Visual Concepts was very proud of this game and rightly so, it’s the best football game to date. All areas of the game were improved over last year’s game. Graphics: The players look life-like and the stadiums and logos are crisp and clear.
The ESPN branding/graphics and soundtrack plus the Chris Berman commentary add an immersive level that no other video game has come close to since.
The gameplay is smooth and responsive, even if it doesn’t quite reach the perfection that EA’s Frostbite engine achieves today. Visual Concepts did a bang-up job of putting the player in the center of the action, letting the user control all aspects of the game without feeling overwhelmed or constrained by menus.
The game includes an enhanced running game, more realism in passing and tackling, and more detailed stadiums. The players and coaches are modeled after their real-life counterparts, and the voices and digital likenesses of multiple ESPN on-air personalities appear throughout the experience.
The game also features online play and a franchise mode where you take your team through several seasons and handle managerial tasks such as signing players, drafting rookies, and managing salary caps. It’s also the only football video game to include the infamously bonkers “The Crib” apartment-decorating minigame, which lets you build a penthouse suite Rob Gronkowski would die for. Sliders let the player adjust the gameplay to his or her liking, and commentary is provided by Dan Stevens (Terry McGovern), Jay Styne (color commentator Peter O’Keefe), and sideline reporter Suzy Kolber.
Despite being almost twenty years old, ESPN NFL 2K5 still holds its own in terms of graphics and gameplay. Featuring the voices and digital likenesses of ESPN on-air announcers, the game’s commentary gives you the feeling of watching a real NFL broadcast.
The game’s animation is fluid and realistic, and players move as they would in a real football game. The running game in particular has been vastly improved since the first 2K series. The game also features an online mode, allowing gamers to play head-to-head against anyone in the world.
The game offers a variety of chat rooms organized by geographical location where you can find an opponent for an online match. Though lag can be an issue with SegaNet (or any ISP for that matter), the online play works quite well and is an improvement over its predecessors. The franchise mode is also a welcome addition, giving the player complete control over free agency/offseason operations and contract negotiations.
The game has a great soundtrack, with the players and crowds sounding realistic with all of the normal scrums and thuds of a football game. Add to this the excellent commentary (although repetitive by today’s standards) and you have a very good-sounding football game.
The gameplay is also very enjoyable, although the computer AI could do with a bit of work, as it tends to kick field goals of 30 yards or more, and sometimes punts on 4th down when it can be won. Still, this is a very good simulation and it rivals the EA Madden series for being the best of its kind.
Quite simply the best football game ever made for the Dreamcast and one that easily stands up to the current crop of pigskin titles. Not as in-depth as the later 2K games, but a good challenge, and with great graphics and fantastic sound this is a must for football fans.
The game is well-rounded, and balanced, and moves at a good pace. Online gameplay works surprisingly well, too. If you have a solid connection and use the regional server option, it’s almost as smooth as playing the game offline. However, if you play on an older modem or satellite Internet service, you’ll sometimes experience a lag between controller commands and player reactions on the screen.
The innovative Coach Gameplan feature allows you to tweak a variety of sliders that dictate how your team will attack the opposition. You can pump up passing to make it easy for QBs to throw the deep ball, for example. You can also determine if you want to blitz or play man or zone defense.
The game’s graphics are impressive. They show the power of the Dreamcast with ultra-detailed textures that reveal creases in jerseys and amazing “breath” in cold temperatures. The sound is good, too. The only complaint I have is the music, which sounds eerily similar to an actual NFL telecast and is annoying.