XBox 360 Reviews
All-Pro Football 2K8 Review (Xbox 360)
By Hector Cortez Jul 16, 2007, 4:55 GMT
The 2K football series finally returns after years of absence.
The 2K football series finally returns after years of absence much to the delight of NFL 2K5 fans, who consider it one of the best football games ever.
Millions of 2K fans were bummed out to hear that Electronic Arts had purchased the exclusive NFL rights, putting the final nail in the coffin and ensuring that the 2K football series was dead.
Gamers mourned the loss of a great football series but held their breath that one day the series would return. Some time passed and the rumors began to circulate that a new 2K football game with no NFL license was in development. Eventually the cat was out of the bag and gamers rejoiced.
How was 2K Sports going to get around the whole lack of NFL license fiasco? They weren't, they were going to create their own league, the All-Pro League, with their own made-up teams.
So years later, we have All-Pro Football 2K8, a game that features football legends such as John Elway, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Barry Sanders, Walter Payton, Dick Butkus and many more. The teams are all made up and include the Las Vegas Rollers, Denver Cougars, Texas Rustlers, Arizona Scorpions, St. Louis Rhinos and Seattle Sailors.
Having the ability to put together a dream team with Barry Sanders, Roger Staubach or Walter Payton is great, but as you peruse the line-up, you'll notice many a head scratcher. For example, the roster is extremely Cowboy heavy, which is great if you love Dallas, but if you’re, say, a bigtime Pittsburgh fan, you’ll probably be disappointed. Also, some of the players are about as All-Pro as the M&C staff – Solomon Wilcots? Brian Bosworth? Leon Lett? Puh-lease. What are Lett’s Special Attributes, “Bonehead Plays” and “Drug Suspensions”?
The game starts off with you picking eleven team members divided into Gold, Silver and Bronze rankings. Customizing is available during this process. Uniforms, team location, logo, team colors, etc are all customizable. Forgoing Madden’s 100 point rating system, 2K’s All-Pro players are attribute-driven with ability enhancing Special Attributes like Rocket Arm, Speed Burner, Leadership Bonus, etc. This works somewhat similar to Madden's new Weapon system if you played Madden 08.
Visually the game is nice to look at. Character movement and animations are great, especially the tackle animations. Team members interact with each other like you'd expect. If a player is running and there's another team member in front of them they will jump over them to avoid falling. The players' interactions with each other flow well and there are hardly any awkward robotic movement moments.
The level of detail is high in the character models and stadiums but there is obvious room for improvement. You can't blame them though. It took Madden three years before they got to an acceptable visual quality so here's hoping we get APF 2K9 next year. It'll be interesting to see what the team can pull off now that they have the experience of shipping a football game on a next-gen console.
Out main gripe with APF 2K8 is it's limitedness. Once you build a team, you can only play through one season and post-season and then, well, that's it. You have to start again. The online play is fun and there's actually league play, but that's it. Since APF's main competitor is Madden, you'd think 2K would focus on giving you the ability to fudge around with different gameplay options, but you can't even build a whole team of pro's, you have to do the Gold, Silver, Bronze route, which we think is a misstep. Why can't we have a clash of the titans with all pro's in All Pro? Go ask 2K, because we sure don't know.
The soundtrack consists of original songs, mash ups and remixes by (apparently) world-famous DJ Z-Trip. Bands featured include Rush, Chevelle and Deftones.
Audio commentary is spot on and doesn't seem to repeat much which is refreshing. The audio commentary is especially great during the Halftime and Post game show which consists of video, stats and commentary recap by the game's two announcers. There's nothing like the feeling of seeing your awesome 2nd quarter touchdown run in a cool sports show recap style.
Overall All-Pro Football 2K8 is a great first try. I can't wait to see what 2K Sports delivers next year (hopefully). Good presentation, graphics and commentary make APF 2K8 a solid alternative to Madden NFL 08.