Last year, in a visit to Electronic Arts Tiburon, the NCAA Football development staff told me about plans to introduce more lifelike broadcast presentation to the game. It was going to be a tiered thing all along.
NCAA 13 got the studio cut-ins, where ESPN’s Rece Davis—in voice only—updated you on scores from around the league, in a kind of real-time look at how the day was unfolding, with upsets brewing and conference championships in the balance. This would be the basis for a proper halftime show in NCAA 14, I was told.
The unmistakable target of this effort was the memory of NFL 2K5, which had a halftime show with video highlights from the game you were playing (on the Xbox, as this required a hard drive). Chris Berman is insufferable in real life, but his appearance in this video game makes football fans swoon. And the halftime show of NFL 2K5, never replicated in an American football title since, is one of the reasons everyone jumps into a comment thread to say it’s still better than Madden or NCAA. The developers at EA Tiburon are keenly aware of that. Despite everyone saying they don’t compete because they have no competitor, they do. It’s NFL 2K5, a constantly moving goalpost but still one to kick at.
So, that’s one reason why you’re getting Davis and analyst David Pollack in NCAA 14 bantering about the day’s action in your Dynasty mode. It’s one of a few features of this sizzle reel showcasing the game’s presentational upgrades. The current issue of Game Informer has a closer look at what this all means, so if you’re a subscriber, pick it up and check it out.