Every year, game developer EA sports has the same challenge: update their sports games without repackaging the same game each year. Some people will say the only difference between this year and last year’s EA football games are who is on what team. In terms of NCAA Football 13, that is almost exactly what EA did. Needless to say, I was not impressed with this year’s game.
While this year’s game is essentially the same at is was in 2012, that’s not to say that the game went without changes. The most notable addition is the debut of their Heisman Challenge Mode. Ever since 2006 NCAA Football has always featured a mode where you create your own player and live through his college career. Heisman Challenge is a bit different. EA compiled a list of elite heisman winners for player to pick and choose from. You can pick any athelete from this list, put them on any team in Division 1, and start their career over. The goal is to see if you can match up to the career of the real life heisman winner. Other than that, the game modes are virtually the same as in 2012.
Unlike NCAA’s pro football counterpart, Madden, NCAA Football features the same game engine it has used in the past. That means that the feel of the game is not going to change much other than tweaked graphics and a few new animations. EA did go to a lot of work to add more fluid animations to the game, such as when players go up for a catch or when someone tastes the hit stick, to make the game seem more realistic. Another gameplay feature they added was reaction time, where players can temporarily slow time to make better decisions. The problem with this is it zooms in on your view of the field when you do it, and I never noticed myself making bigger plays or getting more yards than when I didn’t use it. If you’re looking to buy NCAA Football 13 because you’re hoping for better or different gameplay than in NCAA Football 12, then you should buy Madden instead.
Avid EA Sports fans have the same question every year, regardless of their favorite sport. Is this year’s game any different from last year’s? Aside from a few new animations and an ambiguous adjustment to your obligation to time, not much has changed. I’d give this game a 3/5 stars overall. It’s still a good game, but that’s because NCAA Football 12 was, too. If you already have NCAA Football 12, I would not recommend buying this game.