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Madden 21 Beta First Impressions

madden 21 beta

Madden NFL 21

Madden 21 Beta First Impressions

With Madden 21 still a more than a month away, I did receive a beta code yesterday to start playing in the Madden 21 beta taking place over the holiday weekend. The beta includes four teams, and you can play Play Now games and online head-to-head games. In addition, you can not capture any media from the beta. Obviously, this means the focus will just be on gameplay as that’s really all that’s here. This article will also just include some initial impressions because I’ve only had the game for a little less than a day. A more in-depth preview will follow at some point early next week.

If you have followed Madden 21‘s development so far, then there are some interesting new ideas and concepts that have made their way into this version, at least as it relates to the on-field action. Most notably this includes new right-stick bindings for ball carriers, new options and controls for the defensive line moves, and new approaches to how the back seven defenders will approach tackling.

Most of what I cover will be quick and simple impressions of the action taking place. Of course, I’m also factoring in that is a beta and not the final product.

Madden 21 Beta First Impressions

madden-21-4

Animations

If you have played the Madden series religiously (like I have, and many of you have), then it’s easy to grow accustomed to seeing the same type of animations over the years. We get new ones every year, but it doesn’t mean the old ones don’t immediately stick out as well. That being said, one of the first things I noticed were how the new animations looked very fluid and football-like, especially when compared to some of the “legacy” animations that are still sprinkled in here and there. I had forgotten what it feels like this gen to see a football game that consistently looks like a football game, but Madden 21 seems to be on the right track here with what they have added to the animation mix.

The new and newly tweaked animations were especially noticeable during gang tackling and when defensive players tried to fight their way through the offensive line. The most impressive of the bunch that I have seen so far though came in the secondary. It involved a cornerback reaching out to touch the wide receiver for proximity purposes, looking back to locate the ball, and then trying to actually defend the ball when it arrived all in one fluid sequence. That said, this is still Madden on the field so don’t expect some paradigm shift. It still felt like Madden, but an improved version.

X-Factors

Another area that hit instantly was the X-Factors that were often overpowered in Madden 20 seemed to be toned down here in the beta. Whether it was on offense or defense, having that X light up orange didn’t mean that Superman had suddenly arrived on the scene to ruin everything.

I was often able to juke my way around a superstar defensive lineman or secondary player, but it was just often enough to make the added amplified abilities not seem like a death sentence. Utilizing Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, both with X-Factors engaged, still felt pretty lethal but not nearly as bad as last year. In other words, it feels like if you’re playing smart then you can contain the X-Factors on the whole.

First Impressions

As stated earlier, the goal of this preview is just to throw out some early impressions of what I am seeing on the field, and with just a couple games under my belt, I can say that I am having more fun with Madden 21 than ’20 so far. It could just be that new car smell, but during the last few years Madden has quickly gotten stale for me. So, right now, I keep internally asking myself if I could I play two, three, four years of a franchise before getting bored? As of right now, I am leaning towards yes (and I mean an online franchise, for the record). Could this perspective change in the next couple days? Absolutely.

That is also why I will follow up this piece with a second, more in-depth one early next week that dives into more of the gameplay nuances and changes. Regardless, it’s always good when a game can make a solid first impression on the field, and Madden 21 has done that here. The X-Factors continue to evolve, but in a positive and more realistic fashion, and while there are not a lot of new animations (at least I have not seen them if there are), the ones that are here seem impressive and contextually realistic.

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  1. i got beta code so here are my impressions
    Pros : open field tackling look so good, graphic/visual look so good, new scorebug look so cool with new font style text, passing feel pretty decent
    Cons : Gameplay need more polished, animations are sometimes goofy on running, tackling and blocking. ai cpu play sometimes so dumb against me in few games i played as Chiefs, Ravens. Man and zone man coverag seem kinda broken to me
    overall score for gameplay : 7/10.. i don't think it is worth buying on current gen. i wait for next gen console on this game to see if gameplay is different between current gen and next gen
    THINGS I LOVE
    -CPU throws on the move
    -CPU making anticipation throws
    -CPU aggressive downfield
    -Throw out of sack innacc throws
    -stretching for 1st is HUGE for cpu
    -user movement in general is realistic
    -Players feeling slower
    -Catch in stride is smooth
    -Cant cover entire section of field with 1 player
    -Sped up/realistic bc moves
    THINGS I HAVE TO MOD
    -CPU bc doing the zigzag movement
    -bc headtracking seems off?
    -2 man catch is still unnatural looking and needs to be toned down
    -play action fakes not effective enough
    -cant lead WRs
    -pass blocking blitz pickup feels busted
    -4 man pass rush is non existent for both sides
    -zone players, especially deep zone, are slow to break on the ball
    -cover 4 logic seems busted
    -barely any gang tackles
    -too many hitsticks
    The biggest thing so far for me is getting very little love. The new change of direction rating. This makes the game as a whole much more realistic. HB and QBs moving in the backfield, usering a LB on defense are all much more realistic due to having to slow down when they try to flip direction.
    I played a 15 minute quarter game last night as the Ravens vs. the Falcons (CPU). It was a high-scoring Ravens win (41-30), with each team punting only once. Here are some quick, small-sample-size impressions:
    Good

    • Most of the gameplay changes for this year seem to be working as advertised so far. I noticed some really good-looking open-field tackle animations (including an impressive gang tackle) combined with older, not-so-great ones.
    • The "under pressure" QB throwing animations are apparent and welcome.
    • Kickoff returns don't feel as futile as they have in years past. Instead of feeling like being tackled somewhere between the 20 and 30 was an inevitability each time, I felt like anything could happen on any return. In particular, I had a pretty nice return to midfield that felt pretty organic.
    • It seems like they added a couple of new sideline cutscenes, which are always welcome.

    Not-so-good

    • Sideline awareness for WRs still seems lacking.
    • Some long-standing issues with CPU QB AI still persist. Matt Ryan had periods of "Robo QB" and the majority of his incompletions were out-of-bounds throws, absurd overthrows or drops.
    • The presentation changes are a mixed bag. The new score bar (and associated stat graphics) are great. The wipes are defnitely game-ey, but I can live with them (especially if they changed the text on them to make them team or player-specific as opposed to gaudy "Move The Chains" type text). If I had to compare them to something, they remind of of the wipes you see when using the MLB Network package in MLB: The Show. MLB does it better, though, by keeping them team and player-specific. The intros are awful, though. Like another poster alluded to, they're reminiscent of the worst parts of NCAA 14 (footage from the game you're about to play, for instance).

    Miscellaneous

    • Neither side had much luck running the football (apart from Lamar, of course). We'll see if that's the case as I get some more games in.
    • I had one bug where Todd Gurley's stats were shown on a graphic, and Gaudin said he was a having a great day running the football even though he had negative yardage at that point.

