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Released three days before the start of the 1999 NFL season, Sega Sports' NFL 2K attempts to offer a level of graphic realism that surpasses all previous console football games. A high-resolution 3D engine allows users to witness such minute details as a player's breath on cold days, individual tattoos on arms, and fields that gradually deteriorate during the course of a game.
Developer Visual Concepts used two-man motion capture sessions to deliver realistic looking tackles and a physics-based collision system to determine how quickly a player goes down after taking a hit. This means your ball carrier can break free from weak leg tackles and defenders will often need help to neutralize star running backs like Terrell Davis. The developer also maintains the action never falls below 60 frames per second to allow for smooth, seamless animation without pauses or hiccups during play.
NFL 2K utilizes a view from behind the quarterback as the default perspective, but players are free to choose between seven other camera angles to customize how the action unfolds: close, far, isometric, cinematic, side, top view, or blimp. Regardless of which angle you choose, you'll never have to switch to another screen to call a formation or play; play calling is performed on the same screen as the actual game. In addition, each formation and play will be diagramed right on the field so you can tell precisely where each player is supposed to be once the ball is snapped.
The title includes 31 NFL teams along with accurately modeled players with ratings based on the 1998 season. An additional nine teams have also found their way onto the disc, including three all-pro squads and six alumni teams. The four different game modes consist of Season, Practice, Tourney, and Playoffs. Like the NFL, each season consists of 16 games as you attempt to take your team all the way to the Super Bowl.
This involves choosing which games to play on the season schedule, making the appropriate substitutions based on injuries, and watching as a ticker updates the scores and highlights from around the league. Tourney mode is simply a tournament composed of four, eight, or sixteen teams, and the Playoffs have you taking control of one team through the final games before the Super Bowl.
NFL 2K also features several options to customize the game, including the ability to create your own athletes complete with elbow pads, breathe strips, and mouthpieces. Other settings include height, weight, skin tone, and attributes such as speed, agility and lower body strength. Once the player is created, he can be assigned to an NFL team, enter free agency, or be placed on your own custom team. NFL 2K allows you to create a team from scratch with your choice of logo style (ten are available), team colors, and personnel.
Besides creating star players and new teams, users have the ability to draw up their own custom plays that can be saved to a Visual Memory Unit. A Fantasy option is also available, allowing users to draft any player in the game to take part in a full season or Fantasy Tournament (up to 31 teams can compete in a single-elimination format). Other options include: adjustable weather (time of day, temperature, precipitation, wind speed and fog), three skill levels, three game speeds (slow, normal and fast), and a Coach Mode that involves just calling plays and formations.
Users who wish to embark on a season will need a VMU in order to save statistics and progress, which will take 191 blocks of space (out of 200). The VMU also functions as a play-calling device so users can run their offense or defense in privacy without worrying about their opponents seeing the plays. Up to four players can participate simultaneously, but the title does not include Internet support for online gaming. NFL 2K also supports the Jump Pack peripheral to offer vibration feedback during the game. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide