY SOUTH GO PAC 10 GO ACC GO BIG EAST GO BIG X !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ObsidianArbiter
ObsidianArbiter

not as big of improvements as they did with dynasty but i really dont think campus legend mode really needed it, should still be a great game and yes im sure u will be able to bring your college player to madden if you want to just like in past years

phsknights08
phsknights08

will u b able 2 bring ur person from college to madden?

stanhigareda
stanhigareda

It seems like an interest concept, but then again, is that necessary?

theKSMM
theKSMM

I won't feel that I have a complete experience until I can groom my star player from infancy or maybe even earlier. Give me the option to choose the woman who conceives my future All Star. Then again, maybe that's a different game...

bear1961
bear1961

i cant wait to play high school. i hope they did the detroit high schools. tht would be sweet i also cant wait for building your player and paying pick up basketball. 2k sports, watch out! i had it on the ps2 and it was basically the same. blow a team out, win the championship. i left my junior year. then i exported to madden and got bored after one championship and mvp. that was the same but worse that ncaa 07

tat2dchad
tat2dchad

i wanna know if it is gonna play like the old ps2 versions of madden and ncaa or is it gonna be garbage like madden was for the ps3?

Babytaz77
Babytaz77

This sounds great i love the Idea of starting out in high school to show your stuff

BlakkSteel
BlakkSteel

The sad thing, is this game has ran rings around Madden for years. If I were more into college football, I'd be on this. Even so, I'm sure this'll be a good game (so I hope! - LOL).

thetolan87
thetolan87

oh my god... college football is grande... oh my god!

Arnoco
Arnoco

All these years i was buying MADDEN, but this year im going to try this game. THis game sounds great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ocdog45
ocdog45

IM ALL ABOUT DYNASTY MODE imo, BUT ILL TRY IT OUT

quinones71
quinones71

finally they bring back the stuff that made this game great

johnbonham1980
johnbonham1980

Looks awesome. I think this year I'm going to be ignoring Madden completely and going for this one and All Pro...

king23_
king23_

WOW!!! I'm Speechless. Can't wait for this game to come out

qmoney88
qmoney88

WOOO!!!! I cant wait for this bad*** game this is gonna rock!!

UOducks521
UOducks521

sooo stoked! i cant wait to see if i can make the roster at oregon. my anticipation is ultra high!!

MFazio23
MFazio23

I can't wait! I love playing as a single position.

Espurs117
Espurs117

Sounds great, but dynasty mode info!

jag215
jag215

I am very exvited abot this game, but I am dieing for some dynasty info.

sith_acolyte15
sith_acolyte15

I can't wait for this game. My anticipation is far greater than it was last year, which was the highest it had ever been.