EA Sports is back with another installment of their college football game with NCAA Football 10. The game will be available for PS3, Xbox 360, PS2, and PSP on July 14th. With EA coming out with a new NCAA game every year major changes generally come sparingly. All we can really hope for is the next game will have some slightly better gameplay and maybe a new mode.
To me gameplay is the most important factor of any sports game and this version NCAA has only a few minor enhancements. First off you can now lock onto a player on defense. By choosing you defender and pressing down on the left analog stick you become locked onto the defender and the camera flips around to the defensive view. Playing the demo I found this to be very helpful while using the middle linebacker or a safety. Your player will move automatically until you press any button, which then gives you full control. This adds a new dimension to the game and makes playing defense a lot more fun. Its great reading the run as a linebacker and hitting the running lane before the RB gets there.
Another thing you'll notice during gameplay is that you have the option of changing your player's mindset. You can change each position from aggressive, default, and conservative. For example, making your offensive line more aggressive will open bigger running lanes, but at the cost of more holding penalties. There is a risk/reward for each decision you make.
NCAA Football 10 also lets you chain offensive plays together. This feature is quite realistic and similar to what actual coaches put into their game plans. By running different plays out of the same formation you can set up the defense up for a big play. For example, if you do a running play out of the Power-I formation the next play when you go back to that formation you'll see percentages under the different plays. These percentages represent the how fooled the defense will be. So a play action pass after a running play out of the same formation will give you a better chance of a big play by catching the defense looking for another run.
Outside of the actual gameplay there are a few new features. You can now go online to EA Sport's website and create a team. This is a lot more in depth than what we are used to seeing. It's a great new feature for fans that enjoy creating new schools. EA has said over 100,000 teams have already been created online. Online dynasty mode is back from NCAA Football 09 and hopefully we'll see even more improvements this time around.
My biggest gripe with this series has been the poor frame rate. It really ruins the gameplay when everything slows down and becomes chopping while playing. I'll honestly be happy with the game if that was the only thing different from previous years. I noticed some frame rate issues while playing the demo, but hopefully the issue is taken care of before release. It shouldn't be asking too much as none of EA's other sports games have this problem.