Matthew Coe: My initial thoughts are cautiously optimistic. I love the fact that we're getting a new broadcast team, new dialog stitching technology, more promises of increased presentation, and new cut scenes. Having said that, I think it's about time for dynamic celebrations on the field (not canned animations) and a full broadcast feel. I'm hoping in Madden 13 that we at least get the latter.
My thoughts on the game play announcements are that it sounds an awful lot like NCAA 13's changes, which isn't a bad thing, as long as it works as advertised. The passing trajectories, QB avoidance, etc., are basically what we've already heard. Hopefully the additional QB ratings in Madden 13 will really help this shine. We also heard about the read and react defense once again too, but I'm skeptical until I see it in action. I want to give Madden the benefit on the doubt, I really do, but it's become a "prove it to me" game now after the missteps this generation.
I'm still really interested to find out what the "connected careers" feature is all about. There is still quite a bit of information yet to come, especially franchise mode, which is what I'm really interested in for 13.
At this point, I'll take the same stance as I did with NCAA 13: cautiously optimistic.
Lots of cautious optimism (re: Madden NFL 13) among the staff here at OS.
Caley Roark: I'm with Matthew here. I'll be optimistic, but not naively so.
There are series that have earned a reputation of reliably quality. For me, The Show is a prime example, followed by the NHL and NBA 2K series. These games consistently offer quality experiences and meaningful (if small) additions.
Madden is the antithesis of this concept. Each year, we are teased with giant back-of-the-box additions, only to find that big elements of the presentation and gameplay remain disappointingly problematic.
Look, I am excited for some of these changes, especially since they seem to tweak the core of the game. The trajectory stuff, pass-ready icons and drop-backs should enhance realism; the broadcast improvements should help add more personality to what has become a relatively bland game.
But I'm not buying in yet. I've been hit by the "hype machine" before.
I need to see more stuff in action, read more impressions, and get more info before I call Madden 13 a lock to be better. For now, I'll remain hesitantly interested.
But look at the pocket form guys!
Bo McCready: Even though a lot of the Madden 13 changes appear subtle, I can't help but think they'll change the way we play the game. In past editions, the developers might as well have named every play-action pass "get sacked." Making play-action a viable option for the first time on this console generation will be a welcome change, if it works. The psychic DB has been my biggest complaint about the NCAA and Madden games, so the read and react system is extremely promising as well. I like the new presentation elements, but I always end up skipping cut scenes after a couple weeks anyways. The new commentary, though, could be great, as recent Madden games have taken everything that's annoying about Gus Johnson and amplified those characteristics to an extreme.
I know we've only seen the tip of the iceberg so far, but when I think of that shot of Michael Crabtree beating a DB that didn't psychically know his route, it puts a smile on my face. I'm not convinced that the game will be a classic, but I'm a lot more excited to try it out than I was a few days ago.
Skating and gliding, still a problem....but can the rest of the game make up for it?
Jayson Young: The most concerning thing I've seen in the preview footage is that ball carriers are still skating and gliding on top of the field without any foot planting animations.
The "zigzag" running style in EA Tiburon's football games is not just a visual eyesore, but also a popular gameplay exploit.
Ever since Madden NFL 11 introduced new running animations, the ball carrier in EA football games has been able to manipulate defenders and move them out of position just by weaving back and forth with the left joystick.
"Zigzag running" is prevalent during online games of Madden, and for online franchise commissioners, it is a difficult thing to police.
I do not understand how I can pop in Madden NFL 08 for my PC, and the ball carrier moves with fairly realistic turning and leaning. Yet, the modern Madden games -- running on significantly more powerful hardware -- continue to botch something as fundamental to the game of football as running animations.
I see proper foot planting in EA's own FIFA series. Why not in Madden?