    I'm going to to try to get in at least one or two more 15 minute quarter games (as well as some shorter ones) before the beta period ends.
    A lot of AI logic needs work, but like the article says the fluidity and contextual appropriateness of most of the animations both with one and multiple players is greatly improved.
    It would be too jarring for me to go back and play any of the previous Maddens of this generation because of how much cleaner this game is compared to any of them.
    -Lighting is def brighter
    - player models are tweaked a little
    - WR have new stances
    - zoom camera is much better now that passing cam has been fixed
    - tackling is much better than last year
    - new button layout has a big learning curve to it
    - new moves on the defensive line are awesome on all pro.
    - much better WR /DB interaction
    - Played on All pro simulation and it was a nice balance.
    - game does feel smoother but there are some issues when trying to switch directions quickly .
    - u can choose your celebrations by hitting a choice of 4 buttons for offense and defense.
    - as of now I would say it is a much more polished version of madden 20 .
    I loved it after playing a bunch, specifically the way you can rush the Qb now. Players have a better weight to them too. I went ahead and got my preorder in for Xbox One MVP edition w 20% off.
    August can't come soon enough!
    This has a new car smell, but I think with the new additions to game play this year already makes it a better product than Madden 20 out of the gates imo.
    Played on - All Madden - Sim 15min qtrs
    Play now - Offline
    Gameplay - 8/10 (So Far)
    Overall I like the new tackling additions probably the most. While not always perfect it looks like more like real life football instead of the bumper boat tackling they have now.
    Likes:
    * Player movement
    * Foot planting
    * Slower Gameplay which allows for smother animations & better tackling
    * Polished & refined tackling
    * Momentum feels better. Player weight seems to matter more
    * Reaching for the goaline
    * New COD rating - Change of direction - Can be a gamechanger would like to tweak this more
    * New DL moves on the Right Stick is nice(Instead of button mashing)
    * Playing the DL is fun and adds a bit of a strategic element with the OL.
    * Like the new hype intros
    * Newer cutaways between and after plays
    * Actually like pick your celebration (surprisingly); adds a personal spin on things
    * Kickoff camera changes view once in awhile on kickoffs (Might just be when CPU is kicking)
    * CPU's throw on the run; LJackson was lethal running the ball
    * Running felt good, being patient and waiting for your blockers
    * Cpu seemed to adjust to my playcalling and my spamming of Tyreek Hill over the middle.
    * Might just be me, but the placement of the tacklers hands seems improved. Like there actually
    wrapping their hands around a ball carrier, instead of just bumper boating into them for tackles.
    * CPU QB's appear to make quicker decisions.
    * Saw 3 off ball injuries in 1st qtr of one game - set injury slider on 40.
    * QB drops seem slower with weight to them.
    Dislikes:
    * Screen wipes - First Down, Defense etc
    * CPU had a nice lead in the 4th and the game was over, but was using aggressive strip ball coaching
    mechanic.
    * Need to see more gang tackling - Lowered the slider to 45 and seemed to help that area more.
    * At times some odd tackling animations that need to be cleaned up before release.
    * Saw the running in mud animation by Lamar Jackson for a few seconds.
    * New ball carrier/change of mechanics seem meh
    * Pile on tacklers seems to be removed. Teammates seem to just stand there if their teammate has
    the ball carrier wrapped up even though they're close enough to add on to the tackle in some
    situations.
    * Penalties on default are hardly being called still.
    Played a few games and enjoyed it for the most part some things that stood out.
    Played on All Pro
    + Player movement
    + CPU QB AI ( Lamar took off 5 times for 25 yards)
    + Throws out of sack
    + AI play calling (maybe it’s because I haven’t played 20 in a while but the play call for the most part seemed to be pretty good)
    + Was harder to break off big runs unlike in 20
    - I didn’t see the CPU do a lot of moves (spins, jukes, stiff arm, hurdle)
    Havent played it but from the impressions here one of my biggest issues is still there in 2021. The AI is still clueless. That kills the game for me since i only play head2head occasionally
    QB inaccuracy is much more organic/realistic. Seen multiple instances where instead of missing guys by 15 yds, an inaccurate pass is more like, not hitting a short crosser in stride allowing for DB to break it up. Far better.
    In a number of 12m quarters I don't think I've seen a single one of those WTFFFF next-zip-code-over type of inaccurate throws.
    It looks like a new game... presentation, stadiums, new broadcast package, some new animations
    but,
    It plays almost identical to Madden 20... no more challenging that M20. Blew out the CPU in my first game on All Pro. CPU playcalling is weak, their clock management is still awful, CPU running game nonexistant.
    The broadcast stuff is cool, but it felt like 90% was Madden 20 and 10% was new additions and that's just not enough for me right now... Madden 20 Beta felt like a new game. The SS & XFactors changed things so much it was a totally new game. This year it just feels the nearly same as last year's game.
    Disappointing, especially when you take into account how franchise is untouched.
    What I learned in Madden 19 and 20: the game plays much differently in play now than it does in franchise. So the gameplay you see in beta and when the demo or whatever comes out won’t be the same as in franchise.
    So it’s pretty much take it with a grain of salt unless playnow is your thing
    kennylc321
    What I learned in Madden 19 and 20: the game plays much differently in play now than it does in franchise. So the gameplay you see in beta and when the demo or whatever comes out won’t be the same as in franchise.
    So it’s pretty much take it with a grain of salt unless playnow is your thing

