Madden 12 Updates, Screen Shots, Information
Posted 14 April 2011 - 01:49 PM
Also, creative director Ian Cummings has left E.A studios and Tiburon.
Madden release date pushed back from the 14th to the 30th
Posted 15 April 2011 - 03:41 PM
Michael Vick running away with cover vote
April, 12, 2011Apr 127:05PM ET
That makes me wonder what will happen for the encore, as according to the editors over at SportsNation, it looks as though it will take an army of purple people eaters for Vick not to make the finals of the "Madden NFL 12" cover vote. In fact, the Eagles quarterback is stockpiling 59 percent of the vote so far against opponent Adrian Peterson in the semifinals, a number that will need some kind of online campaign by both "All Day" and the Vikings if they want their superstar back to front the box for EA Sports.
Then again, maybe the Vikings remember what happened to Vick back in the day and would rather not deal with a season of curse questions (not to mention broken bones).
What do you think? Believe in the curse? Does it change your vote? As always, be sure to head to SportsNation and cast your vote for the "Madden NFL 12" cover.
Posted 20 April 2011 - 01:12 PM
Agreed, Madden 11 was just terrible... Waste of money, the idea of team play was pretty cool but they made it too easy to score in that game. And madden 10 I didn't have a problem with the defense, this year it was just terrible. NCAA 11 was way better than Madden 11, so I played that as my football video game, you actually could play defense.
Posted 28 April 2011 - 02:15 PM
There's an old cliché in football that has seemingly been around forever: Defense Wins Championships. That, however, hasn't always been the case for the recent versions of Madden. So thinking about what we wanted to do for Madden NFL 12, we decided that it was long overdue to give the defensive side of the ball some love and attention.
One of the areas of the game that we felt needed some major improvements was tackling on defense. The amount of warping, sliding and suction that occurred during tackles was painful and frustrating to watch over the past few years. With that in mind, we created an all-new collision system in which tackles will only trigger once contact is actually made with the ball carrier, which of course is how tackles occur in real life. With suction, warping and sliding being removed from the game, you will no longer see ball carriers get sucked into tackles by engaged defensive lineman when trying to run through a hole.
This new tackle collision system also allows us to factor in momentum. In previous versions of the game, there were situations where a ball carrier and a defender would be running full speed at one another only to see them collide and fall gently to the ground as if it were a regular tackle that played from a foot away. This year in Madden NFL 12, momentum will be factored into play and will be an important part of which direction the tackle will carry the ball carrier. The momentum of the tackle will be figured by a variety of factors including the size and weight of the players involved, the speed at which the players are moving, and the direction the tackle triggers. For example, if you have a smaller back like Chris Johnson running straight ahead and he gets hit head-on by a bigger defender like Ray Lewis, more than likely, Lewis's momentum will cause Johnson to fall over backwards.
This all-new collision system would not work properly without adding several new tackles. Our terrific animation team has added more than 100 new tackles including 40 new gang tackles. These new animations give the game a completely fresh look on the defensive side of the ball. These new gang tackles tie in with the momentum system to help create some of the most authentic tackles that we have ever had in Madden.
Another new feature that we have added to the new tackle system is a tackle button. The old dive button has been replaced with this new tackle button. This button will help the guide the defender towards the ball carrier. With suctioning and warping no longer in the game, this button will be very important in helping the user wrap up and bring down the ball carrier. The key here is the timing of when this button is pressed. As a user, you will have to position the defender close enough to the ball carrier so that when you press the tackle button he will be able to lunge towards him and wrap up. If you press the tackle button when you aren't in position, you will likely lunge and miss the ball carrier completely. You will also be able to dive with this button if the ball carrier is ahead of you and want to try for a shoestring tackle. The new momentum-based collision system along with the addition of a new tackle button and brand new animations, will give the defense a brand new look and feel in Madden NFL 12.
Another area of defense that we focused on was a total revamp of zone defense. This was another part of the game that needed some attention, as many of you-- and including me--have been hesitant to call zone defenses in the past few years. We've added brand new zone AI logic so defenders have a much better idea of what their responsibilities are for whatever zone assignment that are assigned. Hook zone defenders will now leverage receivers as they run through their zone and point them out to their teammates as they move into another one. Deep zone defenders will also play more aggressive as they won't sit back and wait for the ball.
With all these zone AI improvements on the field, we've also made some major improvements to the playbooks and playcalling. We went through every defensive play in the game to make sure zone assignments lined up correctly and were evenly spaced. Zone blitz plays were also tuned so that they will be much more effective at getting pressure on the quarterback. Along with this play tuning, we've also added some new formations including: 4-3 Over Plus, Sub 2-3-6, Sub 3-3-5 Odd, 6-4-1 Goal Line (that is to be used exclusively versus the goal line offensive formation) and few others that you'll have to wait and see down the road. We also added several new authentic plays that were drawn up directly from the NFL coaches' film.
CPU defensive playcalling will also be much improved as we have added some new AI groups to allow the CPU to be better prepared for specific formations such as Empty sets (no RB's), Overloads and the Wildcat. We have also spent some time of fixing some of the alignment issues that have been in the game for several years, as well.
Now it may seem like with all this time that we have spent helping the defense get better that we totally forgot about the offense. Well, I can assure you that is definitely not the case. One new feature that is exclusive to Madden NFL 12 is the ability to pump fake to a specific receiver by holding the L-Trigger + the receiver icon. You may be asking yourself what is so cool about this. Well, here's why...
During our motion capture shoot we captured brand new wide receiver cut moves with an emphasis on double move routes. Double move routes are very common in the NFL and when they are utilized correctly they can lead to a big play for the offense. Within these new double move cuts is a pump fake window that will sometimes get a defender who is in man coverage to bite on the first part of the cut. For example, the sluggo route (slant and go) that has been in our game for a few years now never had a fakeout chance for the defender since it didn't have a specific cut or the new pump fake window. Without these two things the route was pretty much useless. Now, in Madden NFL 12, we have added a new sluggo cut that allows you to try and set up the defender and go down the field for a big play. We've also added new In/Out N Up cuts, Hitch/Curl N Go cuts and Post Corner cuts. All these new cuts have pump fake windows and a chance for the defender to be faked out if you time it correctly.
Before you start worrying that these new cuts will break the defense because people will be pump faking on every play in hopes that a defender will bite and give up a huge play, we've made sure that the more you pump fake, the more likely that it won't have an effect on the defender. Other factors for whether the defender will bite include: his man coverage rating versus the receiver's route running rating, as well as the skill level that you are playing on. Defenders will be much less likely to bite on the higher levels as compared to Rookie and Pro.
Another new feature to Madden NFL 12 is a new Dive Catch mechanic. You will now be able to trigger user controlled dive catches (if timed properly) by pressing the X button/Square button. We've added brand new dive catches that can trigger from a variety of angles if you press the button at the correct time. Another major improvement to catching is that we have reduced the amount of warping/sliding on catches by adding several new catch animations. These new catch animations, or what we call sprint catches, were motion captured with receivers running at top speed to make the catch. With these new catches being triggered at full speed, we don't have to artificially speed up older catches that were needed previously in order to match a catch. These catch warping fixes help address an issue that was especially prevalent on drags and crossing type routes.
Blocking has also been positively impacted by the all-new collision system. Defenders will no longer be sucked into a block. This is huge because for years we have all seen the crazy videos where defensive lineman who are in position to make the tackle, get warped into an offensive lineman only to see the ball carrier run right by him for a huge gain. So now, just like tackles, the block cannot trigger until collision is actually made with the defender. This not only helps the game from a visual standpoint, but it helps make the game feel more realistic, as well.
Offensive playbooks have also received some major updating with the addition of more than 200 authentic new plays along with several new formations that are exclusive to Madden NFL 12 including Gun Empty Eagle, Gun Normal Y-Flex Tight, Weak H Close Flip, and Gun Y-Trips Cowboy. These new plays and formations, just like the new defensive plays and formations, are the exact plays you see on Sundays, as they have been created directly from the NFL coaches' film.
