Every week between now and Madden NFL 20’s highly anticipated debut this summer, EA will be releasing a series of blogs to better explain this year’s installment.
Last week, we learned about the improvements to franchise mode and EA’s latest game mode, Face of the Franchise QB1. And where this news was highly encouraging, the most recent may be a bit more mixed.
Yesterday, EA released their latest Madden 20 blog on Superstar X-Factors, signature moves, gang tackles and much much more.
Let’s take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly of Superstar X-Factors, and the rest of this week’s blog.
Things I’m excited about
- For years EA failed to develop any type of signature characteristics for specific players. After all, part of what separates a Drew Brees from a back up QB-aside from his skills-would be his throwing motion and mechanics. Well this year, Madden will have player specific throwing motions, celebrations and much, much more. How in-depth this will be or for how many players is to be determined.
- Refined pass rush, gang sacks and other improvements were highlighted in this week’s blog. And truth is, the offensive and defensive line play has always been a difficult task for Madden to get right. So if EA can truly refine the pass rush-making an elite edge rusher feel as such, that would be a big step forward. In addition, having the ability to have multiple players contribute to a sack is something that should have been added many years ago and adds to the NFL realism. Lastly, refinements such as quicker load times pre and post snap, as well as players trying to get up when knocked down, improved blocking, catching and tackling- could be a game changer.
- At times, playing Madden can seem like a marathon and drag on for seemingly forever. Not this year. EA feels the same way as many of you and has since refined the play clock and hurry up style offense. According to the blog, the clock will be accelerated at all times. And for those in crucial hurry up situations, the game will immediately get you set at the line-but will factor in how long it will take for the furthest player to get set. It’s little things like this that caters to adult gamers or those who don’t have one to ply an hour long game.
Things that concern me
- Superstar X factors by my understanding will only be used in franchise and ultimate team game modes. However, the concept behind it that a superstar can earn a special reward and then be nearly unstoppable (to an extent) has a very NFL Street feel to it. How easy will it be to get this special trait? Will it be just as easy for the defense to power up a counter? How much of a juggernaut does the superstar become? It also mentions other players may have the ability to do similar things? Lots of questions and concerns with this new feature.
- Some game speeds were removed from Madden, due to conflicts they caused with some of the game’s various animations. The question I have, is how did they decide on which speeds to get rid of? Will there be a way to fine tune everything? If the community isn’t happy, will this be updated in a future release? I’m all for EA trying to improve the game of course but I’m just concerned with which game modes will make the final cut and how easily they will be to fix if there is backlash.
- Anyone that has ever played Madden has dealt with the super human linebackers rocketing into the air for an interception. This has been removed from the game, with only defensive backs having these skills. However, EA has also included a superstar trait for the elite LBs that would allow them to play the ball in the air. Now you might be asking, what is there to be concerned about? For me, I’m afraid that DBs will be too powerful and we will see far more of those unrealistic interceptions. Furthermore, without all LBs having the opportunity to make a leaping grab-it is a double edged sword. We will see.
Obviously, no one will know how these improvements change what we’ve become accustomed to with Madden. And whether good or bad, you have to like the direction in which the franchise is headed. I don’t think Madden will ever be a perfect representation of the game we adore. But for now, EA is doing their due diligence to make it exceed expectations this year.
And for that, I’m excited.