Forget RPG Football... all that matters is what takes place from goalline to goalline
Before I start, let me first say that the main thing I want is a great playing football game. I'm not into "race for the heisman", because honestly, I'd rather just take my created player thru the first 4 years of my dynasty mode. Im not knocking RFTH, just letting those know that if your really into it, your probably not going to agree with my review... second thing to know is that I hate Madden, I hate NBA Live, and other than Fight Night, I really cant stand EA Sports... well, I did like MVP Baseball, but thats gone now...
That said, honestly, I'd give this game about a 8.5 or so.
Absolutely beautiful to me. The stadiums and players are gorgeous. To actually see the real reflection of the stadium off the helmets and not just some generic lighting is something that is just incredible. The way the sun shines on the players at 12:30 pm at the start of the game, and the way it changes throughout the game is great. The animations are a great addition. Defensive backs are cocky !$%holes after making big plays, Linebackers give the Degeneration X "Suck It" after climbing off a sacked QB. Wr's and RB's constantly look behind as they streak down the field with the ball, checking for defenders, celebrations after big plays, perfect TD celebrations... an example, my slot receiver did an out and up and my flanker did a deep post route... the Saftey went for the Slot receiver leaving my flanker wide open for a 46 yard touchdown... he caught the ball in the endzone and just walked about 5 steps forward almost skipping like it was easy.
The crowd is ugly, and there are clipping issues... I wanted to take some snap shots of my RB diving over the Goal Line, but the ball was clipping all the way into his forearm (looks like his hand was coming out of the tip of the ball) so i didnt take the shot. The QB sometimes gets sacked without actually getting hit, even tho he would have anyway. There is slow down when they pan around the stadium... I dont really mind it tho cause it lets me marvel at the stadium and weather.
Crowd Chants "Hey Hey Hey, Goodbye", or when I was up by 17 against #23 Clemson with my Unranked BC Eagles... 2 minutes left, nothing but chants of "Overrated". Tackles sound great with my suround sound.
Same commentary we've been haring for the last 2 years
But gone are the days of the Offensive line's horrible "blocking"... gone are the days of your lead back running right by the Linebacker leaving you to be crushed. The Passing game is very similar to last year's game. Except the Defensive Backs play the ball a whole lot better. I have yet to see my Defensive Back backpedalling with his back to the QB... sometimes they swat the ball when it could have been an easy Interception, but I'm guessing thats to keep the stats a little more realistic.
I never thought EA could pull of making a Football game play as good as this does, but there are a few errors... obviously the sacks where you dont even make contact... and they seemed to have back tracked to older Madden's in that you have to use the Dive button to make a tackle... (normally u can run into the ball carrier and it would go into a tackle animation, now u just kinda run into the guy)... and everyone knows the first day of practice on Defense, your taught to drive off your feet... not completely dive.
The AI is much improved, but there is one thing that they still havent really fixed... the computer really doesnt attack ur weaknesses. Playing as Boston College, my DBs are almost like in prevent... even if they are in a Cover 2 Man... (meaning they give up a lot of 5-12 yard passes) yet playing Clemson, midway thru the 3rd, their QB had only attempted 9 passes (5 min quarters)... and they were pretty much content on 3 yard runs... I would have liked the computer to have tried to exploit my defense a little more... make me have to correct my playcalling.
I just think its a great game of football... it doesnt have the race for heisman, but like I said, I didn't care for RPG football, and with the improvements theyve made in On Field Gameplay, Im more than happy with my purchase. If your like me, and actually care about what happens between the goal lines, then I recommend this game for you. If your more into taking History Tests and clicking on a button that reads "Social Event" and moving to the next day of a calendar, then I wouldnt recommend getting this game. Its the first version of the game for the 360, and its not a port... therefore the non football features didnt make it in this year... but the gameplay is there, the graphics and animations are there, the stadium feel is there, everything is there except GPAs and Campus Popularity.
Get this game if you like football.