"Hey Braylon Edwards, EA Sports is watching you. More specifically, they're watching your drops. In fact, they're changing a key aspect of "Madden" because of those on-again, off-again things you call hands, and football video games will never be the same.
That's because for the first time in "Madden" history, EA Sports has added dynamic player traits and tendencies into the game to compliment player ratings, helping further differentiate every virtual athlete on the field, while at the same time, making every game of "Madden NFL 12" feel more unique.
One of these traits (in honor of Edwards) is called "Drops Open Passes." Throw the ball to a guy like Brandon Lloyd, no problem, the Broncos star is going to grab anything spiraling his direction. But to a receiver like Braylon Edwards or Terrell Owens, you actually need to throw them some easy passes early in the game in order to get their confidence up, otherwise they won't make the big catch with the game on the line.
"Knowing you need to go to Edwards or T.O. later in the game, you can throw them passes early, and if they catch a few, you can actually turn that trait off," explains Michael Young, "Madden NFL 12's" art director. "And then you have your receiver's head in the game, and he's more likely to come up big when you need him. Or it can work in reverse. Say you throw the ball over the middle to Antwaan Randle El and he gets popped by Ray Lewis and drops the ball. Next time you throw it to Randle El, he might hear footsteps and drop the next one. So there are ways throughout the game to change player behavior depending on how you play as them."
In past "Madden" games, you could play against a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady, and because their player ratings were similar, both cyber quarterbacks would pretty much play the same. "But in 'Madden 12,' now if you put pressure on Brady, he is very risk adverse and he'd rather throw the ball away rather than force a bad pass or run," explains Young. "Whereas Aaron Rodgers in that exact same scenario, would rather take off running or trust his arm and throw into double coverage. So you start to see their behaviors change even though they are rated the same. Same goes for guys like Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu. They don't play the same in real life, but they always did in 'Madden.' Now we have those intangibles for a guy like Polamalu, who now always goes for Hit Stick tackles. It tries to capture his wild, sometimes overly aggressive play style.""