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Axis Football 2020 Available Now on Steam

axis football 2020 review

Axis Football 2020

Axis Football 2020 Available Now on Steam

Axis Football 2020 has officially been released on Steam for $29.99, featuring drastic gameplay improvements and a very deep franchise mode. The game is scheduled to release on October 21 for Xbox One and late November for PlayStation 4.

New in Axis Football 2020

  • Massively improved gameplay including catches on the run, smarter line blocking, more intelligent players, and much more
  • Completely redesigned user interface across the entire game
  • Redesigned draft experience featuring a live draft view
  • New franchise startup options including random rosters and unlimited funds
  • Added career stat tracking for all players across the league
  • Added a local 2P Coach Mode
  • New animations
  • New stadiums

Franchise Mode Features

  • Player contracts
  • Trades
  • Injuries
  • Practice squads
  • Free agency
  • Retiring players
  • Weekly and yearly awards
  • Dynamic, tiered league structure with playoffs, promotions, and relegations
  • 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

Game Modes

  • Player vs AI
  • Coach Mode (1P & 2P)
  • Spectator Mode
  • Local Player vs Player
  • Franchise Mode

Other Game Features

  • In-game uniform and player
  • 36 Teams
  • Stylized playbooks, featuring 2,000+ plays and 50+ formations
  • Hot routes, audibles, coaching strategies, shifts and more
  • Aimed or traditional icon passing
  • Jukes, spins, dives, and loads other player moves
31 Comments

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Discussion
  1. AxisGames
    Hi folks,
    We just wanted to share that Axis Football 2020 is now live on Steam. We've made some pretty drastic gameplay improvements, and we extended an already deep franchise mode.
    We would love for you guys to take a look at the game and let us know what you think.
    https://store.steampowered.com/app/1412780/Axis_Football_2020/
    (Xbox release set for Oct 21st, PS4 release around late November)
    Thank you,
    Danny

    Question for you guys. Does your game have different camera angles like Sideline Cam etc ? I'm definitely going to support your game regardless. I'm just curious.
    They just responded to my same question on STEAM. Their statement below.
    Yes, there is both a normal (behind the players) camera view along with a sideline / broadcast camera view. You can toggle between them when you're in coach / spectate mode. There are also custom camera controls in the settings that let you change the height and zoom of the camera.
    Thanks for giving us a look!
    El_Toro50
    They just responded to my same question on STEAM. Their statement below.
    Yes, there is both a normal (behind the players) camera view along with a sideline / broadcast camera view. You can toggle between them when you're in coach / spectate mode. There are also custom camera controls in the settings that let you change the height and zoom of the camera.
    Thanks for giving us a look!

    Awesome!!!!
    Having some issues, anyone experiencing this?
    Issue:
    LT does not bring up the play art for me
    RT does not give a speed burst
    edit: Solution found, Steam's big picture controller scheme was on by default. Forcing off, completely changed how the controls felt.
    Bug:
    Punted the ball really short, receiving team didn't go for it and when I picked it up I had possession again.
    So it's been a while, a good long while since I've been able to give my initial impressions of a different football title. I want to say a quick congrats to Axis Games, you have done a tremendous job.
    Thoughts & ramblings...
    The off-the-field management sim aspect is top notch and will keep the game engaging for hundreds of hours. This alone when compared alongside management sims like OOTP and FM2020, it's refreshing to finally have that in a PC football title. Coincide that alongside true "gameplay" and it's worth the $30 price tag.
    Now this ties into one of my major complaints. When you choose, key word here, choose to attempt a feeling of in control gameplay, it blinks as a bright red flashing sign when you feel merely a spectator. It's not that I find an issue with what visually appears on the field, it's the perception of "Madden-ish" style of gameplay. Make no mistake, you can impact the play, but much of what plays out is rating number crunching in the background. This could be argued Madden does the same exact thing but it feels much heavier here.
    A few obvious standouts. Running up the middle is very limited, juke or spin, choose your weapon. The vast majority of the time it feels like your only option is to the hold stick up and hope the RNG plays into your favor to break a tackle. What about calling the perfect counter defensive coverage, the DB is directly in front the receiver on a curl but the receiver manages to catch the ball. It makes you feel like the action on the field is not being dictated by on-field interactions.
    This is completely acceptable in OOTP when you see a shortstop miss a ball right at him and you get a glorious text box explaining in detail what happened.
    "Nick Ahmed sprints to his right, sliding to cradle a fast moving grounder! The ball takes an unexpected hop leaving Ahmed whiffing at air for an easy single to first."
    You feel engaged in the game.....but different. This is where Axis Football stumbles. You're left loving the off-the-field but wishing on-the-field was a bit more refined.
    Overall, people who love broadcast cam, coach mode franchise will be extremely happy. For those of us who like to play the game plus managed the off-the-field, it will be a mixed bag of feelings.
    My simple rating: The foundation is laid for something special.
    So I got my review copy this morning at like 9am. Put a little time into it. Played a couple games and testing out franchise now.
    First impressions are mostly positive. I'm trying to figure out if they have a list of controls for gameplay. I can't find anything. I don't know what to do while engaging an offensive lineman.
    But I'm liking certain parts of the gameplay and other parts not so much.
    Anybody care to briefly divulge into customization? APF 2K8 kinda popped up on my radar recently because of the customization but the lack of a franchise just kills any desire to play it, great as it may be.
    The overarching question I have is how much of your own world can you create? How deep is customization (can you flat out create a new team or can you just rename/rebrand current teams)? Stadiums? Can you downsize the amount of teams in franchise or is it a set number?
    Any help would be appreciated.
    PVarck31
    So I got my review copy this morning at like 9am. Put a little time into it. Played a couple games and testing out franchise now.
    First impressions are mostly positive. I'm trying to figure out if they have a list of controls for gameplay. I can't find anything. I don't know what to do while engaging an offensive lineman.
    But I'm liking certain parts of the gameplay and other parts not so much.

