NCAA Football 09 First Look

Two words: online dynasty. Want to learn more? Check out our first look at EA Sports' upcoming college football game.

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Online dynasty. Those are the two words that have been ringing in our ears since the moment we found out about the feature that looks to be the focal point of EA Sports' upcoming college football game, NCAA Football 09. Of course, the game is going to feature plenty of gameplay and visual tweaks that will present a more atmospheric and, well, collegiate atmosphere to the college game; and, yes, EA Sports did talk about all of those features and more during its unveiling of the game at tonight's press event in New York City. However, the details that have our ears perked are those that deal with the online dynasty mode, so let's just start there, shall we?

Up to 12 people will be able to compete in an online dynasty in NCAA 09, and users will be able to organize their competitive dynasties in a variety of ways: You and your buddies can play teams in the same conference, or mix it up and play teams from various conferences. Games against CPU-controlled teams will play out as they do in the offline dynasty mode; however, when your schedule has you facing a team controlled by another player, you'll be playing it against one another, either playing it normally or using the supersim feature to quickly get through the game.

Because each team's schedule will consist of games against other players and CPU teams, a commissioner will be assigned in each league to make sure that the dynasty league keeps moving, as well as to monitor players who are taking advantage of the system. For instance, if one player decides to restart his game against a CPU-controlled Mississippi State a number of times, the commissioner will be aware and will be able to take the action against that player. More than a judge, jury, and executioner, the commissioner looks to serve the important role of the engine that will keep the dynasty moving from week to week, over a maximum of 60 seasons.

As in the offline dynasty, when playing online, you'll be able to play a week's worth of activities leading up to that Saturday's game during the regular season, as well as the full lineup of offseason activities. The difference here will be that everyone in the dynasty league will need to complete all their week's actions before the league moves on to the next week. Naturally, the commissioner will be able to force the league to move forward if he or she sees fit. What's interesting about the weekly gameplay is that all of the players taking part will be able to play simultaneously. So while your two buddies are playing USC vs. UCLA, you'll be scouting players, while two other friends are recruiting against each other.

Yes, that crucial element--simultaneous recruiting--will be part of the online dynasty in NCAA 09 and it looks to be--with its strategy and gamesmanship--one of the highlights of the game. Though we haven't seen the actual interface, it sounds like recruiting will be very similar, if not identical to last year's game; you'll be able to pitch your school's strengths against the desires of the various players in the recruiting class, then sync up all of the recruiting results once everyone has finished the week in the online league. By the sound of it, player commitments will be made only after the week is up, so while you might get out-recruited by a rival, it probably won't come as a surprise. One more bit: All 12 players will be able to voice chat simultaneously with one another while taking care of their various in-game tasks for that week of the dynasty.

We'll pause our gushing of online dynasty mode for a bit, because NCAA 09's other gameplay elements look like they are coming together nicely as well. One of the keys on the field will be the composure of your quarterback, which will have very obvious effects on how your team performs. If your QB starts to melt down, throw a few bad passes, or even a pick, his composure rating will fall; as it decreases, you'll get visual cues, such as the on-field play arrows shaking visibly. Should his composure drop into the cellar, certain receiver routes will show up merely as question marks on the field. Note that you'll still see the full play correctly in the playbook; it's only when you view the play on the field that things will look strange; and only while your composure is down. By making passes and moving the ball up the field, you'll slowly regain your composure. One other interesting minigame will let you regain a bit of composure after giving up an interception; should you throw a pick, a pop-up will appear asking you to identify the defense that your opponent called on the previous play. If you guess correctly, you'll gain a small portion of your lost composure in the process.

While the controls in NCAA 09 will be similar to last year's game, the developer is still focusing on ensuring the game has a feel all its own. Thanks to new animations (and improved branching animation technology), players should be more agile than ever, able to quickly and smoothly move from one animation to the next. In addition, new control tweaks, such as the ability to move the stick left or right and stutter-step a defender, will give you another weapon in your arsenal for making your opponent look silly.

