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Sega Sports Prepares for Lift-Off
Visual Concepts to assume expanded role in 2K4 series
In addition to the usual assortment of visual and gameplay upgrades, Sega's 2K4 sports lineup signals a more active and extensive role for Visual Concepts Entertainment, the developer behind Sega's resurgent NFL 2K series. This shift will result in Visual Concepts taking on full development and marketing responsibilities for all Sega sports titles, as well as forming key alliances with other Sega Sports developers, including Kush Games and Blue Shift.
With integrated ESPN tie-ins at the gameplay and interface levels, 1,000 new animations, and a new set of enhanced moves, Sega's flagship sports title, NFL 2K4 for PS2 and Xbox, matches strong gameplay with realistic visuals. A new easy-to-use play-calling system makes NFL 2K4 more approachable for novice and expert gamers, while online play continues to be supported via high-speed and dial-up Internet access.
Similarly, NBA 2K4-a fan favorite-ups the ante over last year's version through a series of gameplay enhancements that include online play, an all-new Franchise mode, and hundreds of new animations, including highlight-reel dunks. ESPN's television-style presentation values combined with new player models and arena types should give NBA 2K4 for PS2 and Xbox a more lifelike visualization of the professional sport.
Sega and Visual Concepts call NHL 2K4 for PS2 and Xbox this season's "enforcer." Real-time reflections on the ice and incredibly lifelike renderings of NHL players make for striking graphics, while an adaptive AI and a variety of new game modes, including online play for both consoles, should help NHL 2K4 compete for the digital Stanley Cup this season.
In the amateur ranks, NCAA College Basketball 2K4 strives to emulate the tradition and pageantry of collegiate hoops. This year's version features new player models, school-specific arenas, an expanded Legacy mode, and 100 fight songs and mascots. ESPN presentation values and online play for PS2 and Xbox round out the experience.
-By Thierry Nguyen
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