    This is definitely true & wish we were able to test Franchise game play. Always plays better in play now imo.
    The game feels like a much smoother M20.
    -You cant user the entire field with one guy.
    -Noticeable difference playing with Chiefs Defense and Ravens
    -Lighting is gorgeous and sun transition is a nice touch
    -I actually like the EA Sports swipes and transitions as well as the new graphic bug/look
    -Sideline animations seem over the top. I was losing to the Ravens by 14 and almost every other play would show Lamar on the sideline celebrating with Ingram, Hollywood and others
    EA, please move the hurdle back to triangle and the truck back to up on the right stick. Hurdle isnt used anywhere near the amount as trucking. Also might be me but I cant make anyone miss one on one playing All Madden with a juke.
    Milticket
    This has a new care smell, but I think with the new additions to game play this year already makes it a better product than Madden 20 out of the gates imo.
    Played on - All Madden - Sim 15min qtrs
    Play now - Offline
    Gameplay - 8/10 (So Far)
    Overall I like the new tackling additions probably the most. While not always perfect it looks like more like real life football instead of the bumper boat tackling they have now.
    Likes:
    * Player movement
    * Foot planting
    * Slower Gameplay which allows for smother animations & better tackling
    * Polished & refined tackling
    * Momentum feels better. Player weight seems to matter more
    * Reaching for the goaline
    * New COD rating - Change of direction - Can be a gamechanger would like to tweak this more
    * New DL moves on the Right Stick is nice(Instead of button mashing)
    * Playing the DL is fun and adds a bit of a strategic element with the OL.
    * Like the new hype intros
    * Newer cutaways between and after plays
    * Actually like pick your celebration (surprisingly); adds a personal spin on things
    * Kickoff camera changes view once in awhile on kickoffs (Might just be when CPU is kicking)
    * CPU's throw on the run; LJackson was lethal running the ball
    * Running felt good, being patient and waiting for your blockers
    * Cpu seemed to adjust to my playcalling and my spamming of Tyreek Hill over the middle.
    * Might just be me, but the placement of the tacklers hands seems improved. Like there actually
    wrapping their hands around a ball carrier, instead of just bumper boating into them for tackles.
    * CPU QB's appear to make quicker decisions.
    * Saw 3 off ball injuries in 1st qtr of one game - set injury slider on 40.
    Dislikes:
    * Screen wipes - First Down, Defense etc
    * CPU had a nice lead in the 4th and the game was over, but was using aggressive strip ball coaching
    mechanic.
    * Need to see more gang tackling - Lowered the slider to 45 and seemed to help that area more.
    * At times some odd tackling animations that need to be cleaned up before release.
    * Saw the running in mud animation by Lamar Jackson for a few seconds.
    * New ball carrier/change of mechanics seem meh
    * Pile on tacklers seems to be removed. Teammates seem to just stand there if their teammate has
    the ball carrier wrapped up even though they're close enough to add on to the tackle in some
    situations.
    * Penalties on default are hardly being called still.

    I love this post because it's clear that you are just looking at the gameplay of this game and not bringing any other Madden baggage to your analysis.
    Played one game so far on default All Madden. Won 21-20.
    Like:
    - Really enjoying the different way players feel. Some guys just can't change direction well, but can get up to an ok top speed. Some players are really agile. It felt good.
    - Graphics/lighting look good.
    - Throws while the qb is getting hit.
    - D-line moves. Particularly the "contain" one.
    - Tried to run outside with LJ and on multiple occasions, Lavonte David flew to the sideline and cut me off prior to reaching the LOS.
    Didn't like:
    - Wrs having no idea they are near the sideline when catching the ball.
    - Lack of CPU running game. I ran for over 100 yards. They ran like 5 total times...
    Overall it felt great and I really look forward to playing more. I would say my excitement level for '21 went up after playing 1 game.
    Played 3 games: 2 all madden 1 all pro, 9 min quarters 16 second accel. No slider adjustments.
    Overall it’s fine. This honestly feels like a hefty tuning update for madden 20 so take that for what you will. If you like the gameplay of 20 you’ll like this, if you didn’t it has improved a bit.
    Thing I like the most is throwing out of Sacks, QBs no longer get off their entire wind up and then get sucked into a sack. Also haven’t seen any Scrambling fumbles yet (for better or worse).
    Things I hate, they changed the Defensive hot route button (guess run/pass/contain) to RB/R1 from LB/L1. It’ll take some getting used to but Idk why they bothered if LB/L1 isn’t being used for anything now.
    Overall, feels pretty similar to me, a little smoother animations but honestly forgot I wasn’t playing 20 a few times. And definitely wouldn’t say it made me “Feel the game” or whatever.
    I’ll wait to see if they say anything more about franchise but I don’t see myself buying it this year for gameplay alone.
    ripcandlestickpark
    Another not-so-great observation: no apparent equipment additions or changes for those of us into that sort of thing.

    They haven't had the presentation/equipment blog yet, so I wouldn't write additions off yet. Plus Kane always gets new equipment in every yr & blows away anything before him.
    Milticket
    They haven't had the presentation blog yet, so I wouldn't write additions off yet. Plus Kane always get new equipment in every yr & blows away anything before him.

    Good points. I forgot that presentation and equipment are grouped together like that sometimes.
    ripcandlestickpark
    Good points. I forgot that presentation and equipment are grouped together like that sometimes.

