All-Pro Football 2K8 Hands-On from IGN

Posted July 2nd, 2007 at 7:38 pm
APF 2K8 Trailer Screen 22

In what reads more as a recap of what is already known, IGN has posted their hands-on of APF 2K8 and added a few new screenshots. You can check it out by clicking here. They've also posted up new videos which you can view here.

There were a few new things that somewhat surprised me though. The first is that the playoffs consist of only four teams.

The season in All-Pro 2K8 will run the length of the traditional NFL season, although there is no bye week involved and no trading system available. The playoffs are also significantly smaller: instead of the standard wildcard and conference playoffs, All-Pro 2K8 features a two-week playoff system with four teams that culminates in a single season winner.

Now having a 16 game season that culminates in only a potential two playoff games that seems a little disappointing. A larger bracket would've made for a bigger payoff. This is especially the case since it is only a season mode, and all you can do is just start completely over. Because of that there is no incentive to continue playing a season once you're eliminated from playoff contention. If you play on a challenging difficulty level, moving only four teams out of the 24 into the playoffs seems too restrictive in that regard. Why keep playing a season once you know you have little or no shot at the playoffs? In a franchise mode you would keep going to build the team for the future. At the very least the number of teams that make the playoffs should be customizable.

I thought there was going to be a full play editor? And no line shifts? What is with that?

There are at least 435 basic plays, which aren't particularly tailored for a specific athlete. While you can't build a play around a star receiver, or edit the pre-created formations in the playbook, an astute coach could conceivably run enough audibles and pre-game hot routes to create their own formations on the fly if they felt like spending that much time connecting to their inner Peyton Manning. Defensive minded players will also find that you can't call line shifts, but you can call defensive shells to disguise an impending blitz as a Cover 2 formation, for example.

One aspect I like the sound of is the Field Pass. Personally I'm not a big fan of cut scenes, but I'd enjoy the on-the-field angle that these present more than the TV style presentation of years past.

As you play the game, you'll notice a number of presentational features that are designed to draw you into the game. All-Pro 2K8 has cutscenes known as Field Pass elements which are designed to focus in on different players during the game. From the meeting of team captains at the coin toss to sideline conversations and in the huddle comments, these segments give you a different glimpse at on-field action. 

Overall though I think most of what needs to be known about the game is out there now. The demo will be critical in how the game is received. If the gameplay is great it should pull a good amount of people into giving it a shot. If it falters though it will be tough to recover from.