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Forum LockedFirst Impressions: ESPN NFL 2K5 (PS2)

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JasonSGN View Drop Down
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Joined: 01-25-2006
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    Posted: 01-25-2006 at 8:06pm
ESPN NFL 2K5 PS2Please note that these are early impressions and my opinion on certain aspects may change. Having said that, I must admit that the graphics aren't as big of an improvement as I thought they would be. Does that mean that the graphics aren't great? Not at all, it just shows how good last year's game looked. The new animations are the biggest difference between 2K5 and last year's version during gameplay.

As mentioned by many others, the presentation this year has really improved and almost gives the impression that you are watching a live game on ESPN. I love how the Instant Replays shrink and continue to play in a smaller window while choosing your next play. A new graphic displaying your pass attempts/completions to the different zones will appear a few times during the game too. While the additions of Chris Berman and Suzy Kolber add to the ESPN atmosphere, they really didn't do much for me.

While all these additions help create an impressive environment, they are worthless if the gameplay is not up to par and luckily ESPN NFL 2K5 delivers. My two biggest complaints with last year's game were the overpowering running backs and the floaty ball physics. I'm happy to say that both problems have been fixed. First, the running game has been improved significantly. Not only are there no more "super backs", but the new momemtum-based physics give the running game a much more natural looking and playing feel. The running backs don't get caught in the "pushing off the linemen" animation like in last year's game either. Cuts and turns have more of a natural flow to them and the game looks much smoother because of it. In addition, it no longer looks like players run in 45 degree angles anymore.

The passing game has been improved too. I was one of the few people that always felt that the ball physics were a little off in this series but this year is different. The passes now feel like they have more weight behind them and passes over the middle no longer seem to have any slowdown as in previous versions of the game. A minor bug in last year's version where the Pass Play Zoom camera did not work when inside your opponent's 5 yard line has also been corrected this year. 

The overpowering pass rush seems to have been toned down a little this year, at least on the Pro difficulty setting and you now have the 'Quaterback Evade' button for when your protection does break down. The offensive line play seemed pretty good but I can't make any definitive judgements until I have some more time with the game.

It was always fun to play defense in the 2K series and this year is no exception. If anything, the momemtum-based physics make it even more fun this year. There seem to be alot of plays where the defensive backs swat the ball down where in the past they would have intercepted it. I don't have a problem with this and actually think it makes the game more realistic, but bad throws/decisions WILL lead to interceptions - as they should. There are also many pre-snap adjustments that you can make to the defense.

I didn't have a chance to test the online play but I'm hopefull that Visual Concepts made an effort to improve the game in that area. Overall, I'm very satisfied with the game so far. Simply put, the game just feels right. While it's not the revolutionary upgrade I was hoping for, it certainly is an evolutionary step in the right direction and for $20 it's a no-brainer to buy.

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