NCAA Football 10: Erin Andrews is Watching You

If you're anything like me, you set aside a good chunk of your day in order to think about ESPN sideline reporter--and occasional EA Sports game personality--Erin Andrews. After all, what's not to like? She's smart, knows sports inside and out, and is a great interviewer to boot. Oh...

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If you're anything like me, you set aside a good chunk of your day in order to think about ESPN sideline reporter--and occasional EA Sports game personality--Erin Andrews. After all, what's not to like? She's smart, knows sports inside and out, and is a great interviewer to boot. Oh and she also happens to be attractive. Even if you spend too much time thinking about Andrews in real life, the tables will be turned in the upcoming NCAA Football 10, as Erin Andrews will be following you every step of the way in NCAA Football 10's newly rechristened career mode, known as Road to Glory.

Road to Glory mode is essentially the old Campus Legend mode with a new coat of paint. From the outset, the goal is still the same here--you create a college player from scratch, take him through his high school playoffs, then get recruited by the school of your choice and begin your college football career. If that sounds familiar, the trappings that surround your player's journey have received a facelift. Here's some of the highlights:

Erin is Watching You
Erin Andrews hosts periodic Road to Glory updates that follow your progress every step of the way. From the moment you step on field at your school of choice, Andrews will be there to highlight your achievements in a series of video vignettes that put the focus squarely on your career.

Herbie in the Mix
After particularly successful games, you'll get post-game wrap-ups from Andrews and ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit who will break down your performance complete with recorded highlight footage of your player doing his thing in the game. What's interesting is that what Herbstreit has to say about your player will change depending on the situation. For example, my first RtG player was a five-star QB who led his high school team to his state championship with ease, and had the pick of the litter when it came to colleges. I chose Auburn where he came in as a first-stringer, and Kirk's glowing assessment of his abilities was right in line with his skills. For my second player, also a QB, I simmed through the HS playoffs, where the team was knocked out after the second round. He came onto Auburn as a walk-on fourth stringer and Herbstreit's pre-season analysis was far less optimistic.

In My Room
As soon as you sign with a school, you'll be taken to a revamped dorm room which serves as the front-end for Road to Glory mode. From here, you can access any of the various things you can do in the game--including daily events such as a practice and class, a trophy case where you can check out the awards you've amassed during your career, a television set where you can watch your collected highlight videos, a photo shelf that will let you upload pictures from your career, and more.

When playing with my fourth-string QB, attending practice is essential (and the only way to move up the depth chart). I spent a ton of time on the practice field--the road from fourth string to starter is a long one--and one nice feature is the ability to instantly move from a practice one day to the next day's session (without having to exit and then reload). The only downside to skipping directly to your next practice is that you skip out on your evening activity (such as hitting the gym, going to the library,visiting the trainer, or studying your playbook). Considering it helps you get the starting position that much quicker, it seems worth it to spend your first few weeks focusing solely on practice and worrying about those other aspects later in your career.

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Legendary Comparison
Playing well in your Road to Glory games will add to your legend on-campus. Playing well will add points to your overall legend score, which you can then compare against other players online. By accessing a menu in Road to Glory mode, you can compare your career player against those at the same position throughout the entire NCAA, in your conference, or at your school.

If Road to Glory mode doesn't play any differently than the Campus Legend modes that came before it, the increased focus on your created player at least offers a spotlight for you to bask in during your time on campus. For more screens from Road to Glory mode, check out the new screens in the NCAA Football 10 image gallery.

NCAA Football 10 is due for release on July 14; look for more on the game in the coming weeks.

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