Knowing how popular American Football is in the USA, EA tries to get us warmed up for the sport with NFL Tour. Whether they will succeed is another thing though as the competition is fierce. Games such as Madden NFL and NCAA Football have already acquired a firm reputation.
The rules are simple: get as much points as you can by leading the ball to the end zone, this is what we call a ‘touchdown’. To achieve this you use pre-programmed tactics that will guide your players for a good offence/defense. Comparing the game with the reality, the rules are not taken very strictly, they sometimes even differ from the official ones. After making a ‘touchdown’ for example you can’t score with a ‘field goal’ anymore but have to make use of a ‘conversion’. EA clearly chooses for the Fifa Street-style, where fun is more important than realism.
NFL Tour has different modes with the first being ‘play now’, where you can immediately start a new game. Once I began to play I got irritated by the announcer’s stupid jokes, so I turned the commentator off. It’s fun when you can score a touchdown, but after the fifth touchdown it was more like “is that everything this game can offer”. Another thing that annoyed me was the fact you can run the whole field and score a point just by smashing the “X-button” and doing reverses. So after a few matches the fun quickly disappears and you’ll want to check out the ‘tour mode’ which starts very promising with the possibility of creating and developing your own character.
The storyline behind the Tour mode is to obtain an NFL contract for your character. This you can achieve by winning forty matches in different states and playing the final match in Washington DC. Once you start to play against your first opponent, you realize that nothing has changed compared to the Play now mode. It’s just kicking and rushing after the football. So, after a short while you’ll just get disappointed by this as well.
There are also two mini games: ‘smash & dash’ and ‘redzone rush’. In the first you have to keep running around with the ball as long as possible, while in redzone rush you need to make a touchdown after running 30 yards. Playing these mini games will give you about two minutes of fun…
You would think sport games are all about the multiplayer, but even after twenty minutes online I still couldn’t find anyone to play against. Because of the lack of depth, the empty multiplayer servers and the lack of variation in the game, the gameplay is a failure.
Graphically there are no surprises; everything looks colorful and bright, but that’s it! Just a bunch of players resembling real-life ones. The game is playable in 480i, 480p and in 720p. Remarkable is the lack of 1080i or 1080p. The soundtrack is excellent, just as we’ve come to know from EA
EA has definitely chosen a wrong direction with NFL Tour. There is hardly any depth in the game, audiovisually it’s average and after each game one has a ‘been there, done that’ feeling. Are you looking for a game in this category, you’re better off with one of the others. This game can keep you busy for twenty minutes or even less!