    Yeah, it's always comes in at the end for whatever reason. I mean some of my players in the beta have rainbow colored arms & glitched visors on the Xbox aleast lol, so work still needs to be done.
    My two cents with regards to what I read about COD rating...great add but again suggests we again won’t be able to migrate rosters from previous year to this years game. Usually new ratings mean totally new roster file structure. This item is important to us classic roster non PC guys.
    - Outside edge/force is as-advertised. This includes when a player with force responsibility is engaged with a block, I saw lots of reaching to slow down RBs as they tried to get outside, leading to a tackle a few yards later, instead of RB just sprinting cleanly past to the outside. As long as blocking is tuned correctly, this should make the run game a lot more diverse and make inside running / OL push more important.
    - Open field pursuit angles suffer at times from the same glitchiness as M20--where a defender will be over the top and in great shape to make a tackle after a handful more yards, but instead cuts upfield BEHIND the runner, leading to a giant gain. This happens in particular when a runner is headed toward the sideline. NOT a trivial problem--turns 5 yd runs into 50.
    Pros:
    OFFENSE
    -Don’t know if this was glitch but my Center snapped it over Lamar Jackson’s head for a huge loss. Thought that was cool if it indeed was not a glitch.
    -Offensive Linemen blocking. They seemed to Run Block with purpose.
    -Lamar Jackson was in the grasp and he kinda underarm shoveled it to the HB. Very realistic and cool animation.
    -Ease of using Packages. This has been long overdue.
    -HB reaching the ball into the end zone.
    -Kick Off returns actually feel better for some reason.
    DEFENSE
    -The Defensive Linemen moves are great. Probably the biggest leap in the game. The animations are great. You actually feel like you’re doing the move. This will make playing DL fun and strategic.
    -Saw some great DB animations to pick off the ball.
    -Surprisingly I actually like being able to choose my celebration. Thought I would hate it.
    Cons:
    OFFENSE
    -TE made a one handed catch but on the replay the ball warped into his hand.
    -I despise the playbook layout. I don’t know if Enhanced will change this.
    -Auto Zoom when handing the ball off. Again I don’t know if I can turn this off.
    -Also looks like they adjusted the angle of the default camera.
    DEFENSE
    -Zone seems hit or miss. Almost like they have brain lock or they’re perfect.
    -ILBs really can’t stay with HBs.
    OVERALL
    I feel the game is way too sluggish. It’s nice that it’s not too “loose”. But it just seems too rigid.
    A total of 3 post game highlights is totally unacceptable.
    Absolutely no highlights in between quarters.
    It’s clear that they added new animations which is good but it’s not enough to cover up the fact that this is pretty much a patched version of Madden 20.
    I was very underwhelmed when the game first started. Thought I would be somewhat excited.
    I was on the fence about buying before playing the beta. I’m still on the fence after playing it. I liked some things but overall I was unimpressed.
    I am really enjoying the current game speed and player speed, I feel the speed rating is now better represented on field. I like the change of direction rating and it implementation in game.
    I like how the screens and throws to the flats actually work with a fair degree of effectiveness. It allows for some great opportunities to create ball carrier moves as well as allowing the user defender and opportunity to make a big stop.
    I am concerned about tweaks to speed. Any increase may result in a plethora of negative effects. Currently suction tackles and blocks are at a minimum; I believe current speed levels assist in the reduction of suction.
    I feel speed levels allow for the short pass game, screens, etc to open up and work in a manner that reminds me of Sundays watching Roger Craig turn short passes into big gains.
    In previous Madden iterations, usering a LB or Safety and tryign to stop the run meant keeping your defender at about the 10 yard line to avoid getting suctioned into an unbreakable block. The current speed levels has allowed me to avoid some blocks and actually make plays on runningbacks.
    There are some issues with line blocking still, but overall greatly improved and much easier on the eyes, more believable to watch compared to previous maddens.
    I have found Man coverage to be much improved in that the defender isn't being left 5 yards behind the WR on cuts. Very nice improvement.
    In M20, when usering a defender, getting too close to a receiver, especially a TE often caused your user player to be pushed behind and away from the play, leaving a wide open receiver. M21 has eliminated that effect. I believe this is also a part of the current game speed.
    With speed less dramatic, and more manageable, there seems to be less need for suctioning and warping to reach the visual conclusion of any given play. Big plus!
    Throw out of sack is very nice. Been using the Bucs and Brady is effective as a passer in Madden, so far. Hope he stays effective and we have a viable options beyond scrambling QBs this year.
    The tackle awareness and spacial awareness of the ball carrier has created some visually appealing 1st downs and 3rd down stands. Excellent work by EA Devs.
    Overall I am happy with the Beta build. Some tweaks to zones, such as Cover 4 logic are in need. I like how the defensive line gets a push at times, and most definitely is not pushed back 2 yards on every play now. Huge plus!
    Biggest Con, or fear - The speed will be ramped up and all the benefits I have mentioned will be lost and we will be playing M20.5 on release.
    Same old Madden with some gameplay updates. I agree with Eric Rayweather's take regarding gameplay. Same old fast paced gameplay and stiff robotic general player movement, no type of QB footwork in the pocket.
    The Presentation is so rushed, still no normal team celebrations like high fives and pats on the butt, you get a interception and your teammates just run right off the field like nothing happened instead of congratulating you. Still no coin toss, no measuring sticks, no refs in gameplay. I don't mind these things in online games but the presentation should not be trimmed down for offline games or give us presentation packages to select from like they do in The Show.
    I will not be buying current gen Madden 21, looking forward to see what the next gen version has to offer. I really hope most of their effort and resources went into the next gen version.
    Americas Team
    Same old Madden with some gameplay updates. I agree with Eric Rayweather's take regarding gameplay. Same old fast paced gameplay and stiff robotic general player movement, no type of QB footwork in the pocket.
    The Presentation is so rushed, still no normal team celebrations like high fives and pats on the butt, you get a interception and your teammates just run right off the field like nothing happened instead of congratulating you. Still no coin toss, no measuring sticks, no refs in gameplay. I don't mind these things in online games but the presentation should not be trimmed down for offline games or give us presentation packages to select from like they do in The Show.
    I will not be buying current gen Madden 21, looking forward to see what the next gen version has to offer. I really hope most of their effort and resources went into the next gen version.

    To see the other team’s offense running on the field RIGHT AFTER an INT was so so disappointing.
    No celebrations. No crowd noise. No dejected QB. No pissed off head coach.
    Nothing.
    AP2K8’s player chatter would fit in so perfectly in these situations.
    bigeastbumrush
    Pros:
    OFFENSE
    -Don’t know if this was glitch but my Center snapped it over Lamar Jackson’s head for a huge loss. Thought that was cool if it indeed was not a glitch.
    -Offensive Linemen blocking. They seemed to Run Block with purpose.
    -Lamar Jackson was in the grasp and he kinda underarm shoveled it to the HB. Very realistic and cool animation.
    -Ease of using Packages. This has been long overdue.
    -HB reaching the ball into the end zone.
    -Kick Off returns actually feel better for some reason.
    DEFENSE
    -The Defensive Linemen moves are great. Probably the biggest leap in the game. The animations are great. You actually feel like you’re doing the move. This will make playing DL fun and strategic.
    -Saw some great DB animations to pick off the ball.
    -Surprisingly I actually like being able to choose my celebration. Thought I would hate it.
    Cons:
    OFFENSE
    -TE made a one handed catch but on the replay the ball warped into his hand.
    -I despise the playbook layout. I don’t know if Enhanced will change this.
    -Auto Zoom when handing the ball off. Again I don’t know if I can turn this off.
    -Also looks like they adjusted the angle of the default camera.
    DEFENSE
    -Zone seems hit or miss. Almost like they have brain lock or they’re perfect.
    -ILBs really can’t stay with HBs.
    OVERALL
    I feel the game is way too sluggish. It’s nice that it’s not too “loose”. But it just seems too rigid.
    A total of 3 post game highlights is totally unacceptable.
    Absolutely no highlights in between quarters.
    It’s clear that they added new animations which is good but it’s not enough to cover up the fact that this is pretty much a patched version of Madden 20.
    I was very underwhelmed when the game first started. Thought I would be somewhat excited.
    I was on the fence about buying before playing the beta. I’m still on the fence after playing it. I liked some things but overall I was unimpressed.

    I disagree with the bolded part. I think the fact that less agile players felt sluggish compared to more agile players is one of my favorite changes. Some slower players just can't compete in the open field. I dig it.
    I haven't been through a quarter yet, and yes, I'm being quite reserved about the whole thing.
    Brady vs Mahomes cpu.
    Chiefs had 3rd and 8 and I had a blitz, but I watched Mahomes with a LB.
    Mahomes started taking off up the middle and #45 had a open field tackle.
    The celebration arrow arrived on the screen and #45 performed a dance.
    The celebrations must be triggered and scripted.
    So far, only 1 Andy Reid shot the whole quarter. There would be 6 by now for Madden 20
    Game appears cleaner than 20 comparing apples to apples. More coming later.
    Still some legacy stuff.
    Pros. I only did Chiefs and Ravens so far.
    Im loving some of the new presentation. Playing with the d-line is going to be fun this year. Running the ball felt better.
    Cons
    Defense needs work. I felt like usering with the Linebacker was not working. L.Jackson burned me on a run for a td. CBs didnt even try to tackle him. A TON of drop picks.
    Playing user LB has been nerfed so much that youre better off going with a D-linemen.
    Pass defense has more psychic DB play as seen in past Maddens. I had 2 WRs running slants going left to right. The DB covering the inside WR breaks off his man to pick off a floating pass in the middle of the field despite never turning to see the ball.
    Catch variety is also a tad OP with a guy like Kelce where he's a monster catching jump balls in 1 on 1 situations.
    Nitpicking, but the crowd roars sometimes sound hollow. Almost like they were recorded in a rain storm. Hard to explain but youll know what I mean when you hear it.
    Run game is fun but I think a lot of people are going to be disappointed. Truth is im probably going to buy it because football is my favorite sport but this is Madden 20.5.
    Im waiting for my beta to download, but I did have a couple of questions while I wait...
    1- are sliders accessible in the beta?
    2- do the players still do those dance moves when announcing the offense and defense?
    Thanks for any insight to this guys.
    l8knight1
    My two cents with regards to what I read about COD rating...great add but again suggests we again won’t be able to migrate rosters from previous year to this years game. Usually new ratings mean totally new roster file structure. This item is important to us classic roster non PC guys.

    Ugh...I give up. They just won't do it. :(
    C
    roadman
    I haven't been through a quarter yet, and yes, I'm being quite reserved about the whole thing.
    Brady vs Mahomes cpu.
    Chiefs had 3rd and 8 and I had a blitz, but I watched Mahomes with a LB.
    Mahomes started taking off up the middle and #45 had a open field tackle.
    The celebration arrow arrived on the screen and #45 performed a dance.
    The celebrations must be triggered and scripted.
    So far, only 1 Andy Reid shot the whole quarter. There would be 6 by now for Madden 20
    Game appears cleaner than 20 comparing apples to apples. More coming later.
    Still some legacy stuff.

    I saw more Dan Quinn than I've seen in my whole life in my game. It was insane. Every single time between plays.
    PhillyPhanatic14
    I saw more Dan Quinn than I've seen in my whole life in my game. It was insane. Every single time between plays.

    I can confirm. I played as the Falcons this morning and they should him a lot.
    I'm really enjoying the beta, as been mentioned it really seems like a cleaner M20, I have played about 5 hours so far and can honestly say I will be picking up the game on the 28th.
    The running seems a lot better than 20 (imo) I played on AP then played on AM, and on both levels the cpu run game was very nice....the reason I moved up to AM was simple....I wondered the whole time on AP where was the defense? In my first game against the Falcons Ryan was 17/17 at one point.
    This was with the same sliders that I used for M20 and had great success with....it didn't matter if I was in man or zone it didn't matter, Ryan carved up the Chief defense.
    So I bumped up to AM raised my defensive sliders to 75 and lowered the cpu qb acc to 5 and wr catch to 35....so far so good, but I DID have to shut my last game off early and Jackson was 7/9 but what killed me with him is his taking off...:brickwall....I've never wanted to sack a qb so much in my life..:bump:
    I played another game this morning Bucs vs Falcons (me) all pro 8 min QTR.
    Pros:
    Falcons and Bucs new uniforms look sick in game. I felt like CPU defense made some some plays but I was forcing a lot of passes. Usering the d-line was again fun with the right stick rush moves. I was able to get to Brady with Jarrett. I got lucky on some tipped INTs and had two user INTS.
    Cons: Run game is way too easy. I gashed the Bucs with 164 yards on the ground. Speaking of running, I had a few big runs taken away because Gurley would just flop the the ground without being tackled or looked like the turf monster grabbed his foot making him fall. I had two Julio plays taken away because Julio just took himself out of the play by moving left or right. I won 43-17. It was 29-10 at the half and the madden script came to play.
    A few issues after 1 game:
    The brain dead CPU AI is still in the game. Not all slant routes work, but man, some DB's in the game just don't follow the WR.
    Who had the 4th grade idea of Sack Lunch, etc.... oy.......
    One caveat: Please EA, for the love of everything ever holy, do not increase user speed, keep it throttled down.
    All my games were ALL PRO 12 min qtrs 15 sec acc clock
    * Offense is OP. I scored 50 in every game. I played games with Chad Henne as my quartback and had similar experiences as far as being able to move ball with ease. If you play with Lamar you are completely unstoppable.
    * Franchise guys will love to hear CPU completed 80% in every game. Think might of had one game where they were in 70% range.
    * I forced a fumble and my linebacker came in and scooped and scored without any problems picking up the ball which was good to see.
    * Open field running doesn’t seem much different as far as evasive moves. In fact, I had trouble even juking anyone.
    * Overall the game feels like a super polished and cleaner version on Madden 20
    - Hit stick seems to be nerfed to the point it’s not worth using. Also wasn’t able to blow up blocks like in 20.
    - CPU is as ineffective as always in the red zone. Had no problems holding them to field goals.
    - DB still seem to be slow breaking on the ball
    - RB angle routes out of backfield are still money.
    - Feel like a liability controlling DB or LB. Cant cover anybody and had trouble tackling.
    + Tackle animations are improved. I didn’t see a lot of warping or tackles defying physics as much as passed Maddens
    + Instant wins and players breaking blocks play out much better. Easier to read lanes because of it.
    + I like the change of direction players have.
    + Pass blocking seems improved. Chiefs LT is horrible. Playing with him and against him, he was getting beat by much better players on a consistent basis.
    roadman
    A few issues after 1 game:
    The brain dead CPU AI is still in the game. Not all slant routes work, but man, some DB's in the game just don't follow the WR.
    Who had the 4th grade idea of Sack Lunch, etc.... oy.......
    One caveat: Please EA, for the love of everything ever holy, do not increase user speed, keep it throttled down.

    Time to bump up to AM my friend. This is one of my biggest fears is that people are going to complain about the speed and we'll be back to hyper, overdone arcade pinball speed with ice skating spastic movements.
    can anyone who plays on pc with mods say how it compares?
    i see people saying it's improved but the game massively improves with mods (i use sabo's) so it's hard for me to tell.
    Kramer5150
    Im waiting for my beta to download, but I did have a couple of questions while I wait...
    1- are sliders accessible in the beta?
    2- do the players still do those dance moves when announcing the offense and defense?
    Thanks for any insight to this guys.

    1. Yes sliders are accessible
    2. I always skip that scene so I can’t even answer.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Shogunreaper
    can anyone who plays on pc with mods say how it compares?
    i see people saying it's improved but the game massively improves with mods (i use sabo's) so it's hard for me to tell.