Another improvement we have made to Madden NFL 12 is with Run Styles. We have three Run Styles this year: Long stride, Normal stride and Short stride. Taller players with long strides, like Calvin Johnson, will use the Long stride run style. You'll notice these players will have a long gait and take fewer steps to travel the same distance as the Normal and Short stride style guys. The "vertically challenged" players, such as Maurice Jones-Drew or Ahmad Bradshaw, will use the Short stride run style. They will use quicker, choppier steps as they sprint past defenders. The Normal stride run style will be used by almost everyone else.
We've also added five different Ball Carrying styles for Madden NFL 12. First, we have the standard Default Carry style, which the majority of players will use. Next is the High and Tight Carry style, like Michael Turner, for players who like to keep the ball closer to their bodies. Then we have the Loose carry style that players such as Adrian Peterson, Terrell Owens and Hakeem Nicks use where they keep the ball away from their bodies while they run. Fourth we have the "Loaf of Bread" Carry style which is like a quarterback scrambling or a DB returning a pick six ala Deion Sanders style. Finally, we have the Awkward Carry style which you will see being used by big defensive linemen, who really have no business running with a football except if they are lucky enough to pick up a fumble and head for the end zone.
These new Run Styles and Carry Styles are another way to really help differentiate the look of different players in Madden NFL 12.
Well, that's just some of the Gameplay improvements that we have been focusing on here at Tiburon over the past few months. Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and I hope it has made you as excited as we are for Madden NFL 12! Now it's back to work to make sure we finish strong…
Designer, Central Gameplay
Posted 28 April 2011 - 05:16 PM
That was awesome, look at the end and the presentation style look? O-M-G
Man not bad y'all.
Posted 28 April 2011 - 06:06 PM
I didn't get it last year. Hopefully I'll actually notice a difference in a 2 year jump. As much as people say nothing changes, if you go back to the old games after awhile you definitely notice that everything's a bit smoother from year to year.
Posted 03 May 2011 - 03:06 AM
Posted 07 May 2011 - 10:10 PM
Posted 08 May 2011 - 09:36 PM
Posted 11 May 2011 - 03:45 PM
Posted 11 May 2011 - 03:55 PM
Iíll be talking more about the secondary and so forth later in the preview, so I want to touch on receiver routes and the QB pocket here. First off, QB movement still feels off. The initial foot planting on the drop back and the way the pocket forms around you looks and feels good, but QB movement is spotty. The general issue still stems from scrambling. Itís just very awkward how the QB moves from scanning the field to running for his life. Thereís a bit of a gliding motion the QB goes through where the feet have to get revved up real fast in a hurry once you have pressed the button to start scrambling. It does not look or feel right, but it seems like the concession that has been made to activate the QBís legs during these instances.
In general, QB movement when throwing on the run also feels slightly off. However, in this case itís all about giving users options no matter what. The game has to allow you to run backwards and throw the ball across the field; otherwise some gamers would be upset. That type of sequence understandably looks really messy and out of place from an animation standpoint. But there are other times where you are on the run, and once again the game almost has to speed up your QBís body motions to make sure a throw can be made as you are about to be hit. Much like initially going into scramble mode, these are not new issues, and some will not even notice or mind, but it does make the scrambling quarterbacks look out of place in a game trying to look like the real thing. But, to be fair, these issues might tie more tied to the game engine and the fact that more types of throwing animations may need to be added to correct these faults.
Beyond those issues, the throwing and route running felt sound. I would not say those perfect three- or five-step drops based on timing are in place, but an underrated aspect of Madden has always been lead passing, and that still works great here for those instances. It is also much harder to successfully rack up passing yards this year, especially with the flats being monitored more closely (more on that later), but I did not feel like AI was reading my slant routes before they happened or anything like that. It more seems like the AI has been tweaked to lean a bit inside without giving up easy corner or out routes. Of course all of this is subject to change with lots of gameplay tuning yet to come, but it was refreshing to not just want to go for a slant, fly or flat route the entire time.