We look forward to getting our hands on NCAA Football 09 with a level of anticipation usually reserved for children on Christmas morning, and with the feature set finally out and in the open, we can't wait to tear the lid open on the online dynasty to see just exactly how this mode will play out. You can expect to see much more on NCAA Football 09, including a full hands-on report with the game, in the coming weeks. In the meantime, start working up your recruiting plans. We know we'll be working on ours.

Discussion

65 comments
msrebel
msrebel

Game is amazing, we just got it in okinawa, well atleast on the bases

ScarTissue9
ScarTissue9

I can't wait to get my hands on the game!!

SOONTOBECHARGER
SOONTOBECHARGER

ncaa is better than madden but i still dont know if to even waste my $60 on ncaa 09 i might as well keep my ncaa 08. probly just go and buy blitz the league II. although i would REALLY love to see an arena football game on the ps3 that would be sicckk. i loved the first arena football on ps2 i couldnt get enuff of it.

goosey7683
goosey7683

ok ncaa football 08 was wayyyyy better then madden 08 (my opinion) and this game looks great im defenitly going to get it the day it comes out

Killswitch47
Killswitch47

of all the good stuff EA keeps adding to the NCAA franchise i still can't believe they ruined the campus legend mode.. they brought in the madden format..which is horrible..absolutely horrible..i'd love nothing more than to see the old ps2 format brought back..that alone would make 09 better than 08

corespoon
corespoon

yes ncaa is way better then madden. it's been that way for years. also does anyone else find it funny that they put #1 seller on there box? it's the only ncaa football game. anything that makes ea feel better about there self. so here's to another year of EA makeing maybe 3 good games this year. march maddness better be good since 2k is not makeing one.

zodapanther
zodapanther

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Sloppy7
Sloppy7

H_U_R_D I totally agree with u. I enjoyed Ncaa way more than madden in 08. The gameplay just felt better. I will be getting this game when it comes out.

H_U_R_D
H_U_R_D

this game is 10 times better than madden. how can nobody see this?

Willy_T_1011
Willy_T_1011

It looks like a lot of fun! I hope the legend mode stays where you start like your in high school, but I want the high school games to have announcers like Corso. And yes, I drew my icon. War Eagle!

americansolsrfr
americansolsrfr

i just want the composer and when it had the stadium ranks back in 06 when the screen started to shake and all that. That was awesome, thats all i want back. i hate when games start to get to complicated.

guerillaKZ2
guerillaKZ2

it's still better to go out on the field and play football

jkhild
jkhild

PLEASE PUT REFS ON THE FEILD AND REALISTIC GAMEPLAY AND THE PREGAME WIT THE PLAYERS COMING OUT THE LOCKER ROOM LIKE ON THE PS2 VERSIONS

troopershades
troopershades

Interesting...I might get it just because I havent played it since 06 on the ps2.

joeyfine
joeyfine

5 of my buddies and i just cheered when we read this.... finally.

ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

please EA... I beg you to make playing the QB position more realistic... where you CAN'T scramble 30 yards backwards/sideways and still launch an accurate pass 60 yards downfield. and tweak the ball carrying fast players just runningf around the end on running plays like the D is stuck in mud. This stuff doesn't happen in real life. I just wish EA would finally make a game that didn't include all the cheese and glitches it's had for years now. Make a game tnat rewrds SKILL... not CHEESE! In other words.... go as SIMULATION as possible and make a hardcore FB game. Screw Little Johnny and dumbing the games down for him to play man!

trystkl1826
trystkl1826

Sounds like NCAA Football 09 is giving us a bang for our money.

kingisaactheiv
kingisaactheiv

Well said FALADIN...calling the recruits EVERYWEEK IS STUPID! ...if you fix nothing else EA, @least fix the LAG or else this game will be a great roster update because playing 08 online is almost impossible with the amount of LAG & no its not my connection. get it as smooth as call of duty4 & we could be talking about a classic football game

positive_damage
positive_damage

they should add the senior bowl this year, and maybe a deeper campus legend mode, where you actually have to distribute your time between practice, partying and studying. add those things and campus legend will be perfect.