    I think it's improved out of the box, but modding when available will make M21 phenomenal imo as long as they don't drastically change things from now till then..
    roadman
    A few issues after 1 game:
    The brain dead CPU AI is still in the game. Not all slant routes work, but man, some DB's in the game just don't follow the WR.
    Who had the 4th grade idea of Sack Lunch, etc.... oy.......
    One caveat: Please EA, for the love of everything ever holy, do not increase user speed, keep it throttled down.

    Agree on speed and also with the slant routes. The DB in my experience tends to turn himself outside as the slant goes inside and then the DB has to circle around to play catch up, which is too late
    I would say speed will stay the same going forward. A lot of the new gameplay features, such as ball carrier moves, rely on the user having time to identify the threat and react on the sticks. Another key feature to speed is the Change of Direction rating, which obviously means some players, a lot of players, are not going to be jetting around the field like an arcade game.
    Flats and screens, etc, rely on more realistic player movement by defenders to remain viable in M21 and not return to previous iterations of madden where they were generally useless; the new ball carrier features can be best highlighted through the use of the short game play and users creating fantastic runs with their special move sequences.
    This leads to the last reason I believe speed will be relatively unchanged. Madden is under contract with the NFL and NFLPA as a Simulation game of NFL football. With 2K coming out with a non-simulation NFL game, there needs to be key elements of differentiation between the two games to avoid legal entanglements and contract issues.
    Shogunreaper
    can anyone who plays on pc with mods say how it compares?
    i see people saying it's improved but the game massively improves with mods (i use sabo's) so it's hard for me to tell.

    I shared my thoughts earlier
    The stretch for 1st down is something there is no way i can replicate on M20 and i'm extremely jealous i never figured out how the hell they got the CPU to rollout of the pocket and throw on the run lol
    Played a few games, it’s a polished version of  M20, but a little more organic feel to it.  Players feel weighted , QB throwing under pressure is a nice addition as the it affects the ball and distance.  Running is  pretty smooth and QB,s get rid of ball faster.  Love how the tackles have been polished, they feel nice and organic.   Zone play didn’t seem to work at times, OL still blocks the air after getting beat at times instead of following his man.   Played a game in the rain,  saw slips on routes , but would love to see rain on helmets and rain coats on sidelines.  It’s these little things that would bring the elements of the game to life.  Overall, I just think EA need to be more consistent with the natural behaviors of players, and their awareness. 
    xSABOx
    I shared my thoughts earlier
    The stretch for 1st down is something there is no way i can replicate on M20 and i'm extremely jealous i never figured out how the hell they got the CPU to rollout of the pocket and throw on the run lol

    Exactly(not the part on you, lol) CPU Mahomes rushed to the outside and threw the ball OUB because a defender was tackling him.
    Impressions: **"I HOPE NEXT GEN IS NOT A PORT AND IS BUILT FROM GROUND UP THO I DOUBT IT"**
    1. Player awareness is still an issue. Players still don't react to ball or where they are at on field at times.
    2. Some artwork issues to be corrected(visors)
    3. Player movement is buggy. Had a WR tiptoe his entire route didn't even run at all.
    4. Fatigue seems to be an issue
    5.Legacy issues still remain.
    6. Its pretty much a madden 20 upgrade, lots to be fixed
    It won't affect me with my playstyle as a solo vs CPU player, but I think they may wreck the game for H2H players by tuning the User controlled defender to be souped up again and not have to follow the movement rules that all the other players on the field have to follow. The complaining in the feedback forum pretty much guarantees it.
    jfsolo
    It won't affect me with my playstyle as a solo vs CPU player, but I think they may wreck the game for H2H players by tuning the User controlled defender to be souped up again and not have to follow the movement rules that all the other players on the field have to follow. The complaining in the feedback forum pretty much guarantees it.

    This is probably correct. Too bad they don’t have a simulation, competitive and arcade setting to appease both crowds.
    roadman
    Exactly(not the part on you, lol) CPU Mahomes rushed to the outside and threw the ball OUB because a defender was tackling him.

    I agree. It was good to see a QB roll out and throw the ball on the run. They still take off way too much instead of throwing. Also the stretch for 1st down is done pretty well so far.
    jmurphy31
    This is probably correct. Too bad they don’t have a simulation, competitive and arcade setting to appease both crowds.

    well unless they change something in m21 those settings seem mostly superficial.
    Shogunreaper
    well unless they change something in m21 those settings seem mostly superficial.

    I was throwing shade. I know they have them, but they don’t really use it properly if at all from a gameplay. It’s more on penalties, injuries and such
    I'm not going to rehash what others are saying overall the beta feels like a polished M20 nothing really jumps off the screen to me. Tackling is probably my fav so far and QB scrambling. The AI logic and brain dead situational awareness is still a head scratcher..(DB's) lack of breaking on the ball...
    My early thoughts are I know this is beta but if the finish product resembles some of the beta crap its a no buy for me right now.....
    xSABOx
    I shared my thoughts earlier
    The stretch for 1st down is something there is no way i can replicate on M20 and i'm extremely jealous i never figured out how the hell they got the CPU to rollout of the pocket and throw on the run lol

    Not to derail the thread. Are you able to correct CPU AI and game management type stuff with computer version. Like how they handle the last minutes of a game when winning or losing.
    When receivers catch the ball near the sidelines, they now put the brakes on and turn up field. Looks way more realistic now.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    I just finished my first game. Here is what I noticed:
    - Visually it looks the same, colors look no different, and the only difference I could see is with the brightness. I dont have an Xbox One X, so I disqualify myself lol
    - I took off with Mahomes and intentionally didn't slide. Earl Thomas hit me so hard, Mahomes folded like an accordion and fumbled. Nice touch
    - Actually had a few pass interference calls
    - When the QB gets the snap from shotgun, I did notice a few seconds before you could throw, as if the QB is fumbling with the ball to get his preferred grip. Its a very nice touch.
    - I played 2 snaps on defense, and Lamar Jackson is going to break the game like Vick did in 04. I couldn't catch him if I wanted too.
    - I had it on expert settings, and still shredded the defense. I was 16-20 for 289yrds and 3tds. Hopefully sliders work.
    I appear in the minority here, but my first impressions running with Ingram are his lack of COD skills, and it annoyed me greatly, considering they’ve again regurgitated total control. I do like the weight feel, this far with regards to some other positions, but running feel, it’s another year of change the game speed change the ‘weight’ of COD. Will lab with some other backs.
    The fact that I’ve only been able to play one online game start to finish is a testament to just how badly they need to #FixMaddenFranchise
    Also, am I the only one that’s seeing cpu DBs play the deep ball terribly? I’ve gotten torched, and torched people, deep a ton
    jmurphy31
    Not to derail the thread. Are you able to correct CPU AI and game management type stuff with computer version. Like how they handle the last minutes of a game when winning or losing.