    When in a game, press start, then you can bumper over to “controls”.
    Xbox
    B speed move
    X power move
    I believe
    Phobia
    So it's been a while, a good long while since I've been able to give my initial impressions of a different football title. I want to say a quick congrats to Axis Games, you have done a tremendous job.
    Thoughts & ramblings...
    The off-the-field management sim aspect is top notch and will keep the game engaging for hundreds of hours. This alone when compared alongside management sims like OOTP and FM2020, it's refreshing to finally have that in a PC football title. Coincide that alongside true "gameplay" and it's worth the $30 price tag.
    Now this ties into one of my major complaints. When you choose, key word here, choose to attempt a feeling of in control gameplay, it blinks as a bright red flashing sign when you feel merely a spectator. It's not that I find an issue with what visually appears on the field, it's the perception of "Madden-ish" style of gameplay. Make no mistake, you can impact the play, but much of what plays out is rating number crunching in the background. This could be argued Madden does the same exact thing but it feels much heavier here.
    A few obvious standouts. Running up the middle is very limited, juke or spin, choose your weapon. The vast majority of the time it feels like your only option is to the hold stick up and hope the RNG plays into your favor to break a tackle. What about calling the perfect counter defensive coverage, the DB is directly in front the receiver on a curl but the receiver manages to catch the ball. It makes you feel like the action on the field is not being dictated by on-field interactions.
    This is completely acceptable in OOTP when you see a shortstop miss a ball right at him and you get a glorious text box explaining in detail what happened.
    "Nick Ahmed sprints to his right, sliding to cradle a fast moving grounder! The ball takes an unexpected hop leaving Ahmed whiffing at air for an easy single to first."
    You feel engaged in the game.....but different. This is where Axis Football stumbles. You're left loving the off-the-field but wishing on-the-field was a bit more refined.
    Overall, people who love broadcast cam, coach mode franchise will be extremely happy. For those of us who like to play the game plus managed the off-the-field, it will be a mixed bag of feelings.
    My simple rating: The foundation is laid for something special.

    I appreciate this. This was what I was looking for. If the game still lacked on field, could I still enjoy it in a Coach Mode format? As much as I love OOTP baseball now, I couldn't fully embrace it until I saw some sort of on field action tied to it. The fact that Axis shines with off field management and how deep it is, I can roll with that...for only $30 too??
    AxisGames
    Hi folks,
    We just wanted to share that Axis Football 2020 is now live on Steam. We've made some pretty drastic gameplay improvements, and we extended an already deep franchise mode.
    We would love for you guys to take a look at the game and let us know what you think.
    https://store.steampowered.com/app/1412780/Axis_Football_2020/
    (Xbox release set for Oct 21st, PS4 release around late November)
    Thank you,
    Danny

