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e3 2016

Madden NFL 17

[Trailer Added] The Big Rundown Of Madden 17's Franchise Mode
by Matthew Kato on Jun 12, 2016 at 10:20 AM

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Platform PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Publisher EA Sports
Developer EA Orlando
Rating Everyone

EA kicks off E3 week with its EA Play event, and Madden 17 features a variety of changes for its Connected Franchise Mode, including a long-standing fan request and nods to accessibility.

Play The Moment
In a continued drive to make Madden more accessible, Connected Franchise now features an option to play only select moments from a game. This means you'd play through situations like the opening drive, key third downs, whenever anyone's in the red zone, etc. The game's normal sim engine will bridge the rest of the game.

  • A full game using this option should take 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Users can choose different feed styles for the plays that are simmed. "Quick" takes you to directly to the next user-controlled play, "normal" shows more play-by-play, and the third option is for real-time.
  • There are options to play offense or defense only.
  • The simmed plays will be geared toward a 120-play count in terms of tabulating stats, etc. This is regardless of the length of your quarters.

This replaces Gameprep even though it retains some of the same elements.

  • The computer analyzes what the upcoming opponent does and does not do well, and gives you a gameplan with drills to counter that.
  • Perform well in a gameplan drill (like cover 2, for instance) and your players will get a boost when you call cover 2 plays that week. Plays that are a part of that week's gameplan will be highlighted during playcalling.
  • If you get a gold medal in a drill, you can sim that drill going forward and get the boost so you don't have to repeat it.
  • There are situational gameplans such as working on your red zone defense.
  • You can practice a gameplan simply to boost players you want rather than scheme against an opponent.
  • There are more drills in skills trainer, and they will earn XP for all players at that position.
  • Free practice is still included.
  • You can choose three players to undergo focus training, which is not drills-based. The three you pick are saved and remembered from week to week. Even if you don't use focus training, players will still earn XP.
  • Confidence is no longer a part of the weekly training. It's now tied more to the team's overall win/loss record. Individual gametime confidence modifiers still exist, but they're not as big of a deal this year.
  • Drive goals are less granular and are more based on that player's career or season milestones. However, drive goals' context should be more appropriate this year.
  • Coaches' XP packages are now tied to overall position groups (like offensive line) than specific positions (like guards, centers, etc.). Big-name coaches will start with fewer packages this year.

Practice Squads!
Madden fans have been asking for these for years. The practice squad is a separate part of the roster where teams stash developmental players. They can be signed to the team's active roster, but the catch is that any team can sign another team's practice squad players to their active roster. It will be interesting to see how aware the CPU is of how practice squad players are developing, and how active they are in poaching talent.

  • Players are put onto the 10-man squad before the regular season.
  • Practice squad players develop through regular week-to-week training and can be chosen for focus training (see above).
  • They appear in your normal depth chart screen, and you can filter to see the practice squad of other teams.
  • Players eligible for the practice squad will be designated as such in the free agent screen.

The Big Decisions
The developer says it wants to highlight and streamline some of the decisions you make about your team. While this could mean a variety of things, one of the examples of Madden 17's so-called big decisions is injuries. In years past you could make a real-time decision whether you wanted a just-injured player to return to the lineup or not. Now that decision will become amplified.

  • Players can be brought off of injury lists sooner than expected.
  • If you decide to play them early, they have a greater chance of being re-injured. If that happens they will be out for even longer.
  • Injuries are related to your practice squad in that a depleted roster could force you to sign from your or another team's practice squad. 

The Draft, Free Agency & The Offseason

  • Regression has been smoothed out so attributes drop more across the board instead of there being a large drop in one attribute. The team says the average drop should be a few points per attribute per season.
  • Player regression will surface in the CFM "Things to Do" main menu as well as an added "Progression History" tab onto players' cards.
  • The trade and resigning logic has been retuned.
  • Free agency hasn't been overhauled or reimagined, unfortunately, but it's easier to access information like your depth chart during the process.
  • No fifth-year options, RFAs, or more extensive contract options.
  • More busts and gems have been added to the draft.
  • Players' development trait is now dynamic, so if a player busts out and gets Rookie of the Year, for instance, their development trait will level up.

Presentation & Players

  • The in-game camera will highlight your coach, who is more active on the sideline.
  • More cameras, post-play cuts use more cameras, and the pylon cam has been added.
  • Presentation banners will call out your new rookies, free agents, and injured players on the field, and the commentary will mention them. For more on the game's commentary, click here.
  • 170-plus heads have been scanned from actors with a range of diversity for use with created characters, coaches, and drafted players.
  • Madden 17 has a full player editor for commissioners. This includes contracts, attributes, traits, and much more. Any changes are noted on the franchise's transaction log.
  • News from around the NFL and for draft prospects is now back in front of your CFM menu and not buried.

For more on Madden's gameplay, head to our previous preview. You can also check out our Madden 17 Franchise wishlist.

Products In This Article

Madden NFL 17cover

Madden NFL 17

PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: