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Madden NFL 13

Signal Caller: Quarterbacking Madden 13 With Kinect
by Matthew Kato on Jun 04, 2012 at 10:33 PM

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Platform Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Publisher EA Sports
Developer EA Orlando
Rating Everyone

Microsoft showed off Madden's Kinect voice controls at its E3 press conference, and although I'm certainly not the signal caller that Joe Montana was, I tried my hand (or voice, rather) at the experience.

All the pre-snap commands for offense and defense are available to call out via voice commands (sorry, no motion gestures), and there is also a handy onscreen bar on the bottom of the screen that list some basic commands you can call like audible, snap, and hot routes for specific players. This bar also confirms your voice command by showing the text of your command, and makes suggestions if the Kinect isn't sure what you're saying.

To start a voice command other than a simple hike of the ball (by calling "Set Hike" or "Hike"), you simply start with the base action. For instance, if you want to call an audible, you say, "audible," at which time the regular sub-menu of audible options will come up on the screen. From here you choose which play you want and say it. At any time you can simply select an option with a regular button press, so even if you use Kinect for some of the pre-snap commands, you don't have to use them for everything if you don't want to.

Hot routes are done by first calling out the player you want to change (or their player number), and then selecting a new route. Hot routing can also be done for individual defensive player assignments.

You can also perform other pre-snap commands such as calling for a hurry up offense, spiking the ball to stop the clock, calling timeout, or performing a coach's challenge. You can even try to draw the defense offsides by yelling "Hut" instead of "Hike."

I tried out the Kinect functionality, and it worked most of the time. The caveat here is that I was in a room that had some incidental noise, so it wasn't the best atmosphere for the peripheral. Still, one thing that I believe is worth pointing out is the delay between calling to hike the ball and when the snap actual gets off. There's about a two-second gap, so if you'll have to leave yourself a few seconds to get the snap off before you're called for delay of game.

Madden NFL 13's Kinect integration isn't a must-have, but at least it's an unobtrusive feature that works and which makes sense with the franchise and the sport itself.

For more on the game's new Connected Careers and physics engine, check out my earlier preview.

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Madden NFL 13cover

Madden NFL 13

Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release Date: