American Football brings out the emotions of people. It can be played at any age and by anyone. No matter who you may ask, everyone has their favorite teams from the Dallas Cowboys to the Tennessee Titans to the Miami Dolphins to the Baltimore Ravens. But have you ever watched a game and seen your favorite players go for the touchdown or miss that one catch because of the play that was called? Have you ever thought that you could do a better job in any position, including Quarterback if you were just given the chance? Those questions, or at least, some variation of those questions have been asked by either ourselves or someone that we know. But does developer StatusPRO show us what it’s like to be in the game? Let’s find out with NFL PRO ERA for the Quest 2 and PlayStation VR.
NFL PRO ERA is the first fully licensed NFL Virtual Reality simulation game that lets players experience what it’s like to compete as the Quarterback of their favorite NFL team and lead them to a Super Bowl win. So before you put on your helmet and try to make that winning throw, there are a few things that you should know. First, make sure you have some room. You don’t want to throw the ball and then your hand hits something like a wall. Second, because you are throwing, use the wrist straps. There is no need to throw and have your controller slip out of your hand into someone else or an object like a window. Third, make sure your controllers are charged. You don’t want to have it come down to the last few seconds and lose all because you forgot to charge them. And lastly, have some fun. I will also say that my audio did not record everything until later on, so any videos that you see and it’s silent, you know why. What all that said, let’s continue…
When you first start NFL PRO ERA, you do have a choice to make, do you want to play seated or standing? Then you are thrown into a game where this acts as your tutorial. To snap the ball, you will need to press and hold the Trigger button and then release it to throw. Once the tutorial is over, the next decision is team selection. All the NFL teams are here, so pick who you like. Next, you will need to decide if the current Quarterback is worth their weight in pay or if are you taking over by putting your own name on your jersey. Of course, every player needs a number and this is your chance to add your favorite number as you deserve it. I mean, you worked hard to get to the NFL here and you are the Quarterback, so pick your number. So we have your name and number. What could be next you ask? Well, it’s time to pick what your face and body type will look like and also your height. I mean for a real challenge, go the shortest height. Might as well make the news with all your skills. But having you be the player is just a part of it as you need to look like the player. So pick your gloves and football trail.
From here, you have some different options to select from. You can go to the Trophy Room to see all the trophies you earn will show. There is also season play and drills. But before you can start in the big game, you do need to practice. And this is where you will run different plays with help of the magic voice of the play caller that will call the play that you will use. It did take a few tries to get used to the snapping and throwing action. During the practice sessions, you can select different plays by the menu on your non-dominant wrist from Shotguns to running plays, the choice is yours.
Once you are done practicing, it is time to get into the game, and this is really where NFL ERA PRO shines. Before starting the season game, you can see the schedule, see what’s happening around the league, and go into settings, but once you pick up that helmet, it’s Game Time. Each game starts off with a coin toss. Keep in mind if your team is on the defense, you will be on the sidelines and watch the action. The developers have recreated each NFL stadium, but being out on the field and hearing the crowd cheer, makes you feel like you are in the game.
When you are on the sidelines, you can start and stop the sim to help speed things up, but don’t be surprised if the score changes. That just means when it’s your time to get in there and throw (or run), that you make every play count. The key to throwing here is you have to look at the player you are going to throw to. If you don’t, then your aim will be off, and start to wonder if you will be traded.
If you decide you need to take a break from the season, you do have some other options. You can play an Exhibition game, join in a game of catch, Boss Mode, or even a Dodgeball Game in the Multiplayer Mode, practice some 2 Minute drills, or even participate in Mini Camp Tours where you can do things like Pocket Passing and Run and Shoot.
Let’s look at the graphics and sound. Again, when you are putting on the helmet and being immersed in the stadium around you, it really is good. Players up close look like actual players and depending on the height you chose for your player, they can seem pretty big. I never lost sight of the ball when it was being thrown and even after scoring some points, the people in the stands could be made out. And listening to the sound, I was hoping I would get to hear the roar of the crowd, and hearing the crowd all around me even immersed me into the game more. The louder the crowd, the harder it was to hear the play caller. Even hearing pass incomplete sounded like it would be at an actual game.
There are some things I would love to see some things added and improved on. First, the throwing mechanics. Sometimes I would look at the player, go to throw, and the ball didn’t go that far or it felt off at times. Not a lot, but it did happen. Second, I would love to see all the positions open up to play. Third, it would be great to have a weather button so you can play in the snow or even have a thunderstorm going on. And finally, multiplayer. There is a real opportunity here to have actual Exhibition games, seasons, and leagues with real players. I just hope this opportunity will not be missed.
NFL ERA PRO allows us to not just watch the game, but be in the game with our favorite teams. From throwing to running, you make the plays. Sometimes in life, we get sidelined by what life throws at us. Sometimes we are out for the season while other times, it may be for that one game. But if we work hard and practice, anything is possible.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have another season to win.