    I’m very interested in buying this game for the PS4 when it’s released. Just one quick question... I see you can spectate games, but is it possible to assign all the teams in franchise mode to be controlled by the CPU? I’m talking on the field play as well as all front office moves and decisions. The CPU does it all. All the human player does is watch games on the screen without simulating to the end. The CPU handles its own week to week transactions, the draft, offseason moves, etc.
    Phobia
    So it's been a while, a good long while since I've been able to give my initial impressions of a different football title. I want to say a quick congrats to Axis Games, you have done a tremendous job.
    Thoughts & ramblings...
    The off-the-field management sim aspect is top notch and will keep the game engaging for hundreds of hours. This alone when compared alongside management sims like OOTP and FM2020, it's refreshing to finally have that in a PC football title. Coincide that alongside true "gameplay" and it's worth the $30 price tag.
    Now this ties into one of my major complaints. When you choose, key word here, choose to attempt a feeling of in control gameplay, it blinks as a bright red flashing sign when you feel merely a spectator. It's not that I find an issue with what visually appears on the field, it's the perception of "Madden-ish" style of gameplay. Make no mistake, you can impact the play, but much of what plays out is rating number crunching in the background. This could be argued Madden does the same exact thing but it feels much heavier here.
    A few obvious standouts. Running up the middle is very limited, juke or spin, choose your weapon. The vast majority of the time it feels like your only option is to the hold stick up and hope the RNG plays into your favor to break a tackle. What about calling the perfect counter defensive coverage, the DB is directly in front the receiver on a curl but the receiver manages to catch the ball. It makes you feel like the action on the field is not being dictated by on-field interactions.
    This is completely acceptable in OOTP when you see a shortstop miss a ball right at him and you get a glorious text box explaining in detail what happened.
    "Nick Ahmed sprints to his right, sliding to cradle a fast moving grounder! The ball takes an unexpected hop leaving Ahmed whiffing at air for an easy single to first."
    You feel engaged in the game.....but different. This is where Axis Football stumbles. You're left loving the off-the-field but wishing on-the-field was a bit more refined.
    Overall, people who love broadcast cam, coach mode franchise will be extremely happy. For those of us who like to play the game plus managed the off-the-field, it will be a mixed bag of feelings.
    My simple rating: The foundation is laid for something special.

    Funny how different people want different things in a sports game. For me, the idea that the result on the field is primarily driven by the player ratings, rather than my skill as a gamer, is great! This is what (for me) makes career/franchise mode shine.
    GlennN
    Funny how different people want different things in a sports game. For me, the idea that the result on the field is primarily driven by the player ratings, rather than my skill as a gamer, is great! This is what (for me) makes career/franchise mode shine.

    I'm surely not opposed to ratings driving the interaction. That is needed to be as close to realistic as possible.
    It is how the visual images represent that interaction which is off. People have long complained of warping/morphing players in Madden, it's more so on display here. Which wouldn't be even a talking point if the on-field gameplay was more like OOTP, a "visual estimate" of what is happening. Instead the on-field gameplay is intended to "played" like a Madden-ish football title.
    More testing will need to be done, for instance, how often would a 230lb A+ rated HB break a tackle from a 160lb F rated DB? As of now, it doesn't seem noticeable from my 5 or 6 games.
    So in the end, I won't knock it to hard for the visual representation. These are just the aspects I'd like to see improved where the on-the-field is just as engaging as off.
    Can someone compare this to say games like Head Coach 09 or Draft Day Sports Pro Football?
    I'm really looking for a football manager, Eastside hockey manager, OOTP type game.
    I've played draft day sports and enjoyed it but the clunky sim engine didn't get me hooked, I've LOVED HC09 and I LOVE football manager and eastside hockey manager. If this game instills the same kind of immersion as those, i'm 100% in.
    I don't play games, I play coach mode and prefer sports management sims to actual gameplay, which is why i struggle with madden (also the fact that madden is more and more online and i'm a pure offline/single player gamer).
    Let me just preface my impressions by saying I am very happy with the strides both Axis and Canuck Play made this year. In a season where the main game in town has more critics than ever before, both indie titles are really enjoyable and --- with expectations fully in check --- I'm having fun with both.
    That being said, here are some fairly detailed impressions of the PC version of Axis 2020 after around 12+ hours of gameplay. I'll try to cover every aspect of this game in as much detail as I can, so long post incoming.
    Also, I have not played this game in Coach or Spectator Mode so I can't speak to the effectiveness of either.

