Madden NFL 16
The Connected Franchise mode in Madden NFL 16 hasn't been dramatically overhauled from last year's game, but EA has made some important tweaks in hopes of making the mode more engaging. We learned all about the mode, and have loads of info to help you run your franchise.
- The mode is easier to get into from the start, including offering players the choice to skip forward to the regular season versus spending the time to customize your franchise further.
- The main home screen contains more actionable options, basically consolidating the Home and Actions screens from last year. You can advance the week, scout, buy XP packages, and more from here.
- Your team's depth chart (below) is visually overhauled. Apart from allowing you to move players around via a drag-and-drop mechanic, it also has options to spend XP and see how everyone is improving.
- Individual player cards have actions such as putting that player on the trading block or seeing their goals (more on these later). The new layout also surfaces the attributes germane to their position. Thus, you don't have to scroll endlessly past unimportant attribute numbers just to find out a QB's long-distance accuracy. Here you'll also see which attributes are affected by fluctuations in confidence.
- New drive goals let you earn XP and confidence during each drive of a game, and these can be dynamic. For example: After you intercept the ball, a goal may pop up for your offense to march down and score on the subsequent possession in order to capitalize on the situation.
- Weekly goals can similarly be chained together for larger XP rewards and to create some extra storylines for the week-in, week-out schedule. If you have a hot rookie, a goal may surface tasking you with getting more TDs in order to reflect his newfound prominence. Regardless, the team at EA Tiburon assures us that you'll always be rewarded for doing well, and there are not performance standards that are too high if your player comes back down to earth.
- After each play you'll see all the goals influenced by that play via a scrolling onscreen tracker at the bottom of the screen. You'll also get XP and confidence updates. Furthermore, the loading screen shows you how you're progressing towards various goals.
- The cost of the XP packages has been tweaked to adjust to the new ways you can gain XP.
- Confidence isn't penalized as much for bad play. Thus, your team won't go into an unrecoverable confidence free-fall.
- Teams with low confidence have access to a special, non-interactive game prep (costing hours) activity to boost their spirits.
- Missing some weekly goals can have a negative effect on your confidence.
- The ratings and attributes affected by confidence has been tweaked to control fluctuations better.
- You can now access a free practice mode from the game plan screen, and it does not cost you hours.
- Teams have more hours to use in game prep during the week.
- Activities in game prep are more skewed toward game planning against that week's opponent as opposed to general improvement by position.
- Madden 16 features a new scouting system with three tiers that show the players best three attributes.
- By the time you scout through the third tier (costing you 11 points), you'll know what round talent that player is, and therefore where they deserved to be drafted vs. where they are projected to go. This will help users identify first round busts and diamonds in the rough.
- The NFL Combine is also included, giving you a breakdown of potential draftees' results and rankings over the 40-yard dash (speed), bench press (strength), vertical jump (jumping), three-cone drill (acceleration/agility), 20-yard shuttle (acceleration/agility), and broad jump (strength/jumping).
- Players have access to all the combine info on players in the draft, and the info itself does not cost you scouting points.
- Draft classes are randomized, and the development team has tweaked the process to try and ensure better and more realistic distribution of positions drafted and where they are drafted.
- Users are provided more player information during the draft, and it's better surfaced while you're drafting so you don't need to drill in so many menus, unlike in previous years.
- Once your player is drafted, you'll immediately see their ratings and where they rank in the draft in terms of their overall rating.
- Madden 16 does not include major changes to signing free agents or the available contact options. Elements missing in previous years like restricted free agents and the fifth-year option are not in the game.
Commish Powers & More
- Commissioners of online and offline leagues can apply wins or losses to other players' matches. This could come in handy if there was something that prevented a game that should have won, or if you want to advance the week to skip over a deadbeat player.
- Owners of small-market teams will have more cash at their disposal to help them out.
For more on the game, check out these recent batch of screens.