The general consensus from those who were handpicked to play the Madden 20 beta is that this year’s game feels surprisingly good. Still, that doesn’t mean there was not anything to improve in the beta, and so on July 18 EA released a blog discussing the changes they have made to the game based on the feedback they received from the community.
Things I’m Excited About
- Admittedly, I’ve always been a sucker for presentation and the different nuances that make sports video games so realistic. So when the developers drop hints that they’ve added different shots of the stadiums, layouts, pregame introductions, QB user celebrations and post-play presentation I get a little excited. We all know how great NFL 2K was at making a video game feel like an NFL broadcast. I think EA can do the same.
- Some of my favorite changes are no changes at all. Specifically, with the pass rush. During my brief time with the demo, the pass rush was on steroids. And although it was hard to adjust to at first, it made me feel like an NFL QB trying to elude the rush of an elite pass rusher. EA also decided to keep passing animations and zone coverage exactly the way they were. Man coverage was tuned to help DBs be more effective on man beaters. This is very promising for the future of the Madden franchise.
- In the beta, users were noticing a large number of illegal man downfield penalties. This is something EA says will not be changed and is going to happen if users hang onto the football for longer than two seconds. New to this year’s Madden is user-controlled tight end block and release. What this means is that the blue routes/block and release TEs will now be controlled by the user. So it will be up to each individual to decide when to release from the block. Your player’s awareness rating will decide how responsive he is to the button.
- Fifth-year options have been added to Connected Franchise Mode, in addition to Scenarios. These Scenarios are interactions that players have with teammates, coaches, fans, etc. EA wants to bring a living world to Madden.
Questions I Have
- It appears EA has done the best they could with explaining X-Factors and Superstar Abilities because they have tried to place them anywhere, and everywhere throughout Madden 20. However, due to some of the changes to the controls, this is probably going to be one of the hardest transitions in Madden 20. I’m just a bit skeptical that users will be able to play a game seamlessly without having to pause the game and read about each ability. EA is trying to prevent this from happening, but time will tell. Thankfully, this concern should go away with repetition.
- Previously, I mentioned some of the changes that have been made to the controls in Madden 20. These changes are intended to make life easier for users, but could complicate things even more. Here are the changes that EA made to the controls in this year’s game.
In order to facilitate getting players this information while in-game, some changes had to be made to defensive pre-play adjustments. While we know these changes will create some temporary friction in the opening week, we are confident that our players will learn the button-mapping in a short amount of time. Be sure to get at least 100 reps every night before bed with the new pre-play mechanics and you’ll have it re-learned in no time! Here’s a list of the pre-play changes:
- RT/R2 in pre-play is now Superstar Vision AND play-art
- LT/L2 in pre-play is now Coach Cam with the Match-Up wheel
- LB/L1 is now defensive keys (which previously were on LT/L2)
- Defensive Line adjustments are now Left D-Pad (which previously were on LB/L1)
- Linebacker adjustments are now Right D-Pad (which previously were on RB/R1)
This year, it appears a lot of good has come from the beta period. And after the developers have made some minor tweaks and adjustments to the finished product, excitement is at an all-time high. But that doesn’t mean there’s still not work to be done. EA must continue to address the glaring issues while refining the good they’ve already done. Madden 20 won’t be perfect, but if it’s anything like the beta, I think many fans will be more than happy with the final product.