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As WP's senior editor, I edit review and preview articles, attempt to keep up with the frantic pace of Rainier's news posts, and keep our reviewers on deadline, which is akin to herding cats. When I have a moment to myself and don't have my nose in a book, I like to play action/RPG, adventure and platforming games.

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'Road to Sunday' (PS2) Announced - Screens

by Judy on April 25, 2005 @ 8:20 a.m. PDT

Sony today announced Road To Sunday, a title exclusive to the PS2. Blending on- and off-the-field action, Road To Sunday delivers a unique cinematic football experience where gamers must complete various missions, moving from setting to setting and character to character as dictated by the story.

Built from the ground up, this new franchise incorporates innovative game designs, new Artificial Intelligence (AI) and graphics, a compelling story and a variety of gameplay features. Slated for release in winter 2005, Road To Sunday is poised to present an all-new sports videogame experience that goes beyond the traditional on-field action.

Defining the next evolution in gaming, Road To Sunday presents a unique, sequential, episodic storyline that will provide both sports and entertainment videogame fans with the first ever sports entertainment drama.

The storyline revolves around Blake Doogan, an affluent sports mogul who inherits a professional football team after his father dies in a suspicious explosion while vacationing in Jamaica. Blake learns his father borrowed large sums of capital from a Jamaican kingpin to purchase a professional team. Doogan's father's debt is now his debt. The gameplay follows the owner, his sidekick Harry and seven football players as they put it all on the line in order to accumulate enough money to pay off the Jamaican kingpin and win the championship.

Players not only compete on the gridiron but also gain exposure to an underworld of questionable characters, gambling, and an underground fighting league run by the corrupt Jamaican kingpin. The players' world off-the-field involves high-stakes fighting tournaments, betting, gambling, and training, all of which increase player attributes for future missions and football games.

The on-the-field experience is best characterized as mission-based football, in which the objective is to both win the game and achieve on-the- field goals related to the team or specific players. To enhance gameplay and provide gamers with an authentic yet unique experience,

Road To Sunday introduces position specific gameplay, where, for the first time in a football videogame, gamers can play from the aspect of different positions. Position specific gameplay provides gamers with more position specific abilities and control then any other football experience before. From powering up a running back who hits the hole with authority, to enhancing a defensive back into a complete shut-down corner and forcing a QB into making costly mistakes, position specific gameplay delivers the ultimate in football control in order to get through the season.

"We're excited about creating a new gaming experience for both sports and entertainment video game fans," said Mark Meyers, co-director, sports product development, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "Road To Sunday creates a completely new genre that presents a unique action and story-driven gaming experience, while remaining true to our core of sports."

Delivering a fresh football experience unlike any other gridiron video game, Road To Sunday is set to introduce gamers to the all-new sports entertainment action genre through its revolutionary game design, incredibly real football, and a sequential, episodic storyline.

