It’s a few minutes into the third quarter and you’ve just extended your lead from 14 points to a comfortable 21 when you suddenly notice a brand new team opposing you after the kick off. This isn’t the sluggish team you pushed around throughout the first half and into the third quarter. This is a spirited, fluid team capable of spectacular plays and almost incapable of being stopped.
You’ve seen it before. You know what is coming. The computer has decided it wants to score every time it has the football, and there’s very little you are going to be able to do about it. Worse, you’ll see your own offense acting sluggish, the quarterback suddenly inaccurate, wide receivers not even looking for the ball and all the while the opposing linebackers are jumping 20 feet into the air to bat down your passes.
Yes, NCAA Football 2011 cheats. It’s quite clear. Some of these are simply poor programming, others are more intentional. And all of them can bug the hell out of a gamer who wants the CPU to give them some competition, but simply wants it to come in the form of semi-realistic football.
Here are some of the ways NCAA Football 2011 cheats:
- While their defensive backs know when and where the ball is thrown even if their head is turned and will run directly to the spot, your defensive backs will sometimes run away from the receiver when the ball is near to give him more room to catch it.
- More prevalent after the last tuning patch, your defensive backs will sometimes decide to guard someone else for a few seconds in order to make sure the CPU wide receiver gets wide open.
- The CPU’s offensive lineman are allowed to hold, which means you can still be stuck to a lineman even if the running back or quarterback is right behind you.
- That 86 free safety can catch your 93 speed wide receiver from behind by using a burst of super speed when they get close. Somehow, speed ratings fall to the cutting room floor when the CPU decided it really wants to tackle you, easily noticed by the boost in animation speed seen on the field.
- Got five steps on the cornerback when the quarterback lofts the perfect pass? Don’t worry, they can use that same speed burst and combine it with super jump to deflect your pass.
- Want to get in better position to tackle the computer? Be wary of the B button. Whoever programmed the function that decides where the closest defender best able to make a play is at decided that random number generation is the way to go. You could switch to almost anyone.
- Don’t believe that red line that says who your guy is supposed to be covering. Sometimes they switch right before the ball is snapped, and sometimes they outright lie.
- Robo quarterback is back with tuning patch two, and he’s brought with him an unstoppable hurry up offense. For those unfamiliar with the term, Robo quarterback is the quarterback that always throws the ball before you can sack him, always picks the right receiver and whose passes are always on target. The original NCAA 2011 seemed to have pretty realistic play with the QB, but the last tuning patch made him into Robo QB, especially when the CPU has momentum.
- Want to block the gunners on a punt return? Good luck. Your defenders will often just let them run right by, which takes us to some of the bugs and cheats on the offensive side of the ball.
- Love play action? Ever wonder why you take a lot of sacks? It isn’t just bad luck at calling a play action play when the defense is blitzing. The defense actually gets a huge boost to their ability to break out of blocks, which means even without a blitz, you are in trouble. In practice, I’ve seen a tackle block a defensive end 9 times out of 10 on a regular play and get beat 8 times out of 10 on a play action play.
- Love the option? One nice little feature in this year’s edition is the QB’s ability to throw the ball over the head of your running back while your back stops and stands there so the defense will have a better chance to recover the ball. Go go other team!
- Always keep in mind that the programmers whisper your plays into the defenders ears, so every defensive back knows what route your wide receiver is running. In fact, they’ll often make their cuts before your wide receiver does, and you’ll actually run in routes where your wide receiver is trailing the cornerback. How’s that for the ultimate cheat?
- Besides having ESP, they’ve also been bulked up in the latest tuning patch, which means they can knock your receivers around at the line as easy as swatting flies.
- Even your own guys will help the other team, such as the center deciding to run block on a passing play, which puts him in the way of the wide receiver running the drag route.
- You’d like to think your wide receiver could just dodge around the center, but wide receivers don’t have enough dexterity to avoid their teammates, which is why two receivers running routes in the same area will bump into each other a lot.
- More offensive line woes? In addition to the latest tuning patch making many of them unable to block their way out of a wet paper bag, they sometimes don’t even try, electing to just stand there as the defender runs past them.
- And while this has been present for years, we shouldn’t forget how opposing linebackers have the ability to super jump and knock down passes that are intended for receivers 10-15 yards behind them.
- But its not all about helping the other team. Sometimes it is about doing nothing at all, like a receiver who doesn’t even attempt to catch the ball, instead letting it clang off their helmet.
- Of course, there are the bugs that have been around for years, like the computer clanging an extra point off the upright only to get the ball back.
But perhaps the biggest cheat are the tuning patches themselves. I’m sure it sounded like a good idea when they thought it up, but it suffers from two major problems: (1) The folks at EA simply aren’t good enough to tune the game and actually make it better and (2) the tuning patches screw up the people who actually can tune the game and make it better: the people who come up with good slider settings.
It is like watching a war between EA trying their best to screw the game up and people like Playmaker who actually try to make the game more realistic.
Know some other ways the CPU cheats not listed here? I know I only scratched the surface. Feel free to leave comments and let us know how the CPU turned on that unstoppable “come back” mode and cheated (or hopefully just nearly cheated) you out of a win.