There aren’t many American football games on the market, obviously you have the major powerhouse Madden, and I’ve just reviewed Maximum Football 2019, and just when you think that’s it, along comes another one in the form of Axis Football 2019. I swear it’s like waiting for a bus, then two come along at once, not that I’m complaining.
For too long there has been only one true NFL game on the market, Madden. It didn’t use to be this way, football games use to come from a variety of publishers, with names such as Sterling Sharpe, Emmitt Smith and Troy Aikman, however that was the 90’s.
Things changed big time when EA Sports secured the exclusive NFL license back in 2005, since then pretty much no one has wanted to compete without the NFL blessing.
Despite the known difficulties and the mammoth of a game that just sucks in the cash, a few indies have popped up to offer an alternative to Madden, after all competition builds greatness. One of the Indie’s of note is Axis Football, created by Danny Jugan’s Axis Games, in 2015. Now in its 4th yearly update, it’s hard to imagine that Axis Football 2019 is developed by a crew of just eight people, astonishing if you compare it with the hundreds that work on producing Madden.
The Axis team grows by roughly one person each year and has obviously studied and been influenced by a fan favourite from the past NFL 2k5, seen as the last real alternative to EA’s Madden Franchise.
I love Jugan’s Passion and belief “I have a huge passion for football, having played when I was younger and now coaching my son’s team, so I wanted a creative outlet for that,”
“Madden is a beautiful game, but one game can’t cover all the bases, and there were a lot of gamers that missed a truly simulation football experience. That’s what we are trying to capture,”
The NFL 2K5 influence becomes clearer with the former play-by-play announcer Terry McGoven on board for Axis Football 2019, all the early signs are positive for this indie developer’s latest attempt at a simulation capable of offering a serious alternative to a true giant, but does it hold up and is it any good you ask?
Building on Axis Football 2018’s effort, this years Axis Football is back!
The American football simulation has refreshed its immersive gameplay and enhanced a truly extensive franchise mode, with a warmth for customisation. The upgrades are huge under the hood and really maximise what the game is about, pure gameplay that is addictive and a simulation experience that is quite simply breath-taking.
Axis Football 2019 is a massive improvement in terms of performance, the frame-rate has been increased and appears to be much more fluid. The gameplay itself and the actual in game matches offer smoothness personified. The on field graphics could be better, but than with a small team behind the game, there was never going to be any competing with Madden in that department, but what I can say, is the games atmosphere more than makes up for the match graphics and after all it’s no good producing a game that is full of eye-candy but fails when it matters.
I can assure that Axis Football 2019’s gameplay get’s it spot on! From the plays, to the effortless smooth movements of the players, this game hit’s the nail on the head. The controls are a real plus point- easy to pick up, no overuse off button combination’s and dare I say they feel as good if not better than madden, certainly in their responsiveness. A true joy to get to grips with that’s for sure.
Presentation wise the game get’s it right. The in-play commentary is refreshing and excellent to listen to, the half time reports fantastic and the added insight to what the coaches have said at half time really add to the game. The opening menus are simplistic – easy to read and navigate, allowing you to hit the field and go for that all-important touch down in minutes. The in-play and play menus offer a tremendous insight and ton’s of advice and work really well within the game.
The game modes and customisation on offer in Axis Football 2019 are lovely to see. The franchise mode is a gem- a truly extensively detailed effort, that offer’s a simulation experience that many American football fans have been crying out for. Packed with stats, and interaction, excellent if you want to build the ultimate franchise.
In franchise mode you are given the chance to complete 16-position coaching staffs, including scouts, position coaches, and coordinators. The mode also offers a detailed coach badge system with an In-depth scouting system for recruiting new players. There’s a customisable practice strategy system to help shape the development of your players and the management facilities option used with in this mode is what everyone dreams of, after all who doesn’t want to build a franchise from the ground up.
Other Franchise mode inclusions are:
Player contracts – Trades – Injuries – Practice squads – Free agency – Retiring players – Weekly and yearly awards – Dynamic, tiered league structure with playoffs, promotions, and relegation’s – Unlimited seasons – 16 week seasons – Player progressions based on performance, age, potential, and playtime – End of season drafts – Season-long team stats – Individual league leader stats – Franchise stats – Depth chart control – Play, coach, spectate, or simulate matches – League and team schedule viewer – Spectate other matches
Just in case you were wondering what’s involved. Axis Football 2019 is also full of customisation options too with lots of in game options to tinker with and full team editors.
For an eight-man team, I am astounded to see them feature all this in to one game and offer a fantastic experience, with awesome game play, that is smooth and effortless. Jam packed with over 2000 plays and 50 formations implement in the game. The knowledge the game has for the game is wonderful, and it’s lovely to see it being portrayed to its players with informative screens that really do offer insight and help the player improve their game.
The game options are all fantastically represented, I love the fact that they include a spectator mode for the ultimate coaching experience, especially if simulation is solely your thing. The only downside to this game of note, is that there’s no online play, but then I would be dreaming if it was included, however it does offer an excellent 2 player locale experience.
- Franchise mode is a dream
- In game commentary is fantastic
- Controls are slick
- Graphics a little below par
- No online play