Making Moves - Madden NFL 25 - Xbox 360 -
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Madden NFL 25

Making Moves

Madden is back, and the first details on the game focus on a slew of changes EA Tiburon is making to the way players move and control.

Madden series developer EA Tiburon has constantly worked to refine its movement and physics systems the past years. As much as it may have missed the mark in previous iterations, at least the studio has continued to strive towards its goals. The first details of Madden NFL 25 (named so to celebrate the game's 25th anniversary) center on controlling and moving players. 


Madden 25 uses the left trigger as a modifier button along with the normal face button and right analog stick controls to expand the moves a runner can make - this includes fighting-game movements like quarter turns to do special spin moves. You can also tap or hold the stiff-arm button to either pop pursuers or hold your arm out to jar defenders.

In my hands-on time with the game, I tested out stringing these moves together. The stiff-arm feels particularly gratifying - both in how it feels upon contact, as well as the outcomes it produced. Sometimes it stymies defenders and pushes them to the ground, and other times it slows the runner down as he struggles to fight off a linebacker, for instance.

All these moves drain a stamina meter that's shown at the base of the ball carrier. Use this up on a play or over a course of a game, and your player will not be as effective. If a player is especially drained, he might even be prone to fumbling.

If you falter while running, a stumble recovery icon appears at the base of your player. This gives you a split second to jam up on the right analog stick to dive forward for extra yards, or push the analog stick back to try and regain your balance. If you successfully regain your balance, a recovery animation will occur and you'll keep on running.

The sprint button (right trigger) has also returned. Runners move at a pace that allows them to maneuver better until you kick turn on the jets, at which time they climb to top speed. The combination of the new moves, stamina, speed management, and the hard cuts EA Tiburon is implementing to reduce the feeling that controlling players is like driving a car makes running with the ball more calculated than in the past.

It will be interesting to see how the increase control over player movement meshes with the changes to the blocking game, which includes more accurate blocking schemes, better physical contact between the offensive and defensive lines, and smarter execution overall.

Read on to find out how the defense is keeping up.


The running and blocking have improved on office, but the defense is hardly being left in the dust. AI improvements ensure that defenders take better angles of pursuit and perform breakdown wrap tackles in open space (the success of which depends on their awareness level). An upgraded player switch assist will also help even the odds. When you hit the dive button as your defensive tackle is rushing the QB, for instance, this won't cause your defensive back to dive out of the way accidentally when you press the button to switch players after the ball is released.

Defensive players combat runners' improved moves with skills of their own. Using what EA Tiburon is calling Heat Seeker Tackle Assist, players can hold down the wrap tackle button or the right analog to re-orientate your body and keep up with a juking ball carrier.

Contact between the defense and offense is governed by an improved Infinity engine, which hopefully will convey better tackle momentum, produce more realistic contact points between players, and also clean up a lot of the "floppy fish" rag dolls of players on the ground after plays.

Stay tuned for more details on Madden NFL 25's Connected Careers early next month.

Madden NFL 25 comes out for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on August 27.

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  • The improvements to each iteration of Madden always sound good before the game is released. I like the idea of the stamina bar and being able to control the runners balance, but we will have to wait and see how well it works.
  • I might not even pick this up. I am a little burned out on yearly Madden releases.

  • I would get excited but that ship has sailed. Haven't bought a Madden game in a while. I have no plans to buy a Madden game ever again. Fix the legacy bugs. Give me a franchise mode worth playing. Improve the game on every level. Live up to all the hype. These articles are empty to me. Walk the talk, EA Games.
  • I am excited. Every year they have made improvements. Some I like, some I don't but still, they do a great job at least trying.

  • im looking forward to this more than any other game this year. Ive been super critical of EA and Madden for the longest time, but last years game gave me confidence that EA finally has a good physics engine they can  polish into a diamond. It only took them 25 got damn years of raping my wallet to get there.

  • im looking forward to this more than any other game this year. Ive been super critical of EA and Madden for the longest time, but last years game gave me confidence that EA finally has a good physics engine they can  polish into a diamond. It only took them 25 got damn years of raping my wallet to get there.

  • Welcome to 06.

    "We're going to make a great game this year."

    Rinse, repeat

  • The changes sound interesting... I'm not a Madden fan (I liked Gamebreaker and 2K) but I do love Barry Sanders, and last year's demo felt like it was on the right track.

  • blah blah more broken promises,yet the sheep will still run out and buy it

  • I haven't bought a Madden since the NFL contract and i'm not going to start holding their hand now.

  • The last football game I played was 2002. This really just looks like the same stuff we heard last heard.

  • These articles always feel like EA is an alcoholic. "No, really, I'll be better this year! I can fix me!" And then every year you find EA passed out on your front lawn, puke everywhere, and you just think "why do I keep trusting this guy?"

  • As long as the game plays fine then who cares if they just all fall over while you're picking your next play?

    It doesn't bother the game or the outcome in the least.

  • Looks like Madden 25 is shaping out pretty well.  Hopefully they can get the whole package corrected and fixed.

  • I'm tired of buying madden for all these minor updates, I can't wait till the day until someone besides ea makes a football game because I'm not buying madden anymore

  • Im not getting Madden this year as well.

  • Graphics look as good as usual.

  • I want better ball stripping and/or a button that allow the player to punch the ball out if timed correctly.