    IN-GAME:
    -Gameplay on default sliders is quick, responsive and fun. I'd say it's more of a hybrid sim-arcade experience out of the box. Getting a speedy player in the open field is really satisfying, and making big plays gives a real sense of accomplishment. I can't really describe the overall feel in many more ways but when this game's playing well, it's pretty refreshing.
    -Ratings --- at least when skill position players are concerned --- matter. My A-speed YWR is able to break into the open field much easier than my C-speed ZWR, who almost seems like he's running through mud in comparison. I almost have to plan to get the ZWR into open space before the catch, whereas my speedy slot receiver is more likely to get a ton more RAC.
    -Said YWR, however, leads the league in drops due to a C catch rating (the ZWR's catch rating is a B+ and hasn't dropped a pass all season). He can't get into open space if he can't catch the ball. This all sounds like common sense, but I feel as if there's a big difference between dominant players and replacements.
    -Off-ball injuries happen quite a bit. I've had multiple linemen sit out a few plays, leave the game and even lost my starting LT for the season (I noticed I gave up quite a bit of sacks as a result). Again, this may all be placebo but it's definitely telling.
    -Not a huge fan of the responsiveness of juke and spin moves, but both indie titles have their struggles in that area so I can give them a pass as long as they work on improving them in the future.
    -Animations are much better than in previous years but aren't quite polished. They need some more TLC in future installments. Tackling, blocking, locomotion and collision detection are sadly more miss than hit in the game's current state. Like in Maximum, I like that I don't need to dive or hit a button to tackle. This is an area where Maximum currently shines but I'm sure Axis will put the work in for future installments.
    -I could be wrong, but I'm almost certain that teams don't actually switch sides of the field once possession changes. I'm currently playing nearly all of my games in Baltimore Stadium, and it seems that both offenses only face one side of the stadium (the skyline). The other end of the stadium seems to only be seen on plays with a clear possession change (kickoffs, punts, interception/fumbles).
    -Special teams, however, is one area where Axis shines. It seems much more difficult to return kicks than in previous years, but I was still able to rack up quite a few return TD's in my Buffalo Grizzlies regular season. Kicking is challenging but not impossible. You definitely have to adjust to the wind, and it's good to see that speeds fluctuate throughout the game.
    -WITH THAT BEING SAID, some of the game rules aren't implemented properly. I've only ever kicked off after halftime, no matter if I kick or receive to start the game. Also, if a punt returner does not receive a punt, and the punting team recovers the ball downfield, the punt team automatically retain possession. This is incorrect --- IRL, the punt team only retains possession if a receiver first touches/fumbles the ball away. I found this out the hard way when I accidentally chose a field goal block formation on a punt, didn't have any receivers back and chose to let the ball roll, only for the punt team to recover and receive a new set of downs at my 5 yard line.
    -The experience itself, apart from presentation, is fairly bare-bones. There aren't any pre and post play cutscenes or celebrations to be found, just a very fast-moving game from play to play. It's one of the things that originally turned me off of buying Axis in previous years, but it doesn't quite bother me anymore since the overall gameplay makes up for the lack of in-game bells and whistles.
    -I've run into a few strange glitches. One time, the hands team on an onside kick return very jarringly warped into formation after the kickoff. On a separate occasion, I forced the offense to punt, only for them to randomly receive the ball back on their goal line. A sack resulted, and I received a free two points off the safety. Finally, a similar incident happened. After a punt, the original offense randomly received the ball. I went to the pause menu to call a timeout, only for every one of the players on the field to disappear. The game went on as if nothing happened, and as soon as the ball was snapped (by an invisible center), the game locked up and I couldn't pause. Dave Stevens said a line of commentary, and I decided to alt-tab and close the game. Nothing like that's happened since, thankfully.
    -For what it's worth, I got around 40 sacks with my DE and 17 sacks with my DT in year one of my Franchise. I don't know if it was poor AI or having a B+ DE and B DT against Tier 3 linemen, but it's certainly something to look at.
    PRESENTATION:
    -Stat overlays after nearly every play are great to see. Seeing the details of the current drive and relevant stats for players on both sides of the ball adds a lot to immersion. The score bug is also really well designed.
    -How about those menus? Some of the best I've seen this year. VERY quick navigation compared to many AAA sports titles. I've run into a few glitches with menus seemingly "overlapping" themselves but I assume that's an easy fix for a future patch.
    -The commentary (starring 2K's own Terry McGovern) is ambitious, detailed and can be a foundation for future games. I assume Dave Stevens is Dan's twin brother. He doesn't sound quite as authentic as he did in the original NFL 2K but it's a solid effort, and great to hear him nonetheless.
    -Nearly every player's last name is in the game, but aren't said very frequently (many times, McGovern inexplicably reverts to player numbers). The PBP, color and sideline reporter also have very minor "storylines" throughout the game. The weather's impact, for instance, gets referenced quite a bit in the pre-game and a little bit throughout. For example, my wideout dropped a wide open pass and the color commentator blamed it on the heavy rain.
    -Another pro to commentary is the "player of the game" segment when you're in the post-game stats menu. It didn't need to be there, but it's a nice touch considering Madden barely does it anymore. Also, this convinces me that the color commentator also has nearly every one of the players' last names recorded as well. It'd be great to hear him use them throughout the game.
    -The downsides to commentary may have to be line delivery, repetitiveness, relevance and stitching. Stevens and Steele don't seem to have any chemistry with one another and it's very obvious their lines were recorded separately.
    -Many of the changed team names are incorrect on the release day version (Buffalo is still announced as the Indians, Baltimore's still the Braves, Carolina's the Rebels, etc). If they can't be re-recorded, it's probably best they remain city names for now.
    -Color commentary is hit and miss. I like him more in this version of Axis than in previous editions, and he certainly has some finer --- and funnier --- moments, but I feel as if he'd be better off keeping scripted lines to a minimum and improvising more often. I think they're trying too hard to make him sound like Peter O'Keefe than letting the character (or voice actor) put more of himself into the role.
    -A good example of the color commentator doing it right --- I returned three punts for TD's in a single game (thankfully an anomaly, since it never happened again). After the third score, Steele flat out asked why they kept kicking to him. Minor detail but nice to hear.
    -The sideline reporter has some great insight, and even seems to comment on your choice of pre-play strategy. I told my defense to focus on defending the pass and she backed it up after half time. Unfortunately, she also suffers from a bit of over-acting. A really ambitious effort in this department, though, and with more care either in 2020 or in the future it might be a seriously awesome asset among indie sports games.
    DEFAULT TEAMS / UNIFORMS:
    -A seriously awesome job on the uniforms, logos and designs of all Axis Football League teams. A good mix of modern and classic designs throughout. These teams seriously rival many XFL and AAF designs, and many would fit right in among real-world college and pro teams.
    -Uniform selection is very unique and awesome to see. Each team includes a home, away, grey, black and home and away Military uniforms. Many teams also include one (or many) alternate uniform(s) and some pretty unique alternate helmets. Cincinnati's uniforms, for instance, include a pretty cool orange alternate with "THE NATI" on its chest. It's a nice touch. Axis is well on its way to some pretty cool worldbuilding here, and I assume it's only going to get more detailed in future games.
    -It's also great that helmets correspond to jerseys (a team colored helmet for home games, a white colored helmet for away, a black helmet for black jerseys, etc). For instance, the Military uniforms come with a black helmet with a flat shaded team logo in "military green". It's a really cool idea, especially considering many teams also include their trademark striping and every team's name on unique chest patches. Canadian teams also wear a Canadian flag patch. This may be inconsequential for some players but is GREAT attention to detail and only builds the Axis Football world.
    FRANCHISE MODE:
    (NOTE: I haven't played into the offseason yet. I'll be sure to include more impressions once I've advanced to free agency and draft.)
    -A true breath of fresh air with a bit of a ways to go. It's right up there alongside the later day PS2/Xbox/Gamecube Maddens, at least.
    -I love the option to randomize teams and players, as well as auto-assigning teams to tiers that match their overall ratings. I'm currently in Tier 3 with the Buffalo Grizzlies.
    -My biggest complaint so far --- to my knowledge, there isn't an easy way to view an individual player's statistics without going into the "player leaders" menu or the contract negotiations screen. I'd map a player card menu to the right analog stick in every menu, if possible.
    -Great decision to count targets as a stat. This is something I've wanted in Madden forever, and I'm glad it's here. It's good to see that players aren't labeled as (for example) "ROLB, LOLB" either. You simply sign running backs, receivers, offensive linemen, defensive linemen, linebackers and defensive backs. You then assign them specific roles in the depth chart (FB, X/Y/Z WR, WLB, SLB, Nickel Corner, etc.)
    -While assigning these player roles in the depth chart is certainly a nice touch, you almost have to rely on your preferences and not any players' specialties. This would be a good place for some sort of "scheme fit", where certain players would work better in certain positions (slot WR, nickel DB).
    -Like those aforementioned Maddens, certain coaches and upgrades help certain position groups, morale, and may even help progression. My Buffalo Grizzlies team is currently leading Tier 3 with a long winning streak and morale is at 100. I've noticed players absolutely balling out during gameplay --- not sure if it's because of morale, if I'm playing inferior competition or that their ratings are boosted, but something's happening.
    -Practice intensity seems to work as well. I lost my first game 7-3 after multiple dropped passes. I chose to put more hours into pass catching/route running and immediately noticed an improvement. Again, any rating changes aren't reflected in the menus (to my knowledge), so I assume the practices are working and not simply a placebo.
    -Free agent contract negotiations work pretty well but I'm not actually sure if any other teams are signing free agents. I was once outbid for a defensive back but haven't seen any other players actually get signed. A "news" or "transactions" log would help here.
    -The lack of injured reserve is a bit of a headscratcher, but I'm able to put players who are out for the season on my Practice Squad without a drop in morale or the risk of another team poaching them.
    -I would expand the functionality of the practice squad to include direct signings and allow for signings from other teams' PS units. Theoretically, if another team tries to sign your practice squad player, a notification should pop up to allow you to match the offer or let them walk (this is the main gripe I have with Madden's PS system --- players bolt for free without any warning).
    -A news or transactions section, beyond the awards screen, would also be great as it often feels like your team's season's in a bubble without any indication of how the other teams are doing other than player/team stat output.
    -Simulation stats are okay but aren't perfect. I didn't see a 4000 or 5000 yard quarterback performance in my first campaign (My QB led the entire Axis League in passing with 3600+). The leading receivers were over 1500 yards. I saw multiple receivers on the same team (Arizona, in this case) with over 1000 receiving yards a piece. Run-first teams seem to produce backs with higher rushing totals as well --- the highest I saw, off the top of my head, was around 1500, and the league leader had 20+ TD.
    -The only gripe I have with the game calculating touchdowns is that it counts a player's total touchdowns. For instance, I had around 5 punt return TD's with Buffalo's strong safety. The same player recorded two pick-sixes on defense. The "team leaders" menu displayed this as 7 TD's instead of two defensive and five return TD. I'll give this a pass for now since it doesn't break anything (to my knowledge).
    -Yearly award voting is interesting in that it doesn't allow a player to win in multiple categories. This is both a positive and negative. As I said before, I recorded 40(!) sacks with rookie defensive end Maldonado. Such a performance would likely put him in contention for ROTY, DPOY and MVP but only resulted in him winning Defensive Lineman of the Year (thankfully for me, Buffalo's QB ended up winning MVP). I'd be more okay with this if he won, say DPOY or MVP and nothing else, but to "only" receive a defensive lineman award for 40+ sacks is a bit underwhelming.
    -Prospect scouting is great so far. It's very similar to the current NHL series, in that you have limited opportunities to make sure you find suitable fits for your team. Scouts have specialties among position groups, allowing you to get a detailed look at prospects' final ratings without spending many points. The menu is detailed enough to include suggestions for BPA and Team Needs.
    -The improvements I'd personally make to the scouting system include a better fog of war (starting with question marks as ratings until more detailed info's unveiled) and a better idea of where prospects are actually located. I had to manually search in each region for a specific player instead of that info being readily available on the draft pool screen. It'd speed up the process and make things easier.
    -That being said, finding gems is definitely possible. I just don't know (right now at least) where any of these prospects will end up. A "mock draft" screen like the NBA series or Madden's "projected draft position" will allow me to plan out each round a bit better.
    -I've only completed a single trade so far, so I can't tell how good or bad the trade logic is. I was able to unload my drop-prone starting TE and a 2023 second rounder for Cleveland's 2021 first round pick, so take that for what you will. I'll attempt more trades once I complete an off-season and look to unload some older players/bloated contracts.
    -I'm only in the first game of the Tier 3 playoffs right now so I don't have much else to report on Franchise. I'll follow this up (with a shorter post) once I finish an offseason.
    OVERALL/TLDR THOUGHTS:
    I'm enjoying Axis 2020 quite a bit. Like with Maximum, my expectations are quite low because this isn't a AAA studio with a million dollar budget. There are glitches and imperfections. But the leaps this game's made have been very apparent. The Franchise Mode is for real and is every bit worth checking out --- the fact I haven't scratched the surface says a lot. It's a truly valiant effort. The worldbuilding and attention to detail in several areas is also undeniable. It's a great alternative to Madden and certainly a spiritual successor to its excellent 05-09 PS2/Xbox/Gamecube Franchise Modes. While the in-game experience isn't quite all there --- animations certainly need the most work --- they're the best they've ever been, and I'm very excited to see how Axis supports this game post-release and in 2021!
    More impressions to come. I wish this development team all the best, and it's certainly great seeing two independent studios make up for EA's shortcomings.
    Very brief impressions after playing one playoff game:
    -The AI does a good job of adjusting to its offensive situation but it's not entirely perfect. Late game clock management, especially when the team you're controlling is low or out of timeouts, seems very appropriate --- they'll abandon the pass entirely and run the ball. When the AI's down late, they'll tend to target players on the sidelines and run them out of bounds to stop the clock. When they're down in a close fourth quarter, they'll almost always go for it on fourth and attempt onside kicks after they score. On the other hand, they tend to run the ball on third and long far too often (which the color commentator Steele praises as being a good, safe call).
    -There's pre-game playoff-based commentary. Not sure if it changes after the first round, but (Dan's Brother) Dave Stevens says something about one team advancing and the other going home. Good banter between the both of them about the stakes of a playoff game. Sadly, it was the only reference to the playoffs either of them made in the entire game, but it was pretty nice to hear.
    Here are examples of simulated stats (with the exception of my team, whom I played every game with). Note that these also include postseason stats from the first round of the playoffs. Thankfully, these additional stats don't affect awards, since they're decided before the playoffs take place. To my knowledge, there is no all-star game/pro bowl equivalent either. It'd be nice to have separate playoff stats but that's a very small complaint. Anyway:





    About the 16-1 record ... I can't jump to conclusions and say the game's been too easy for my liking. It's either due to morale boosting ratings, very weak competition in Tier 3 or a good practice regimen. I did notice my defense giving up less points as the season went on, as well as my receivers dropping fewer passes. I wish I could say the higher morale and practice actually affects my players' in-game performance, but it certainly seems like it.
    With that being said, many of the Tier 3 teams had the worst records of any Axis Division (the league is set up in a promotion-relegation structure very similar to soccer leagues --- the winner of the Tier 3 playoffs faces the last place team in Tier 2 --- in my case, the Mexico City Jaguars). The last place Tier 3 team, the Indianapolis Gladiators, only finished the season with 2 wins.
    The reason why my halfback, Marsh, had so few yards is because he was injured midway through the season. His replacement is a rookie halfback, Peyton Craig, with A receiving, A awareness and B speed but a lower B overall rating (Marsh is a B+). I decided to run a pass-heavy offense the rest of the season to compensate for Craig's receiving abilities (which certainly resulted in my quarterback becoming the passing leader and winning MVP). Marsh is 29 and while his speed rating is higher than Craig's, his awareness is lower and I assume he'll regress. He has three years left on his deal so I might replace him for draft capital once the season ends.
    The Franchise Records section you see above only lists single game team yardage records, championship wins and win-loss records. It sadly doesn't list the stats of individual players, but I would absolutely love to see all-time player records in an update or in future games.
    Will chime in with more impressions after I finish the playoffs.
    (EDIT: Had a much closer game this week, winning only by a field goal over the second best team in the tier, Carolina. Onto Mexico City in the Tier 3-Tier 2 championship game...)
    A few additional observations before I get into postseason stuff:
    -The way the game handles overtime is kinda jarring. At least on my current quarter settings, the game simply gets an extra minute of play, and the game resumes on the current drive until time runs out and there's a winner (two of my games had an extra two "periods"). Games thankfully don't end in ties, but there's no indication on the scorebug that the game's in overtime --- it still displays the fourth quarter. Seems like a simple fix, though.
    -Speaking of which, Tier 2 games are much more difficult than Tier 3's. Since being promoted, nearly all of my games went to overtime and I lost a close game at Orlando due to my quarterback.
    -The kickoff possession issue I talked about before has been fixed in the latest Steam patch (it always had your team kick off the second half no matter if you chose to kick or receive the opening kickoff).
    -The other issue involving the punt team retaining possession if they touch the ball on a punt (or without the receiving team touching the ball first) has also has been fixed in an update. Kick returners also down the ball in the endzone, which didn't happen in the first version of the game.
    -Completion percentage is a bit concerning. I've had quarterbacks dink and dunk it all the way up the field, leading them to miss only a few passes per game. Thankfully, it's not always like this. Other quarterbacks try to air it out and are far more erratic. I wouldn't say it's "Robo QB" just yet, but certain quarterbacks always seem to find an open receiver and it makes playing zone a bit more difficult.
    -I've run into a few false start penalties while the offense wasn't doing anything. A bit strange, but it's definitely fixable.
    -There are a few more quirky things here and there that may cause annoyances but I can't remember all of them. Whatever they were, they're fixable and shouldn't be a problem after future patches.
    BRIEF OFFSEASON IMPRESSIONS:
    -Progression works nearly as well as it should. I say "nearly" because there were a few very random instances where certain older players would hugely progress but regress in their OVR rating. It doesn't seem to be driven by stats or morale, though the menu states that morale does have a positive effect on progression. All of the players seemed to progress apart from a few older players. Will take a screenshot in the next offseason.
    -Again, progression does not seem to be determined by the statistical success a player had. I feel like high morale creates "invisible" ratings boosts as it is, so right now I'm willing to give this system a pass.
    -The draft presentation, obviously inspired by ESPN, is really cool. There's even a little "chime jingle" that plays every time a pick comes in. You can choose the speed of the picks or skip (pretty instantaneously) to your own. The clock stops as you make your selection.
    -The order in which players get picked seem to be determined by team need and the initial ratings the players have before they're fully scouted. If there's a player you feel is a diamond in the rough, it's probably best to reach for them because there's no indication they'll last another round (unless they're a kicker or a punter, who thankfully only go off the board in the later rounds).
    -Speaking of kickers, my drafted kicker disappeared from my contract list (despite still being in my draft log menu) and randomly ended up joining Minnesota. I'm not sure if this issue deals with kickers only, or with positions on your roster that were empty before drafting (I ended up cutting both of my previous kickers before the Draft). I'm going to try drafting another kicker in 2021 and see if he stays on the team this time.
    Not a lot more to report other than viewing retirements and examining any coach contracts that may have expired (there are 15 coaches and scouts you can hire, from head coaches and coordinators to individual position coaches. You can also choose to promote coaches from within if you'd like, and coaches/scouts can seemingly be hired and fired at any time). Otherwise, the offseason comes in three parts: Player Progression, The Draft and Contract Negotiations. Players can be traded or signed from the free agent pool at any time --- there is no trade deadline.
    (I'm also not 100% sure about this, but I feel like certain free agents disappear once released from your team. Not the best feature I'd adopt from older Madden games.)
    binga30
    Are there mods for this game for real players and team names?