Essentially, the early returns on the passing game are that itís tougher but more rewarding. QB movement still feels like it could be improved with better foot planting, but overall the game seems to want to reward the more creative QB. I threw way less than I ran though, so it was still tough to get a gauge on whether or not you will be able to put more touch on the ball during certain plays. Also, it will be interesting to track the time users will have in the pocket. I was under the gun quite a bit, but for now Iím just chalking it up to getting back into the flow of things.
I came away most impressed by the running game. The first thing that immediately stood out to me was the way the offensive linemen really held their blocks and also tried to get to the second line of the defense. In the past, two big issues with the running game have been running lanes suddenly closing, and linemen not having the AI wherewithal to block more than one defender on a given play.
To expand a bit on these two improvements, in the past I have routinely found holes I thought were open, only to have a defender easily disengage from a lineman and tackle my running back as he passed by. This was usually frustrating because it felt more like magic than anything else. If a lineman is holding a defensive tackle at bay, that DT should not just pull away and easily take down my running back at the last possible second. To put it another way, itís one thing for a running lane to be closed up by a defender moving into the gap from the second line of defense, but it just seemed outrageous more than anything else for the hole to magically close just as I was about to run through it. At the end of the day, my best guess is that the improvements made to suction blocking help to make the visual experience make more sense with whatís going on under the hood of the game engine.
As far as second-tier blocking, it really was gratifying to take the Ravens and Jets in two separate games and put together drives with LT and Ray Rice that were more about getting yards on the ground than in the air. Inside the tackles or outside the tackles, there were yards to be had. And it was truly rewarding because of the improved blocking. Whether it was noticing holes or following blockers in the open field, it felt like your pace and ability to read the play really led to success. I also feel like these improvements were at least partially tied to user skill and my teams as my opponents did not have the same success that I had on the ground.
The overall physics and improved graphics also help this area of the game. It seems odd to tie graphics to an improved running game, but I actually feel strongly about this improvement being tied to the graphics. The graphics in Madden have not been ďbadĒ in my mind, but at times they look muddy or blurry in some respects, which clouds my vision a bit. This year, the graphics have received a substantial upgrade, so it just feels like I have been given eagle vision and can now spot all these running lanes.
The physics tweaks also seem to lead to less "clutter" on the field overall while running. This idea of "clutter" will be a running theme for the preview, so it's important to understand that all it really means is there are not as many bodies falling all over the place. (For example, this will also relate to "tumbleweed" tackling and blocking on returns.) Basically, it just feels like there are more one-on-one battles going on here, and fewer people just nose diving into the ground when blocking or trying to add on to a tackle animation. It makes the experience perhaps not feel as rough and messy as it really is when running between the tackles, but it visually looks much better and allows the users to actually control what's happening in a much better fashion.
At this point, I chalk these improvements up to a renewed focus on AI, as well as the modified approach to how the physics engine is registering when players engage with other players. With a minimized amount of suction blocking, people who love to run should have a more enjoyable time pounding other teams into submission.
Last year, I constantly felt like the deep ball was a little too easy to pull off. I might be in the minority here, but it just seemed like even elite corners did not stand a chance much of the time if the deep ball was thrown far enough. Perhaps my user-control skills were a bit off, but even a well-timed swat did not do the trick often enough for my liking.
So far with this game, I feel much more in control of the situation on deep balls. I have been able to bat away deep balls on downs where I know they might be coming. I will gladly still get jumped by a deep ball after the run has been established and so forth, but I want those moments where receivers are double covered and still catch the ball to be more rare, and thus more memorable when they happen, this year. For example in a game I was watching between two other folks at the event, I saw one receiver come down with a ball around three defenders at the end of a half. The play did not result in a touchdown or anything, but it still made the users laugh and jump out of their seats because, while it looked a little funny because of the way the player dove through the air to catch the ball, it was a cool moment. Rarity breeds that type of excitement for one side and frustration for the other.