KEY FEATURES

  • All-New Genre: Sports Entertainment Action– Defining the next evolution in gaming, Road To Sunday presents a unique, sequential, episodic storyline that will provide both sports and entertainment videogame fans with the first ever sports entertainment drama.
  • Off-the-Field Missions – Completing missions increases character attributes, ultimately advancing the story. Developing the attributes of seven players on the team is key to completing on-field and off-field missions.
    • Fighting Tournaments – Gamers can participate in fighting tournaments made up of characters encountered throughout the story. The fighting system features punching, kicking, grabbing and follow-on attack mechanism, along with blocking and escaping. Winning combat missions increase characters attributes and/or wins cash for the owner, which is used to pay off the mobster.
    • High Stakes Gambling – Gamers can play Texas Hold ’Em and Blackjack. Missions include high-stakes poker games, celebrity poker tourneys and back room gambling. Playing in high-stakes games enable gamers to win cash for the owner, which is used to pay off the mobster.
    • Sports Bookie – Gamers can place bets on upcoming football games including the over/under, winner with odds, money-line bets and bets on individual players performance. Betting tips are provided throughout the cinematic dialogue.
    • Work Out – Gamers can participate in rhythm-based timing weightlifting and running exercises to licensed music. Physical attributes are increased based on how well the player completes various weightlifting sets, improving overall performance during football and fighting missions.
  • Position Specific Gameplay (PSG) – To enhance gameplay and provide gamers with an authentic yet unique experience, Road To Sunday introduces Position Specific Gameplay (PSG), where, for the first time in a football videogame, gamers can play from the aspect of different positions. PSG will give the game player more position specific abilities and control then any other football experience ever before. From powering up the running back into a power runner and then hitting the hole with authority, to making the cornerback into a shut down corner and forcing a QB into making costly mistakes. PSG delivers the ultimate in football control to get through the season.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) Attribute System – Each character begins with a predetermined set of attributes including power, athleticism, quickness, intelligence and attitude. By completing missions, a character’s attributes increase incrementally. New levels of ability are awarded based on success during on-field and off-field missions.
  • Player Development – Gamers can increase the abilities of the football players by completing football “missions” in practice and on game day and by achieving mission objectives while fighting. Increasing the abilities of the players unlocks special signature moves and allows them to perform game-time goals with a higher success rate and eventually unlock “signature moves” that are virtually unstoppable.
  • Down on the Field Presentation – Road to Sunday is the first ticket to the extraordinary sights and sounds of a football player down on the field. Gamers can experience the orchestrated chaos at the line of scrimmage; enjoy the art of intimidating “trash talking” opponents and more.
  • Realistic Football Experience – Road To Sunday delivers a fresh football experience unlike any other gridiron video game with authentic techniques and sound football fundamentals, offensive and defensive schemes, and incredibly smooth, realistic animation. Gamers experience, first-hand, the ferocity of violent collisions unlike any game before.
    • Adaptive Play Calling – A highly sophisticated AI system uses field position, time left in the quarter, half, or game, the down, distance, score, potential score, personnel on the field, and the types of plays that have been executed, to call offensive and defensive plays. The AI recognizes user tendencies so gamers have to mix-up the run, the pass and play action.
    • Explosive Offense – The offensive line play features both zone and man-blocking schemes, that form pockets on passes and use slide and fan protection to adjust to overloads and stunts. Run plays feature head on blocks, cross, load, reach, double team, and wedge blocks, as well as pulling and trapping. When the pocket collapses, the QB and WR’s improvise and the QB will spill out of the pocket, look for running lanes or buy time to get the throw off. Receivers “throttle down” in soft spots of a zone or run away from man coverage.
    • Dominating and Swarming Defense – Defensive schemes utilize coverage disguising, corner and safety blitzes, fake blitzes as well as zone exchanges to apply pressure and confuse the QB. Linebackers play run first, “fill” and “shed” blockers based upon their attributes and read and recognize run or drop into zones. Defensive Back behavior mimics professional pass coverage, including Cover-2, Tampa-2 Deep, Cover-3, Cover-4, Man, etc. Additionally, Road To Sunday utilizes man techniques like Inside-Shade, Head-Up Bump as well as the Trail Technique. All coverages feature realistic player reaction based upon player attributes.
  • Game Controls
    • New Passing Control – An innovative passing system allows gamers to accurately throw the under-thrown fade route, throw over the top of coverage or lead receivers to the soft spot of a zone, use the pump fake to a specific receiver to make defenders commit to a receiver, or bite on out and ups, in addition to other moves.
    • Innovative Defensive Controls – As a DB, gamers jam a WR at the line of scrimmage and use their hands to get separation to make the interception. Defensive Ends have a full arsenal of moves to put pressure on the QB and with Linebackers and even pump up their “adrenaline” to blow through the line of scrimmage.
    • Intuitive Offensive Controls – Power-up Running Backs to explode through holes and unleash devastating cut blocks to bring down a blitzing linebacker. As a Wide Receiver, gamers can perform evasive moves on a defensive back, adjust a route to find the soft spot in the zone and call for the ball, or even fight with a defender when the ball is in the air.
  • Sound Track – Incorporating a movie-like score for the story mode and new original music for the in-game experience, Road to Sunday will host a sound track sure to match the drama and excitement of the game.

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