    I'm not 100% sure, but apparently there's a NFL mod in the works (there certainly was an NFL mod for previous games in the series, at least according to videos of previous Axis games posted to Ryan Moody's YouTube channel).
    CarryTheWeight
    A few additional observations before I get into postseason stuff:
    -The way the game handles overtime is kinda jarring. At least on my current quarter settings, the game simply gets an extra minute of play, and the game resumes on the current drive until time runs out and there's a winner (two of my games had an extra two "periods"). Games thankfully don't end in ties, but there's no indication on the scorebug that the game's in overtime --- it still displays the fourth quarter. Seems like a simple fix, though.
    -Speaking of which, Tier 2 games are much more difficult than Tier 3's. Since being promoted, nearly all of my games went to overtime and I lost a close game at Orlando due to my quarterback.
    -The kickoff possession issue I talked about before has been fixed in the latest Steam patch (it always had your team kick off the second half no matter if you chose to kick or receive the opening kickoff).
    -The other issue involving the punt team retaining possession if they touch the ball on a punt (or without the receiving team touching the ball first) has also has been fixed in an update. Kick returners also down the ball in the endzone, which didn't happen in the first version of the game.
    -Completion percentage is a bit concerning. I've had quarterbacks dink and dunk it all the way up the field, leading them to miss only a few passes per game. Thankfully, it's not always like this. Other quarterbacks try to air it out and are far more erratic. I wouldn't say it's "Robo QB" just yet, but certain quarterbacks always seem to find an open receiver and it makes playing zone a bit more difficult.
    -I've run into a few false start penalties while the offense wasn't doing anything. A bit strange, but it's definitely fixable.
    -There are a few more quirky things here and there that may cause annoyances but I can't remember all of them. Whatever they were, they're fixable and shouldn't be a problem after future patches.
    BRIEF OFFSEASON IMPRESSIONS:
    -Progression works nearly as well as it should. I say "nearly" because there were a few very random instances where certain older players would hugely progress but regress in their OVR rating. It doesn't seem to be driven by stats or morale, though the menu states that morale does have a positive effect on progression. All of the players seemed to progress apart from a few older players. Will take a screenshot in the next offseason.
    -Again, progression does not seem to be determined by the statistical success a player had. I feel like high morale creates "invisible" ratings boosts as it is, so right now I'm willing to give this system a pass.
    -The draft presentation, obviously inspired by ESPN, is really cool. There's even a little "chime jingle" that plays every time a pick comes in. You can choose the speed of the picks or skip (pretty instantaneously) to your own. The clock stops as you make your selection.
    -The order in which players get picked seem to be determined by team need and the initial ratings the players have before they're fully scouted. If there's a player you feel is a diamond in the rough, it's probably best to reach for them because there's no indication they'll last another round (unless they're a kicker or a punter, who thankfully only go off the board in the later rounds).
    -Speaking of kickers, my drafted kicker disappeared from my contract list (despite still being in my draft log menu) and randomly ended up joining Minnesota. I'm not sure if this issue deals with kickers only, or with positions on your roster that were empty before drafting (I ended up cutting both of my previous kickers before the Draft). I'm going to try drafting another kicker in 2021 and see if he stays on the team this time.
    Not a lot more to report other than viewing retirements and examining any coach contracts that may have expired (there are 15 coaches and scouts you can hire, from head coaches and coordinators to individual position coaches. You can also choose to promote coaches from within if you'd like, and coaches/scouts can seemingly be hired and fired at any time). Otherwise, the offseason comes in three parts: Player Progression, The Draft and Contract Negotiations. Players can be traded or signed from the free agent pool at any time --- there is no trade deadline.
    (I'm also not 100% sure about this, but I feel like certain free agents disappear once released from your team. Not the best feature I'd adopt from older Madden games.)
    I'm not 100% sure, but apparently there's a NFL mod in the works (there certainly was an NFL mod for previous games in the series, at least according to videos of previous Axis games posted to Ryan Moody's YouTube channel).
    Wonderful in-depth review!
    I'm thinking about grabbing this off of Steam this weekend.
    Thanks!
    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    lordenforcer
    Does this game offer online multi human franchise mode?

