ESPN NFL 2005 sporting new features

Visual Concepts' new football game will include an expanded franchise mode, enhanced tackle controls, and ESPN personalities.

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Today developer Visual Concepts gave sports-mad gamers new details about its upcoming football game, ESPN NFL 2005. The sequel to last year's ESPN NFL Football (which was itself the successor to the NFL 2K series), the game is tentatively scheduled for release on the Xbox and PlayStation 2 around the real NFL season's start.

When ESPN NFL 2005 does arrive on store shelves, it will sport several new features. The game's franchise mode has been expanded and will now offer players far greater control of their team's season. Through the mode's new watch-and-react visual simulator, players can observe each game via a play-by-play visual simulcast à la ESPN Gamecast. If their team starts to lose, players can switch coaches or take direct control of the game themselves. Franchise mode will also feature detailed control of a team's training, right down to the players' week-to-week workout schedules.

Also new is Maximum Tackle, a dynamic control system that lets players fine-tune their offense and defense. On offense, players can use the system to make the ball carrier fight for extra yards while being tackled and, in the case of superstar players, break free. On defense, Maximum Tackle gives players complete control when making tackles, letting them select between standard hits or spectacular sacks.

ESPN NFL 2005 also has a treat for avid viewers of its namesake network. The game will feature several real-life ESPN personalities: SportsCenter anchor Trey Wingo and NFL draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. will comment on League goings-on, while NFL PrimeTime host Chris Berman will supply postgame analysis and weekly highlights. Last but not least, Suzy Kolber will turn in double duty as sideline reporter and postgame interviewer.

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