Review By: Nick Arvites
|# Of Players:||1-2|
|Accessories:||Xbox Live (online play)|
It’s hard to believe that three years have already passed since the Madden series has faced any competition on the field. With the exclusive license to the NFL and NFLPA, EA’s Madden series effectively chased out any competition. EA’s once biggest competitor, 2K Sports, has returned with All-Pro Football 2K8. Instead of using official teams and current licenses, 2K brought in historical legends into one game.
Instead of setting the legends on teams to start the game, All-Pro Football 2K8 forces users to select a team of 11 stars, with the rest of the team filled out with average CPU generated players. Your 11 choices are limited to two gold stars, three silver stars, and six bronze stars. As indicated, the players are divided up according to star level. For example, the gold star level players are the best of the best. Names you’ll see here include Dan Marino, Jerry Rice, and Dick Butkus. The silver level of players has notable players that aren’t good enough to be gold tier, but are still recognizable to hardcore football fans. The bronze level players are a good mix of legends, though some of the choices are obscure or “how did he get in the game” type players. Regardless, the roster of players is deep enough to where you don’t see that “ONE” cookie-cutter domination team.
Player ratings do not exist. Over the years, we’ve all become used to the notion that players have to be rated on a 1-99 scale. Here, the assumption is that these players were, at some point, one of the elites at their position. In order to create some separation, players have particular rating talents to separate them from the pack. For example, some running backs have improved second level spins or jukes while some QBs are better at throwing on the run instead of the pocket. The higher the star rating, generally the more talents a particular player will have.
The on-field play is typical of 2K football games, and plays almost identically to NFL 2K5. The good points and the bad points are still there. Downfield passing is still more realistic and genuinely better than Madden. Yes, that means deep throws actually go high into the air and lead receivers. To top it off, the secondary actually plays realistically so you don’t see cornerbacks deflecting a ball that would have landed 15 yards away as in Madden. On defense, linebackers are still useless unless you control them. They generally don’t hunt tackles, so you could expect to play a game where Dick Butkus only gets one tackle. The D-line still gets the majority of tackles in the 2K game, pretty much making Linebackers “those guys who get in the way.” The D-line and O-line battle is decent, except you still have the 2K problem where runs in the middle rarely work because the holes don’t open that well. Sweeps, tosses, and outside runs are still the bread-and-butter on the ground. Tackling and hit reactions are still solid and better than EA’s offering, and power-running is still better in 2K land. My biggest issue is the way the turbo is handled. Once again, turbo is mapped to the A button. You can either charge A for a special move (spin, juke, etc) or you can rapidly tap A to get a speed boost. This simply does not work in practice and almost negates speedy players.
The on-field presentation is still in the 2K style, meaning they’re still going for a solid recreation of a television broadcast. Constant cuts to replays and stats are a stark contrast from Madden’s radio approach, and announcers that actually talk about what’s on the field instead of generic comments is a welcome change. The challenges are also well implemented, as you have to say what you’re challenging (“ball spot,” “out of bounds,” etc.).
Posted: 2007-09-08 15:51:31 PST