    No. Only single player offline franchise.
    GiantYankee
    Are there league formats with different league sizes and schedule lengths? Are there the playoffs customizable?

    I can't speak for this, as I've only played with the default Axis teams. There aren't any customization options for league structure or format when you begin a Franchise, but there's a customization submenu from the game's main menu where you can edit teams, players, rosters and such. I haven't dug into that menu and its options yet, so I can't speak for ways to remove tiers or use less teams.
    Is the gameplay as janky as it looks?
    Everything seems so awkward in the animations?
    Im not slagging it off, overall the game looks to offer a fantastic experience, but on the field the videos just come off bad to me....
    bestbrother
    Is the gameplay as janky as it looks?
    Everything seems so awkward in the animations?
    Im not slagging it off, overall the game looks to offer a fantastic experience, but on the field the videos just come off bad to me....

    Yes on the field it's pretty much pointless to control the gameplay. Coach mode is pretty much where the game shines. It's basically the football version of OOTPB.
    I've attempted to play a season but it's extremely frustrating on the field. As time goes on I just have no desire to play it.
    Phobia
    Yes on the field it's pretty much pointless to control the gameplay. Coach mode is pretty much where the game shines. It's basically the football version of OOTPB.
    I've attempted to play a season but it's extremely frustrating on the field. As time goes on I just have no desire to play it.

    No desire to play period or just no desire to play anything other than coach mode?
    I wouldn't say no desire, but I'm surely not craving to play atm. I was hoping for more hands on gameplay but it's just sorely lacking there.
    I might start over with a coach mode franchise, I'm just a bit defeated with how "mehhhh" the gameplay is.

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