- Publisher: EA Sports
- Developer: Tiburon
- ESRB Rating: "E" for Everyone
- Genre: Football
- Pros: Great presentation; solid gameplay; plenty of modes
- Cons: Occasional hang-ups during gameplay
The features list is pretty similar to what was found in NCAA 10. Exhibition, dynasty, Road to Glory, and all of the usual modes are back. An interesting feature this year is that you can play an online dynasty by yourself without having to play other people. The benefit here is that you can go online on your computer to manage recruiting and other things rather than having to control it all from your Xbox 360. The recruiting process overall in dynasty mode is much more interesting than it has been in past years because there is a lot more depth. You can call up recruits and talk to them about a number of topics or make promises to them to try and get them to come to your school. You can even badmouth your competition to try and show how your school is better. This is especially fun when playing online dynasty with other people, since you can steal recruits away from your friends.
Another change we appreciated in NCAA Football 11 is that achievements are not tied to difficulty level and you can get all of them playing solo. Not a big deal, but we noticed.
All in all, there isn't much to complain about in terms of features and modes. There aren't dramatic changes over last year, but the little improvements do have an impact.
One thing I noticed that I really liked is just how wide of a gap there is between the "good" teams and the "bad" teams. With good play calling and a bit of skill, you can still blow the doors off of opponents even with cruddy teams, but it is a lot easier to make things happen with good teams. I never really noticed the difference in previous NCAA games, but it is pretty prominent here.
Another change is the play calling. The game will default to giving you a selection of plays based on the down and distance and field position. This is nice since it puts all the smart "Football 101" plays front and center for novices. Of course, you can also click the right bumper button to switch play calling between formation, specific player, run/pass, and more if you are more experienced and want to try something a little fancier.
All in all, the gameplay is very realistic, very satisfying, and very fun. My only complaint is that I had hang ups a few times per game where the game would just stop moving for a couple seconds before starting up again. Like it was paused for a second, but not really.
Graphics & Sound
The sound is also good overall. Nothing spectacular as you can only really go so far with sports games - on field action sounds right, college fight songs are included, etc. - but what is here is excellent. The commentary from Brad Nessler and Kirk Herbstreit is solid, but the absence of Lee Corso is notable. Corso brought an excitement and energy that is sorely missing this year.