It's no secret that NFL GameDay 2001 for the PS2 was disappointing, no wait, in more appropriate words, it sucked. Terribly atrocious gameplay, lackluster visuals and a glitchy engine kept GameDay 2001 from coming near EA Sports' Madden 2001 title. A while ago, Sony Computer Entertainment announced the acquisition of Red Zone. With this acquisition, Red Zone would be given more tools and support from Sony, in order to make their future GameDay titles the best possible. It looks like Sony/989 has lived up to its word. Revealing NFL GameDay 2002 for the PS2, I can assure you that this one will have a chance at competing with the big boys.
Taking a gander at the screens, I was literally baffled at the visual overhaul that the game had received. It seems to me that Red Zone has completely re-worked the engine, and started from scratch. The athletic detail looks better than any other football sim out there. Yes, even Madden 2002. The athletes have a well defined, and authentic build to them that makes them strikingly realistic. These are easily the best-looking football visuals to date. Take a look at the third GameDay screenshot in the index, look at the football and notice the amazing detail that went into it. Every little bump on the pigskin has been created to make the football look more than just a brown egg-shaped piece of equipment. The stitching line is noticeable as well. GameDay 2002's athletes feature an enormous amount of new features. Every jersey, skin-texture, facial expression or skin color, has been three-dimensionally scanned for the most realistic results, and it shows. The faces on the athletes are awesome! GameDay 2002 is shaping up to be the best-looking football sim.
On the gameplay side of things, don't expect for players to stop while they are trying to catch the ball. That won't be happening anymore. In GameDay 2002 players will be in motion, always hustling for best results, so what you remember from previous GameDay titles is a thing of the past. GameDay 2002 will feature one handed "ballet leap" catches, two handed "Superman" dives, and those always shocking bobble catches. Don't expect NFL GameDay 2002 to be a stinker, because the AI has been re-tweaked, as the defense will now be able to call more accurate audibles to match the offense's play, or vice versa. The AI will feel more human than ever, as linemen of each side will set up various blocks, to keep one side from making any progress, or experiencing any relief. On top of that, the offensive AI will read blitzes more efficiently, and set up screen passes if necessary. GameDay 2002 will feature up to date rosters, and many obvious modes of gameplay. The commentary will be done by Dick Enberg and Dan Fouts, and unlike Madden, GameDay 2002's commentators will interact with one another, as both Dick and Dan exchange words, to create a more realistic environment. At the moment I can't give my impressions on the gameplay, because I haven't seen the game in action, but hopefully the visuals have gameplay to back up and NFL GameDay 2002 ends up as a great football title. Look for it in November 2001.