Itís also clear that the NCAA and Madden developers shared gameplay pointers when it comes to defenses covering the flats and communicating with each other. Players on defense are pointing to areas of the field or handing off assignments, and linebackers and corners are much more aggressively halting players coming out of the backfield. While this stunted my ďmoneyĒ plays from a year ago, it was nice to see teams not just giving up five and seven yards like it was no big deal.
The zone defense is also a bit super powered right now, but I would rather the defense have more power than not when it comes to Madden. For now, it seems like the concession being made is that defenses are dropping lots of potential interceptions. I donít even recall intercepting a ball during the event, but I know I should have had at least five. However, this area is another one that is always hard to balance. Wide receivers really donít fight the cornerbacks to make sure they donít intercept passes, so the defenders sort of have to artificially drop a couple here and there in these games. Regardless, zone defense and the interception passes are still being tuned, according to EA.
In short, I believe even the developers would admit the defense has the advantage right now. That being said, I would always rather it be a bit too hard to pass than make it too easy. On this front, it will be more interesting to see if creativity, game planning and unpredictably are the keys to success rather than just ďmoneyĒ routes.
One of the big issues with Madden games is what goes on in the trenches. The 3-4 defense never seems to get enough love, and blocker-eating DTs never can really do their thing. Iím not here to say that all is well and good now, but the physics tweaks are presumably allowing linebackers to roam a bit more freely during the pass and rush. In addition to getting mauled by linebackers a couple times on pass attempts, the linebackers just seemed to be more active on the field. I did not have the time or inclination to really scope out if my defensive linemen were just taking up space to make this happen, but whatever was going on here was progress.
I have not really talked about the addition of consecutive hit tackles to this point, but again, NCAA and Madden seem to be sharing here. There is a new wrap-up tackle button, which I canít remind myself to use yet instead of just going for Hit Stick tackles, but consecutive hit tackles seem to be more imperative for the running game. In tandem with the improved focus on weight and momentum, these make those moments in the trenches flow better. There are fewer bodies just falling over while having no impact on the ball carrier (see: "tumbleweed" tackling). The downfall is that you donít really see ďgangĒ tackles anymore, but the upshot is you donít see 10 players face down in the dirt at the end of every play. If anything, it seems like an admission that the former physics engine was not going to work anymore, so now we have a modified engine in place that the team probably wants to build and add onto in the future to create those bigger scrums when necessary.
Beyond that, there is not much more to say about this aspect that I did not discuss while talking about running the ball on offense.
As far as I am concerned, the kicking game is just never going to be good as long as a meter is involved. Everyone is all about user control (including this guy), but I would honestly welcome ďrealĒ FG percentages when it comes to kicking field goals. In NBA 2K12, those developers have incorporated ďrealĒ FT and shooting percentages. All this means is that the players shoot closer to their real-life percentages, regardless of user input. Some scoff at these things, and it does go against the general consensus that user control trumps all in video games, but it just seems like the only logical way to make the kicking game interesting.
That being said, the new kick meter is at least aesthetically more pleasing than a big fat meter running across the bottom of the screen like the one found in last yearís game. Basically, the new meter is similar to one you might have seen in one of the old EA PGA games. I would not say the kick game is any harder or easier with the new meter in place, but itís something new. On top of that, I may have said it before in my other Madden preview, but I love the new view when kicking field goals. It looks really pretty and mimics the view you would usually see during a game on TV.
The early returns here are somewhat promising. The action on kick-off returns does not devolve into a clutter of bodies like in the past, again, because of the new tackle/physics tweaks. Instead, itís a cleaner, more singular battle between players. Again, I think this highlights a potential shortcoming with how the gang tackling is calculated now. While you wonít have guys just falling or diving to the ground all around the ball carrier, football still is a messy game at times. It will be interesting to see if some middle point can be found between utter ridiculous chaos and one-on-one battles on the field.
The punt return portion of special teams seems to fair better with this new gameplay style in place. I witnessed a couple nice returns, and it was not because one player was simply fast enough to get to the outside or because a gunner missed the tackle. Instead, it was more just that the blocking was set up enough, and the punt returner was able to make one move to spring himself for some yardage. The punt return game has been a little too boom or bust in the past, and hopefully this is a sign that punt returns can exists somewhere in the middle.
It has to be hard to find balance during a game of controlled chaos. With so many AI players interacting with one another, the physics engine and AI have to be on point or end up making the game look ridiculous. The last system in place led to massive scrums and players diving all over each other, inevitably leading to many fans to turn on the Benny Hill theme song while playing.
In addition, the removal of suction blocking and suction play in general has been something EA has tried to eradicate for years. While itís probably not going to ever vanish completely during this generation, the tweaks made to the physics engine do have some clear benefits, as well as a couple potential shortcomings. All in all, the developers are not trying to win the war this year when it comes to the problems surrounding physics and suction blocking, but they do clearly want to win a decisive battle in Madden 12.
And while these elements of the game will receive the most focus, the other element worth watching closely is whether or not the presentational uniqueness being introduced to the game carries over to the way each team feels and plays.
Simply put, no one should be thrown off by the game this year because it does feel quite familiar from a pick-up-and-play standpoint, but if gameplay balance is found, thereís enough here to get people excited about where the franchise can end up in the future.
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Posted 20 May 2011 - 08:31 AM
But that all changes with "Madden NFL 12." For the first time in franchise history, the game designers have actually increased the roster size to 75 players per team. The ratings for all rookies are locked heading into preseason and every week. A few of the ratings for each rookie are revealed as you play them in preseason and decide whether it's worth it to keep a roster spot open for a hard-charging, late-round pick who might impress on special teams or cut him in favor of an aging veteran who might still have one good season left in the tank.
Keep the rookie and at the end of preseason you'll unlock all of the player's ratings, giving you a good indication of the final numbers if you've found your own potential Tom Brady-like diamond in a draft full of Spergon Wynn-type rough.
"In the past, we had issues with memory in the game and we could only allow 55 players per team," "Madden 12's" senior designer Josh Looman explained. "This limitation gave us problems with injured reserve and didn't enable us to give people roster downloads that were accurate. So we knew that it was imperative that we fixed that, and now our shipped rosters and our roster updates will be expanded.
"But the trick is, as you progress through preseason, now you're forced to make decisions on who to keep. Week 1 you only need to cut five players, but toward the last week you need to cut eight people off your roster, and when it comes down to making that final cut it's a decision that affects your team the rest of the season."
And while expanded rosters definitely change the way you play franchise, it's just one of several huge enhancements made to boost what was fast becoming an otherwise stale feature. I had the chance to sit down with Looman last week to get his thoughts on the biggest franchise game-changers in "Madden 12." Here's what the man behind the mode had to say.
1. Bidding for free agents
Think "NFL Head Coach" with this new feature, as gamers will now enter into a bidding war for players eBay-style, highlighting the players they want and hitting "A" to increase the bid. When all the bidding is over, you sign the player to a contract. "We've added some contracts we've never had before," Looman said. "You can now pick back-loaded contracts or contracts that are pretty flat across the board. This system is so much better in my opinion because the bidding goes by quick and you tend to overpay for guys you really need, just like in real life. It's not like the old days where you had to simulate through 35 days of free agency. Now you're in and out quick in a much more interactive and fun environment."
2. Know your role
From "Fumble Prone" to "Shutdown Corner," football fans can look at any player on the field and sum him up in a couple of words. Old school "Madden" included these player-role attributes, but the feature was inexplicably removed from the game in recent years. "Madden 12" adds these player roles back into the mix to help gamers determine exactly the type of team they are putting out on the field. "Whenever we had a play test with our community, player roles was the one of the most requested features they wanted to see back in the game," Looman said. "No matter what event I was at, at least one guy would pull me aside and say: 'Dude, when are you bringing player roles back.'
"The neat thing is, we not only brought them back, we made them more usable. Now you can pull up a screen and read about every player role that a guy at a certain position can earn, and it explains how they can be earned and lost and what impact they have on the game. Most of these roles do have in-game impact."
New roles include "Playoff Performer" for guys such as Brady, who will now actually play better in the playoffs than he does during the regular season.
Player roles are also now worked into team logic, in which a team with a player marked as "Quarterback of the Future" won't go into the draft and select a quarterback in the first round. It will actually try to build around its young leader. This is also where the role of "Mentor" comes into play. If you keep a veteran "Mentor" on your roster, he'll actually help make the younger players better.
3. Dynamic player performance
As an obsessive franchise gamer, one thing that always bugged me about the mode was that week to week I could make even the most erratic quarterback play consistently good just by my skills on the stick. If a guy was an 86 overall, that's what he was and that's what he played like all season no matter how inconsistent he was in real life. "This is a huge feature this year, as it actually evaluates how a player has been playing each week, taking into account their consistency ratings and their confidence, then it modifies each player's ratings slightly every week before you head into your next game," Looman explained. "Consistency is huge this year in 'Madden,' when it comes to franchise, because if you have a really inconsistent quarterback like Jay Cutler, each week you never know what you're going to get from him, and a lot of it has to do with his confidence. So you might go into a game where Cutler is an 85 overall, you might go into a game where he's a 75 overall or you could go into a game where he's a 90. This really captures the any given Sunday aspect of the NFL. It's no longer a case of every week in franchise, your players all have the same ratings and it never changes. This gives you a fluctuation of ratings with guys getting on hot streaks and cold streaks and really gives you the feeling of everybody being a little different every week. So now if your star player has a good or bad game, it's finally going to translate into next week."
4. Time for change
Ever started a franchise only to find in Year 4 that you wish you would've picked a different team? In the past, that meant deleting your current save file and starting fresh. But in "Madden 12" gamers are finally given the opportunity to change the team they are controlling. "This might not be a major feature, but we have a lot of little things, like the ability to change teams, being able to edit player ratings in franchise, being able to practice in franchise -- these are all just little things that make the mode easier to use," Looman said. "This applies to people who might start the mode with a team like the Patriots, but then they find out that it's a little too easy playing through with such a good team, so then they switch to the Lions and see what it's like to build them up without getting rid of all of the rookies who have already been drafted. We also give you the ability to control all of the teams if you want. It's totally up to you."
5. Future draft picks
One of the biggest disappointments in "Madden" every year is the draft. I love the NFL draft in real life for all of its intrigue and crazy trades. But in "Madden" it's one of the most boring moments in the game. This year, expect that to change because you can finally package future picks in a trade to get the player you're after, meaning there will be a lot more wheeling and dealing at the virtual draft. Combine that with the need to actually scout players at the combine, pro day, and individual workouts to see some of their potential (as opposed to last year, in which the game just gave you a potential rating with no effort) and you'll have a draft that's a lot more challenging and interactive than years past.
Adds Looman: "Now if I'm sitting at 17 but there's nobody that I like, I can trade down and try to build towards a bigger future next year. The addition of future draft picks allows you to play the draft the way you like. You can try and mortgage the future on that one player you know is your future star, or you can trade back and stockpile picks in order to build out your team."
6. All the small things (that aren't so small)
"Madden 12" is the biggest upgrade made to franchise mode since the feature was first introduced. But it's not just expanded rosters and dynamic player performance that gamers will notice. In fact, there are a number of little touches made to the game that really impact the overall value of the mode. Some of these include retuned simulation stats (why are there so many safeties in simulations?); 30 new draft classes including realistic player profiles such as scrambling quarterback to help identify players who fit in various team schemes; progression tuning; and even all-new team re-sign logic in which teams will cut players who aren't performing and address the position need in free agency or the draft.
"We've even added in logic to make every team feel more realistic," Looman said. "If you're watching the draft and the Raiders are on the clock and they are picking between a receiver with good hands or a burner, they'll always pick the speed guy. We've just added so much more authenticity into every little bit we could, I think people are really going to be amazed how realistic the mode has gotten, right down to the way the Raiders draft."
Posted 24 June 2011 - 12:38 PM