Posted on August 3, 2007,

Gaming Today Reviews: All-Pro Football 2K8

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All-Pro Football 2K8 (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])
Developer: Visual Concepts
Publisher: 2K Sports
Released: July 16, 2007
MSRP: $59.99

Pros: Creating your own team of all-stars is a blast, improved tackle system, same great 2k game mechanics you would come to expect
Cons: Annoying commentators, lack of additional single-player content

Premise: With Madden hogging all the NFL rights, what is 2k sports to do? Well, similar to “Bitz: The League”, All-Pro Football 2K8 uses fictitious teams. The key difference here is that 2K8 uses players from the stars of the NFL past to fill the roster. What sort of team would Johnny Unitas and Jerry Rice make? In 2K8, you can find that out for yourself.

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Gameplay: From first few seconds the game loads, you are already building your team. Making your own team of all-stars is the bread and butter of 2K8, and it’s basically forced on you. Not that I am complaining. You fill your team by picking all-stars from the past, who are set based off of predetermined “levels” of talent. The game keeps the teams balanced by limiting the amount of superstar, or “gold” players that you can have. So while Jerry Rice is a “gold” level player, someone like Andre Reed would only be considered “silver”.

After picking 2 gold players, 3 silver players, and 6 bronze players, you get into the meat and potatoes of team creation. The game has twenty or so logos you can choose from, along with a wide variety of “home” stadiums. You can then customize every aspect of your uniform. This can be pretty overwhelming at first, as I had never thought of what color my player’s elbow pad lining would be.

When you are done with dress-up, you can finally start playing football. Oh, unless you want to create your own character, at which point you have like 10 other menus to click through. The amount of customization in this game helps you feel more connected to your team, though I doubt anyone else will play as close attention to your helmet color scheme as you do.

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Controls: I’ll make this easy for you. Go read the instruction manual for NFL 2K5. Are you back? Okay, good. Now you know how to play. What some consider a weakness and others as a strength, 2K8 uses the tried-and-true control scheme of previous 2K games to get you right into the action.

The controls all work extremely well, other than the new method of “pass delay” that has been implemented. Sometimes, I suppose to simulate ‘reality’, your QB will simply take an extra second or so to throw the ball. While this is hardly game-ending, players used to the insanity of Madden passing will feel a little off at first.

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Graphics: A topic full of arguments. Some say that keeping the model detail a little outdated keeps the frame rate moving at a smooth pace, while others argue that they are too outdated for the HD generation. I would say they are both correct. My biggest gripe here is that while playing on a non-HD television, most of the side text is clipping into the sides of the TV. While I understand most gamers these days have HD sets, those of us who remain in the stone age seem to suffer for lack of 2K8’s ability to scale down the resolution.

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Conclusion: Making a team that includes Dan Marino and Thurman Thomas makes me happy in ways hard to describe. While there are a few graphical issues, and the gameplay might seem a bit shallow with no franchise mode, the overall experience is pretty satisfying. The online play is fast and fun, with 2K8 giving players the ability to take their created teams online. All in all, 2K8 is a true step in the right direction, yet it seems like more polish could have been added later in the development process.

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1 Comment on Gaming Today Reviews: All-Pro Football 2K8

William

On August 3, 2007 at 1:50 am

I don’t mind the delayed passing system.. some people even ed than you can
t scramble well with fast QBs. This game is all about strategy, timing with passes and anticipating action. The kicking mechanism in this game was also highly scrutinized.

After a few weeks of playing, I have really come to embrace all of these aspects. It’s not mindless like Madden gameplay where your QB can zip a 40 or 50 yard pass in a split second without really setting up for it.

This game is so simple, it’s actually complicated. If you think you are just going to jump in there and dominate people online, you are wrong. You need to take things back to the fundamentals of football and use some strategy to win. I have always felt like in Madden, there were just way too many lucky plays or plays that people can take advantage of. You don’t see much of that in 2k. Creating a team seems a little simple too, but trust me it isn’t. It’s crucial that you experiment a little and find the players that work well with each other. Sometimes a bronze HB will work better with your particular setup than one of the gold HBs.