At its launch event in Los Angeles, Sony finally revealed NFL GameDay 2001 for the PlayStation 2. GameSpot had the opportunity to sit down with the game, and we have the first gameplay details and several high-resolution screenshots. The game has been in development for 14 months, and several members of the original GameDay team were involved with the project.
GameDay 2001 for the PlayStation 2 controls and plays similarly to GameDay 98 on the PS. The collision detection in particular is highly advanced, as we could feel every bone-crunching hit. Additionally, the game's silky smooth animation complements the fast-paced offensive and defensive controls. Players such as Mike Alstott, Jerome Bettis, Chad Brown, Tim Brown, Christian Fauria, Ryan Leaf, Hardy Nickerson, John Randle, Jason Sehorn, Akili Smith, Jimmy Smith, Lamont Warren, and Charles Woodson were used to achieve the advanced motion-captured animation. Adding to the solid gameplay is the adjustable AI. For example, players can tweak the AI to create stronger run defenses, or they can pump up the secondary and the overall pass defense. In general, the computer adapted quickly to our play calling. The analog stick is used to control the players, and the face buttons are used for juke moves, stiff arms, and tackling.
Graphically, the game isn't quite on par with EA's PS2 version of Madden 2001. However, there are some cool effects that add to the game's overall look. Each of the player faces is modeled after its real-life counterpart, and everything from shoulder pads to face masks is replicated from the real-life players. In fact, the player's mouths actually move in-sync when they are talking trash on the field. Additionally, the field conditions affect the players visually. During a particularly rainy day, players' jerseys will get progressively muddier as the game wears on, and a similar effect is used when playing in the snow. The stadiums in the game were also replicated from the actual NFL fields using blueprints and photographs.
The game's create-a-player mode is also very deep. Some of the attributes that can be tweaked include face style, face mask type, gloves, elbow pads, neck rolls, shoe style, height, and weight. Additionally, you can choose to use actual NFL players to create one of your own. For example, you can give your player Kurt Warner's arms and Daunte Culpepper's speed. Other features include the ability to trade data between the upcoming NCAA GameBreaker 2001 for the PlayStation 2 and GameDay 2001. Players can draft graduating seniors from GameBreakers into GameDay 2001.
NFL GameDay 2001 will be released on CD format and will arrive on the PlayStation 2 on November 14. It will be supported by a marketing campaign that will be separate from the one Sony is using to support the PlayStation version of the game.