Review by SFarner

"Online Is Just Fine"

What do you enjoy most about your favorite football game? Is it the beautiful graphics? True-to-life gameplay? Or is it tons of features that do it for you? Well, if you are still playing that game, toss it in the garbage. Because this is all the football game you will ever need.

NFL 2K1 is definitely the most well-rounded game out there, and for good reason. The graphics are eye-catching to say the least, the gameplay is right-on, and the list of features is huge. Not to mention the all important Network mode, and the ability to download updated rosters from Sega. Add that all together, and you'll see why this game deserves all the glory.

The graphics are one of the game's best aspects. Although they have taken a hit from last year's game, they are still extraordinary as is. New this year is the ''shiny helmet'' effect, which just adds more realism to an already fascinating game. The players themselves are well rendered, and each type of player has his own type of body model, so there aren't quarterbacks running around with the body of a defensive lineman. The stadiums look magnificent, and there isn't as much clipping as there was last year, although some is still present.

The gameplay in NFL 2K1 is hands down the best ever. You will find yourself actually putting strategies together to try and topple your opponent. The addition of a ''juke-move'' this year has really opened the doors for the running game, making it more effective than it was in 2K. Each team now has it's own playbook, varied to that team's type of play. If you don't like it, you can choose to use any other team's playbook, as well as the NFL 2K playbook. The control is just like last years: tight. So tight, in fact, that you become totally immersed in the game, almost like you are actually on the field calling the shots. Awesome.

The features are incredibly impressive this year, to put it lightly. The biggest feature this year is Online Play, where you can take on opponents from all around the country. The Dreamcast Keyboard is even supported for online play, so you can trash talk your opponent all the way to the end zone. Other new features include the Franchise mode, where you take full control of an NFL franchise, and make key decisions, like who to draft, what to pay them, who to cut, etc. Franchise mode is probably the best implemented mode of its type in any game out there. Modes back this year are exhibition, practice, tournament, season, playoffs, and the customization portion of the game.

The sound is a very shady area for NFL 2K1. The commentary, though very well done, can be very repetitive at times, and has more glitches than you'd care to know about. The player chatter is intact, and is excellent. The sounds on the field (helmets hitting, pads, etc.) are all done well. But I've had a few cases where a sound has become ''stuck,'' and repeats over and over very quickly. I have found the only way to remedy this problem is to leave the game I am playing, and that can be very frustrating.

If what you've read above didn't do it for you, let me run it by one more time: BUY THIS GAME. The online play alone is well worth it. But the gameplay, features, and graphics are great, too. The audio may need some tweaking, but it doesn't effect gameplay all that much, and most of the problems should be ironed out by the time NFL 2K2 rolls around. So, if you haven't jumped up out of your chair, grabbed your keys, and peeled off towards your local game store, what are you waiting for? GO!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/15/01, Updated 03/15/01

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