Electronic Arts today unveiled the first details of its newly named college hoops game NCAA Basketball 09. The game expands the experience beyond just “March Madness,” which EA had focused on before. EA also revealed the game’s cover athlete: Kevin Love.
Love is the first UCLA basketball player to be featured on the cover of an EA college basketball game. He was the fifth pick in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies and later traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Now, about those gameplay details. Rather that focus on the post-season-only March Madness, NCAA Basketball 09 will incorporate new features that let gamers replicate their school’s style of play. Whether your school plays up-tempo looking to push the ball in transition, runs a half-court offense that utilizes the clock and limits possessions, or features a balanced attack, NCAA Basketball 09 rewards strategic gamers and emphasizes team-specific play styles.
NCAA Basketball 09 will feature Division I coaches in-game for the first time. Each coach will provide real time instruction and feedback, helping gamers control the tempo by executing their team’s offense and defense.
This year on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, NCAA Basketball 09 will operate on a new gameplay engine that includes more than 1,000 new animation sequences, improved ball physics and more-intelligent AI. The new animation system enables gamers to apply pressure defense with new full-court presses and traps. Plus, improved AI and animations enable quicker players to get up and down the floor faster and make better decisions running the lanes and driving to the rim.
Next-gen gamers will really like the next point: animations can be interrupted at any time, enabling you to read and respond to the action on the floor.
NCAA Basketball 09 is in development at EA Canada and will ship for PS3 and Xbox 360 this fall.