13 is a special number this year. 13; the namesake of this year’s NCAA Football, but also 13 is the number of uniforms that have been digitized for the Oregon Ducks and their high flying offense! That’s right, with 13 different pre-set uniforms for the Ducks they lead their way into a ranked four position atop the preseason charts in NCAA 13. That’s not all that’s changed with this newest edition of the long-standing franchise. There have been various tweaks, pokes, and prods to this years graphics and animations, but it comes also with the addition of a new mode: Heisman Challenge.
This new Heisman Challenge mode lets you step into the shoes of ten different Heisman winners and play as them–on your favorite team–for a whole season to try and best their own candidacy for the Heisman trophy. Armed with a new reaction time feature–in Heisman Challenge and Road to Glory modes–you can set out on your conquest with a plethora of new throwing and catching animations as well as a slightly overhauled control scheme. Now, like never before, you can see your rise to become a College Football Legend impeded by new difficulty settings in Road to Glory.
This additions do not come without consequences. In making the game better and more realistic, now like never before, you actually must learn to play defense. It’s not all about the high powered offenses and scoring 100 points a game. You need to be aware of the offenses and make the receivers be distracted and run the wrong routes if you are to succeed in stopping your opponent with ruthless efficiency. This also makes running the offense harder and more crucial to have good decision-making skills. If you don’t set before you throw you have a large chance to throw it away or–even worse–an interception.
Graphically there isn’t much to differ from last years, or at least not enough to warrant a buy on graphics alone. There are some obvious lighting improvements, and of course there is the addition of new game day traditions from some schools that were snubbed last year. The rosters are still varied enough to have most of the key players on your team have the right stats and numbers from real life, of course EA would never admit to copying people, but they’re there. With a playoff being instated in 2014 this may be one of the last times you’ll get to see the BCS Bowls in their entirety in a video game. Last, but not least, the majority of your favorite features have returned such as the Mascot Mash Up, Online and Offline Dynasties, and Road to Glory. The only reason to really buy this game is the new Heisman Challenge mode, and of course the new rosters and team uniforms. I’ll leave the decision up to you if it’s worth the buy, but I rate this game a solid 3.9/5.
In NCAA 13, on both sides of the ball, you will be tested more than ever before as blitz’s rain down upon you and short, accurate, throws rules the day. Running the ball is essential and turnovers come at a high cost. In order to get the true experience of NCAA 13, and to fill the void of a summer without College Football, you can pick it up on store shelves on July 10th. Until then I’ll keep your seat warm and Win the Day.