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Impressions of Madden 20's New Mode, Face of the Franchise: QB1

Madden NFL 20

Impressions of Madden 20's New Mode, Face of the Franchise: QB1

One of the most intriguing features in this year’s Madden is the new single-player mode, Face of the Franchise: QB1. There are plenty of details on this new feature that can be found here. But to sum things up, you create an NFL QB and embark on a journey from the college football playoffs to NFL glory — and everything in between.

Here are my early impressions on EA’s newest game mode, Face of the Franchise.

(This article contains light spoilers)

An NFL QB Is born

Face of the Franchise starts off with you creating your NFL quarterback. And unlike previous installments, there is a lot more customization this time around. In fact, this year’s game has a dozen different heads, several hair styles and many other areas you can personalize. It’s rather in-depth, and literally gives you the option to customize everything from your head to your toes. EA did a good job with this. However, it’s 2019 and there’s no reason why gamers shouldn’t have the option to upload their face like WWE 2K and NBA 2K.  

Throughout story mode, you will be asked a variety of questions that impact your character’s story. These are referred to as scenarios, and EA has big plans to implement them throughout the year. Furthermore, each answer impacts the storyline, but to what extent has yet to be determined. As the story progresses, you are asked to enter the hometown and name of your superstar quarterback. Next, you find yourself immediately thrown into a starting spot in the NCAA playoffs.

After the college playoffs, your QB must throw at the NFL combine alongside the rest of the draft hopefuls. EA does a really good job at making this fun and exciting. And after you’re done throwing a variety of different passes at the combine, there’s nothing left to do but wait patiently for your name to be called at the draft.

Gameplay And Presentation

To be honest, I was a bit taken aback by some of story attached to Face of the Franchise. At one point, you’re battling with the top-rated QB in the country for the starting spot. The quarterback’s motivation is driven in part by the death of a close friend. The overall feel of the story seems a bit detached and unfitting for the mode this time around, especially with the varying ages that will be playing this mode. Nonetheless, it’s the classic tale of two quarterbacks out to prove they have what it takes to be the starting quarterback.

Graphically, this game mode pushes the boundaries of what we’ve seen from EA. Additionally, some of the cutscenes and stadium shots are beautiful. There’s still not enough of this utilized throughout the game and would go a long way towards making Madden feel as authentic as Sundays. Regardless, one other nice element is the apparent partnership between EA and NFL Network.

One of the coolest features in this story mode is the integration of NFL Network’s hit TV show Good Morning Football. Hearing Peter Schrager and Kay Adams talk about your created player’s prospect of becoming an NFL QB is fantastic. And if they were to just add more of this throughout franchise mode along with a few other visual changes, the replay value would increase greatly. But again, it’s one of the coolest things they added to QB1 and hopefully we see more of this partnership in the future.

Unfortunately, for as beautifully executed as the first part of Face of the Franchise is, the rest of the game mode is nothing more than Connected Franchise.

Conclusion

For an experience that starts out red hot, it fizzles out once you get beyond the more guided portions of the mode. QB1 is very much like the last two single-player attempts by EA, and has a lot of potential moving forward. However, with all the potential Face of the Franchise has, it still falls a bit short of the end zone. That being said, it doesn’t mean I won’t be keeping a watchful eye on what additions EA might make. And depending on what EA decides to do with updated scenarios and other future add-ons, there’s a chance QB1 could be around for the long haul. But while it waits for an opportunity to prove its potential, I will treat Face of the Franchise like it’s MUT’s backup quarterback.

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  1. Sounds like a typical Madden game. When you are starting out its fun and new. But once you get pass the newness, you realize it's hollow game just like the ones in the past.
    Overall, it's disappointing. It's great to play with the few college teams available. Leading up to draft day, I was really excited about the mode. I was engaged by the story and cut scenes.* But after joining the NFL, it's just player franchise. They want us to care about raising our Legacy score. But it does nothing. There needs to be some sort of tangible incentive to climbing up the Legacy board.*
    There's also no real freedom of choice. We need to be able to choose what we do week to week. Especially in the off-season. There's almost 0 interaction for your player in off-season. Give us the choice to bulk up and build strength. Work on speed. Slim down and become more agile and have more stamina. Etc. Things guys do IRL duing the off season months. Give us the choice to raise our personality/gain fans by engaging with fans on social media or going to events (e.g. UFC 3).
    While I'm disappointed with the mode, it does have a lot of potential.* But after playing through the introduction twice, as of now, I have no real reason to go back to it. I'd rather just play a regular franchise.
    I think the article does a find job of summarizing my feelings. I was way more interested in this than I was Longshot, so I was let down in the end. It was a fun experience early on, but it falls flat where Franchise falls flat. Just like in franchise, there is no immersion once you get into playing games. They tried with the scenario engine, but that too falls very flat early on. We all know that this will be around next year, so helpfully they do something to spices it up long term and can integrate the items into franchise.
    My rating would be worth a play through, but do not expect anything big passed the first year of playing.
    This mode is a giant gimmick at best. The only good part about it, happens within the first 30 mins of playing. And that is you getting to play some sort of college football. The "draft combine" is worthless. No running a 40, no bench drills, no test no nothing. Even the interview process was about as watered down as it could be. Once you're drafted, it's nothing more then connected careers. The first couple weeks you're coach talks to you. After that it's "X factor players" Talking smack.
    I won't ROTY and there is no cut scene. No hype. Just a simple video where the good morning football crew talk about if I'm ready to be the face of a franchise. I set a TD passing record and zero mention of it.
    This mode could have been great. Instead of giving us just two college football games. Why not give us 4-5? Each team could have their own backstory. At OK for example you are some RS JR taking over for the Heisman winner who just went pro. How will you handle the pressure? At Texas Tech you could have been a transfer from a big time program and you're trying to take a team with low expectations to a national championship.
    Even without a backstory. Throw a few extra games in there. The first could be the season opener against a highly ranked non conference team. Then you could play in a rivalry game FLA vs Miami, Miami vs FSU, LSU vs FLA, Texas vs the Sooners.. 3rd game could be a conference title. and finally the playoff's.
    Hell let us play our high school playoff's. They could have used the same field/teams they used from last years joke of a storymode. Imagine that. Going from HS playoffs, 4-5 college games to the senior bowl, combine to the NFL pros!
    But nope.. why give us fans something we have been asking for, for years.
    Spitfirex007
    This mode is a giant gimmick at best. The only good part about it, happens within the first 30 mins of playing. And that is you getting to play some sort of college football. The "draft combine" is worthless. No running a 40, no bench drills, no test no nothing. Even the interview process was about as watered down as it could be. Once you're drafted, it's nothing more then connected careers. The first couple weeks you're coach talks to you. After that it's "X factor players" Talking smack.
    I won't ROTY and there is no cut scene. No hype. Just a simple video where the good morning football crew talk about if I'm ready to be the face of a franchise. I set a TD passing record and zero mention of it.
    This mode could have been great. Instead of giving us just two college football games. Why not give us 4-5? Each team could have their own backstory. At OK for example you are some RS JR taking over for the Heisman winner who just went pro. How will you handle the pressure? At Texas Tech you could have been a transfer from a big time program and you're trying to take a team with low expectations to a national championship.
    Even without a backstory. Throw a few extra games in there. The first could be the season opener against a highly ranked non conference team. Then you could play in a rivalry game FLA vs Miami, Miami vs FSU, LSU vs FLA, Texas vs the Sooners.. 3rd game could be a conference title. and finally the playoff's.
    Hell let us play our high school playoff's. They could have used the same field/teams they used from last years joke of a storymode. Imagine that. Going from HS playoffs, 4-5 college games to the senior bowl, combine to the NFL pros!
    But nope.. why give us fans something we have been asking for, for years.

    Agreed. The mode has a ton of potential and there’s a lot I do like, but it falls short in the same ways franchise mode has for years. I hope they build on it and add things to it (along with franchise mode) for years to come.
    shockl3y
    Agreed. The mode has a ton of potential and there’s a lot I do like, but it falls short in the same ways franchise mode has for years. I hope they build on it and add things to it (along with franchise mode) for years to come.

    If they seriously devoted some time to it. It could be by far the best career mode out there. Like 2k did. HS, to college to the pros. But better. BUT I doubt they will do much with it. I will honestly be shocked if it's even in next years game. If it is, it will be exactly the same with a another mini story.
    I've given up any hope for EA. I pay my annual fee for the updated rosters. I start out a Franchise career. Play 1-2 seasons. Get bored, move to MUT get tired of the grind and don't touch the game after sept.
    At first I was excited about being able to control the whole team while playing in college, then BANG, back to just controlling the QB. I stopped playing right there. Football is not a one player dominated sport. In a sport where a dump to the wide receiver on the1 yard line and a 99 yard run by the receiver equates to a 99 yard td pass for the QB, I feel that this is necessary for me to able to control the whole team. They dropped the ball on this mode. 
    drugsbunny
    At first I was excited about being able to control the whole team while playing in college, then BANG, back to just controlling the QB. I stopped playing right there. Football is not a one player dominated sport. In a sport where a dump to the wide receiver on the1 yard line and a 99 yard run by the receiver equates to a 99 yard td pass for the QB, I feel that this is necessary for me to able to control the whole team. They dropped the ball on this mode.*

    That defeats the purpose of this type of mode. What your looking for is your standard franchise mode. This mode is about you the QB not about your team.
    I'm in pretty much the same camp as everyone else. I really enjoyed the story and playing at the college level, but felt it was over far too quickly. I would have liked to have had the opportunity to beat out the other QB for the starting job and playing at least a full season in college.
    The combine was fun, but like others said, not deep enough.
    The draft was also messed up. I went #1 overall, but somehow the Raiders had the first pick? And why would they even take another QB when they have Carr?
    The mode definitely has a ton of potential, but they just need to add more depth and really flesh out the career and storylines before reaching the NFL. Being able to pick your QBs playing style, height, weight, etc. would go a long way as well, rather than being a generic QB.
    It started off really fun. I liked being the qb and controlling the offense and defense. Once you get to the NFL it all falls apart. You can only control your qb.
    Boring.
    Hello all, I just completed the two college playoff games won em both thru four touchdowns in each game with LSU vs Texas tech then Clemson thru 16 of 24 at the NFL combine then went 24th overall to the Raiders I'm pleasantly surprised to be pick by them. I am stating out as an 80 overall Improviser. Another surprise I didn't expect to see an 80 overall rookie qb with only having 2 college playoff games won and 16 of 24 at combine when the 1st overall pick is a 73 qb
    As has been stated... fun at first, but way too easy to get to a 99 by the end of the first or second season and then there's nowhere to go. There's no option to be traded to a different team or any true QB battle.
    Lots of potential moving forward but it needs more depth and progression needs to be wayyyyyy slower. I had progression down to 50 and still progressed too fast.

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