The lights are on
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
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.
Email the author Matthew Kato, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
Last madden game i bought was 2009, I might buy this one though.
The use of creedence makes me want!
Same crap as last year.
UUUGGGHHH!!! Why is it EVERY %@%@#$@*ING YEAR we hear about how Madden is refining player movement, blocking, tackling, etc. It's 2013, this game has been around for a quarter of a century, and they may have finally mastered the stiff arm? And ... this is supposed to excite us?? WHERE IS THE INNOVATION? Please, EA, pllllllllllleeeeeeease do something the fans WANT for a change, and make a base Madden game with DLC updates as the years progress. Stop trying to sell us on the idea that this year, you promise this time, for reals now, the developers have finally nailed the run blocking AI, or the spin move, or whatever arbitrary detail you think will sell more units. The stiff arm?? REALLY? How about you incorporate some RPG elements into your game? Why not focus more on real life football stuff, like studying game film, dealing with off the field player issues, maybe even put us in the locker room for an Al Pacino style half time speech? Do SOMETHING creative! Something different! SOMETHING FUN! Because if the Stiff Arm is a main selling point, I will pass on this years offering and instead hold out hope for a new Blitz The League game. Now THAT was a group who new how to make a FUN football game