TexasAnMGrad2K
TexasAnMGrad2K

Please, please, please, please EA - get Corso and Herbstreit into the studio to record some new commentary and dialog. They have been sputtering off the same generic comments for several years in a row!

Nerevarine-
Nerevarine-

i wonder how much worse the grass will look THIS year.

SocaWarrior
SocaWarrior

They should allow the commissioner to create recruits.

jgofett
jgofett

I dont hear anything about them adding formation subs back into the game,I totally hated that it was missing from NCAA and Madden.Like I want my starters covering kicks and thanks for not letting me sub out my slow run stopping LB for my fast LB on passing downs,bastages!!

Ruckuskromm
Ruckuskromm

I really hope that the PS3 version will be 60fps this year. People says it makes no difference, but from my experience. It's much more enjoyable. It's one of the reasons why I bought the 360 version last year. I want the PS3 one for the named roster saves that people post. I don't have the gear to do transfer saves for the 360.

godigoshin
godigoshin

well if the lag is anything like it was last year the entire online portion will be completely useless

americansolsrfr
americansolsrfr

I just hope they bring back the composure setting from 06 just revamped. i thought that that was a great idea. home field advantage and then the team composure was awesome. the screen shaking hearing the stadium going while, its great.

Faladin_Xander
Faladin_Xander

I Love Ncaa. This Gamespot preview feels like they got paid to do it. I want real info.. like i care bout the always new eye candy graphics they talk about every year since forever. I want unbugged gameplay. How bout they fix their depth chart bugs. How bout they fix the recruiting so u can have a life and actually get to play a game and not hate this new every week call 35 players thing. What about the return of create a team? Can i actually set my kickoff/return/linebacker in nickel and dime... since when is composure new... and for godsakes get new play by play audio...

nkfootball07
nkfootball07

hey everyone... im thinkin of gettin me and 11 other people to get together and make a commitment to a dynasty now... sounds like a great game but need some gamers to compete with....

taj7575
taj7575

PLEASE EA, PLEASE make this a good game. ncaa 07 and 08 sucked, make this good please!!!!

ToxicMold
ToxicMold

Online dynasty?!?! Oh man I can't wait!

ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

Sounds good with the online dynasty stuff. What I'm concerned with is that EA fixes some AI and gameplay issues etc... and finally make a 'Next Gen' Football game. New modes are nice... after the gameplay is killer. Madden and NCAA FB are far from that on next gen consoles.

samtheauburnfan
samtheauburnfan

Hey Geaux..... Auburn did last year.... LOL. I'm the first to admit it too..

rsox07
rsox07

This is going to be a crazy game!!!!!! Love it

ol_dj
ol_dj

public and private leagues please. oh and no LAG.

kingisaactheiv
kingisaactheiv

the online dynasty would be a great feature to the game if they are able to fix the horrible LAG problems NCAA08 suffered from via xbox LIVE.

Shas02
Shas02

Can't wait for this.....

cnorton34
cnorton34

The only positive about Don's post is that he actually used the word "this" instead of "dis". So he's only partially lazy.

VERS1ON
VERS1ON

don, you're right - God doesn't like ugly, and he also doesn't like ugly internet posts by lazy people who appear to have knowledge of grammar, and little knowledge of spelling. Keep THAT real!

ocdog45
ocdog45

they are doing their best to prevent cheaters

Gloveman08
Gloveman08

this game looks sweet and it will be better on the 360

Serious06
Serious06

i've always been more of a madden guy but this sounds pretty good

Ubermensche
Ubermensche

I hope it lives up to the hype. I haven't bought this series since 06'.

JoHnNyCbX-bX
JoHnNyCbX-bX

this game sounds like its going to be amazing...i love playing ncaa, and madden...i find it hard to determine which one is better cause i love 'em both...although i do feel there is more excitement playing ncaa than playing madden!

bryanlbs
bryanlbs

This sounds sweet. College Football blows Madden out of the water as far as I'm concerned. Maybe it's just the Madden fan boys... yeah... that's it.

geaux321
geaux321

Who has trouble beating Mississippi St. in the game?

LosDaddie
LosDaddie

Already pre-ordered the Xbox360 version!!:D