    Yes, you've been able to do this since Madden 19 on PC.
    Not enough plays or tools to counter Lamar honestly - it's such an uber advantage to have him on your team that I don't know why anyone wouldn't pick the Ravens everytime.
    There just simply isn't enough to counter him.
    Not to rehash what some are saying, but some things I've noticed.

    • The back shoulder fade receiver animation looks GREAT!! I mean, I was in replay for 5 minutes watching it over and over.
    • I’d love if it were just a hair slower.
    • Sideline receivers occasionally have no awareness.
    • Love the open field tackling, but sometimes it almost seems as though there is a bubble around a player and can’t be tackled, might be animation related.
    • The jump ball animations are odd. Sometimes a WR will jump, then be on the way down and the DB will kind of push them up again for the tip drill.
    • On interceptions (typically pick 6 types) and the screen flips, the player (AI or human controlled) seems to be out of sorts and goes in an odd direction, before going in the intended direction to the house. It needs to be fixed.
    • Would like to see the “T-Pose” from the returner on deep kickoffs into the endzone.
    Steve_OS

  2. Would like to see the “T-Pose” from the returner on deep kickoffs into the endzone.

  3. I dont understand how they havent created that animation when in the endzone replacing fair catch
    roadman
    Exactly(not the part on you, lol) CPU Mahomes rushed to the outside and threw the ball OUB because a defender was tackling him.

    It def needs to be tuned but the fact that they finally enabled it is huge
    Ky3217
    The fact that I’ve only been able to play one online game start to finish is a testament to just how badly they need to #FixMaddenFranchise

    Exactly. So many of my games in the beta don’t even make it through the first quarter. We want franchise updates so that we can actually play full length games against other users.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    It feels like the speed of the game was increased which is not at all a bad thing imo.
    The QB releases are much quicker and more fluid. Lamar Jackson plays like Lamar Jackson. If you loose contain on him you will pay for it in chunks of yards.
    Tackling seems to be improved/smoother
    Don't like how WR's react to high passes sometimes. Sometimes not making any attempt to play the ball
    Still can't play a cold weather quick game without snow as far as I can see. I've been asking for this, going on a decade now. Football is played in cold weather. Its a small detail but if I want to play the Packers in Soldier Field I want to play in cold weather. Not sunny and 75. I want to see the vapor trail from the players breath. It can be totally visual, I don't care. It doesn't need to effect game play.
    roadman
    A few issues after 1 game:
    The brain dead CPU AI is still in the game. Not all slant routes work, but man, some DB's in the game just don't follow the WR.
    Who had the 4th grade idea of Sack Lunch, etc.... oy.......
    One caveat: Please EA, for the love of everything ever holy, do not increase user speed, keep it throttled down.

    And this is why we are passing.
    Brain dead cpu = no longevity in franchise mode.
    Such a shame.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    scitychamps87
    Anyone else feel like the CPU QBs are unstoppable on All-Madden? I feel like my DBs are useless
    Sent from my XT1650 using Operation Sports mobile app

    This was actually a big problem for me and still remains to be a problem...lack of defense...I was able to calm the robo qb by lowering cpu qb acc to 5 and wr catch to 35....
    Im now trying AP again, and it's to easy, so Im going to have to roll on AM.:crazy:....
    Kramer5150
    This was actually a big problem for me and still remains to be a problem...lack of defense...I was able to calm the robo qb by lowering cpu qb acc to 5 and wr catch to 35....
    Im now trying AP again, and it's to easy, so Im going to have to roll on AM.:crazy:....

    There is user boosting for different things under the hood & is one of the reasons why AP is too easy especially on default sliders.
    Milticket
    There is user boosting for different things under the hood & is one of the reasons why it's too easy.

    Oh really? I din't know that, I remembered it was said that AP was where the game was tuned so I figured that was the level that would best represent the ratings, I believe it was Rex that mentioned that....although I could be wrong.
    Some positives I've noticed in a few quarters of gameplay:
    - They added Wembley Stadium, as well as Tottenham's stadium and Mexico City's stadium for international games, including some specific commentary. The stadiums look terrific as well, good stuff EA.
    - Open field tackling is noticeably improved. A lot of new animations I'm seeing, some I'm seeing a few times in a game so maybe need to work on some variety but for the most part it feels very organic and the players (both offense and defense) carry weight to them in their tackling and running
    - Pass coverage is a lot more realistic with the COD rating. Hopefully this continues in the full release, but I can see some guys complaining because they can't cover 75% of the field with a MLB or safety
    - Throwing animations have definitely been polished. Noticing a lot of QBs throwing the ball away when they are getting hit as opposed to M20 where QBs would start their throwing animation, but then get hit and it completely axes the throw and they just take the sack. Good stuff there
    - Scoreboard/presentation is greatly improved from M20. Hated the paint splashes in 20, this presentation is a lot more professional looking and sharp, reminds me of FIFA
    - Running game feels great. Running backs don't just get stuck and clip when they run into a blocker or a lot of traffic, they try to shuffle their feet and get through or around the action. It's not perfect, but it's a great improvement
    Some negative things I noticed:
    - The player picture for QB Lamar Jackson in the depth chart is the wrong Lamar Jackson lmao. They got the CB Lamar Jackson, rookie out of Nebraska, in place for his picture. I'm sure this will be fixed before launch, but pretty puzzling when it's the cover athlete of the game and they get his picture mixed up with a lowly rookie who happens to have the same name. They don't even look alike lol
    - Robo QB is still in effect, especially on All-Madden. I'd like to see CPU QBs try to take some deep, but safe, shots down field, overthrowing a target if necessary to avoid a pick. No matter what you do on defense, if you leave their check down open, that will be their first option every time. A check down should be one of their last options, using it as a last resort to avoid a sack and try to salvage the play with some RACtion. I don't want to see Matt Ryan throw 28-31 against me with 12 completions coming to Todd Gurley off of simple check down passes.
    - Commentary team is still the same with the majority of the lines being rehashed from previous titles. I don't mind Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis, in fact I think they're solid, but it'd be awesome to have another commentary team or two available just for variety. FIFA does this and it's awesome, you have the A-Team with Martin Tyler and Alan Smith, and then the B-Team with Derek Rae and Lee Dixon. It'd be great if in the future they could incorporate something like this, I'd love to have Gus Johnson for commentary in a Madden game again.
    - Kinda also pertains to commentary, but why haven't we had sideline reporters, like ever? FIFA has them, 2k has them, NFL 2k5 had them, this would be something cool to get reporting on teams throughout the game from the sidelines.
    - Offense is a little OP right now. It's better than in M20 where you would have to user-catch on deep throws just to have a chance of coming down with it, but now, even without switching and just letting the AI receivers do their thing, it seems like the receivers will come down with it more often than not. Again, it is an improvement over M20, but could use a little bit of toning down for No-Switch leagues
    ----
    I'm definitely noticing more good than bad, I'll have to get a couple private H2H games in to see how the online experience is without diving into the general pop but so far I really like what I see. I actually enjoyed M20 aside from the lack of franchise depth (#FixMaddenFranchise), so it's nice to see the team build on the foundation of a decent game in M20. It's definitely an improvement; however, I said the same thing for the beta in M20, M19, etc... EA needs to stick to their guns and not cater to the MUT kids who just want to steamroll everybody
    Kramer5150
    Oh really? I din't know that, I remembered it was said that AP was where the game was tuned so I figured that was the level that would best represent the ratings, I believe it was Rex that mentioned that....although I could be wrong.

