After a decade-long drought, the EA Sports College Football video game is making a comeback. The release date has been set for July 12, 2024, and fans couldn’t be more excited. Madden gave fans a sample of how the new NCAA could possibly be with their “Face of the Franchise” mode. Players were able to select from a few college teams such as Oklahoma, Miami, Michigan State etc., and play a few games until they made their way into the NFL.
With the game being released in less than six months and not a bunch of spoilers being released, there’s lots of speculation about what can and can’t be in the new video games. There are a lot of different things fans would like to see in the new NCAA game and many different directions EA could choose to go. Here are four things that should be included in the new NCAA game.
Four Things the New NCAA Game Should Have
“MyPlayer” Style Road to Glory
Road to Glory has arguably been the NCAA’s most prestigious game mode during its run. Having the thrill of leading your high school team to a State Championship while also getting recruited by both the Power Five and Group of Five teams was a different level of excitement and commitment. Considering Road to Glory will once again be a big hit for the new video game how could it be even better than before? Make it similar to NBA 2K’s MyCareer mode.
A lot of NBA 2K’s success has come from giving gamers the ability to create their own player and basically free roam in the park or neighborhood. This freedom allows players to shop in retail stores such as Nike or Adidas, work out in the Gatorade/team practice facility, and simply be able to freestyle their play on their timing. The previous NCAA games were very basic and limited in what a player could do. The most a player could do is go to practice for position competitions and play games. Imagine being able to free roam similar to NBA 2K.
This could give the player opportunities to roam around the team facilities, talk to coaches such as position coaches, complete workouts/practices, and much more. It’ll be a tall task to try to duplicate each and every unique team facility, but keeping it simple with an indoor practice facility and a weight room with the team logo stamped all over would go a long way.
A Storyline in Road to Glory
Another big thing that NBA 2K has done and Madden recently decided to experiment with is storylines in the created player modes. In the other NCAA games, there wasn’t much hype or build-up around your created player. A set of three different storylines a player could choose from would take this game over the top. The first storyline is “the five-star prospect with high expectations”, the second would be “the backup fighting for a starting position” and lastly “the walk-on with a chip on his shoulder”
Of course, whatever storyline is chosen would be a foundation for how the college career starts. The five-star would obviously be an instant starter and an “easier” path to the NFL but the pressure is at an all-time high, whereas the walk-on has no expectations and would have to grind their way up to earn a roster spot. For whatever storyline the player decides to choose it’ll add extra fun and motivation to either keep your starting spot, take a starting spot, or become an unsung hero.
Also, giving players situational moments that could help build team morale, coaches’ trust and even playing time is a must-add. It would be interesting to include these moments to determine a player’s direction and decision-making, and if wrong consequences could apply. For example, someone using their player is approached with an ultimatum. That player could either skip class and go to the local party or skip the party and attend class, which would serve as consequences from the head coach if the wrong decision is made. It’ll give players the option to control the direction of their player freely but with a cause and effect.
Every college football program has its own distinctive tradition. Some mean much more than football and demonstrate a strong bond of humanity, such as Boston College’s Red Bandana game or Iowa’s “The Wave”. Others like watching Virginia Tech enter Lane Stadium to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” or seeing Camp Randall Stadium shake between the third and fourth quarters from “Jump Around” by House of Pain make you want to run through a wall, or throw on shoulder pads or both.
Either way, traditions are a huge part of what makes college football top tier and EA Sports College Football should take that into account. A nice mix of some of the more “simple” traditions would be a great mix as well. EA should allow the opportunity to pick either whiteout or blackout games, checkboard the seats for Volunteers fans, and band chants as well. The addition of school traditions would be huge for the game to get a more realistic approach to a college football atmosphere and could add some cool points from the fans.
College Football Gameday
College Football Gameday is the staple for what a great gameday show should be and makes college football exciting. The featured location and game is always a great atmosphere, the interviews/ stories from the players and coaches beefs it up, oh, and don’t forget the infamous signs that appear weekly. However, nothing is better than Lee Corso wearing the mascot head of what team he thinks will win the featured game.
A gameday show would be a great addition whether it’s in Dynasty mode, Road to Glory, or a simple head-to-head matchup against friends. The gameday experience would add the extra enthusiasm and hype around your weekly matchup. Previous NCAA games made every game feel the same, no matter if you were playing for Auburn and had a matchup against Alabama or The Citadel. With College Football Gameday choosing your city/game for their weekly appearance it’ll feel more like a must-win game compared to just another game on the schedule.
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