    Yeah, users get a boost with acceleration, speed, agility etc just to name a few. The competitive crowd now plays on AM since Madden 19, & I believe is tuned more inline with ratings.
    Milticket
    Yeah, users get a boost with acceleration, speed, agility etc just to name a few. The competitive crowd now plays on AM since Madden 19, & I believe is tuned more inline with ratings.

    Thanks for the insight, I had no idea....I'll now have to get my sliders up to par on AM now....lol
    Milticket
    Yeah, users get a boost with acceleration, speed, agility etc just to name a few. The competitive crowd now plays on AM since Madden 19, & I believe is tuned more inline with ratings.

    i thought all madden gave the cpu a boost?
    1 Game in so far. Me as the Chiefs vs the Ravens on default All Pro.
    The USER running game
    Still too easy, but not as OP as before. Still feels like you are just about guaranteed 4 yards each carry. Not per carry, each carry. Only times I didn't get at least 4 yards were when I ran into huge number disadvantages or the DL got insta-sheds for stops at the line. Even when I would run into a stacked box where there were 2+ more hats in the box than I had blockers, I'd get a gain of 2 or 3 yards.
    It looks like the OL still gets too much push, but there are higher rates of insta-sheds by the DL/LBs now. The backside players are also much quicker/aggressive, but you're practically never forced to cut back because the blocking gets so much push, so that change is not impacting anything right now.
    The CPU running game
    They still cannot run, end of story. They don't know what a hole is, they run more horizontally than vertically. This is RB's only. You can play a dime defense against a standard I-Form and you'll hold them to 2-3 yards per carry because they have zero idea of where to run.
    The CPU QB play
    Lamar was off target when he stayed in to throw at times. Pressure definitely affected accuracy for him. He looked to run way way way way too much. When I wasn't containing or spying at first, he'd take off and run almost immediately for nice gains. The second I started playing with a spy or contain broke his running ability immediately. He'd constantly take off into a sack like Scrambling QBs do in NCAA 14. I was calling cover 1 spy/contain from dime defense a lot to test it and it completely destroyed the Raves offense. He no longer even looked to pass. It was catch the snap, run right into the backside of the RT or run right up the middle into the spy defender for a sack each time.
    Something with the spies/contains was breaking the CPU QB logic in that game.
    Penalties
    I saw 4 in the entire game. One was me getting the CPU to jump offsides for two free plays using a fake snap. That was nice to finally see. I also saw a holding call against the CPU and a facemask call against the CPU when I was running the clock out.
    Other notes
    I saw something that I should never see on a passing play by the CPU. I was usering on the DL the entire game to play with the new controls. On a few different passing plays the tackles would drop back into pass protection like normal, but the guards would stonewall their men and then end up 10+ yards downfield blocking the DTs. Each time this happened the CPU Lamar Jackson just held onto the ball, never throwing it, never trying to even move around. He just froze in the pocket until someone came in for the sack. Very strange, but it only happend 2 to 3 times at most.
    I still hate most o the two-man WR/DB animations. They defy physics with how they go against the natural momentum half of the time. Too often do they end up with the two players running near full speed downfield then stopping completely to jump straight up vertically. The good thing was that every single two-man was an incomplete pass. Too often in the past did I feel like these resulted in catches/picks. More often than not in real life that much contact is going to result in an incompletion.
    There is a play called Ohio Curl or something like that where the TE runs the slant curl in the middle of the field. It's a guaranteed completion every time you run it still. The AI LB's have no idea how to guard that route. If the TE is on the right side running left to the middle of the field, the LB typically runs past him towards the right sideline. This results in an easy pitch and catch + easy YAC.
    The game is still too boom or bust. In real life the average attempt gains 6-8 yards. In Madden it seems like the average attempt gains double that. When you pass the ball in this game, CPU or human, unless it is a screen pass or terrible RPO attempt, you either see an incomplete pass, a catch for a first down, or a turnover. There is no dinking and dunking. Slants are either caught for 10+ yards or fall incomplete. Drag routes are still YAC monsters that the AI struggles to stop.
    A lot of the new animations look solid. This is great, but they highlight how ugly the rest of the animations are.
    The speed of the game is in a much better place. I always hated the supersonic speed the series had for years. It's nice to see 20 and 21 have continued to go for a more organic looking pacing.
    Player locomotion is the best it has probably been in the series. At times, running with Williams felt more like an updated 2k game than that of an EA game. He felt like he had weight, he had to cut when turning too sharp. Players don't feel like they are skating much anymore. Momentum feels real. The defense also feels grounded which is nice. It was odd in the past when the USER offense felt good locomotion-wise, but the defense felt arcadey still. It seems all 22 move better and it looks much better than it ever has the past two generations.
    Hit sticks are still whacky and I'm no longer a fan of the mechanic. It should be rare and the hits should be a bit more grounded, but hard. They are way too common and look like WWE moves more than big football hits.
    Physics-based tackling is still near nonexistent. Gang tackling is still about nonexistent. The newer tackle animations are great, some even look like near copy and pastes of past 2k animations like the one of the BC having one leg wrapped up and hopping once or twice on the free leg before going down, but the majority of animations are not new and look terrible in comparison.
    The presentation is hit or miss. The new wipes are not terrible and can be improved on to look good, but the pre-game was absolutely terrible. Visors are floating off of the helmets, but that will probably be fixed before launch, maybe even is at this point. I still saw Andy Reid too often. Multiple times per drive and from camera angles that were dumb. No broadcast has their camera men carry the camera 2 inches off of the ground to get a 5 second shot of Andy Reid from that angle over and over and over. If it wasn't that angle, it would be as if his playsheet had a camera in it as I was 10 inches from his chin.
    The OL/DL interactions when playing as a DL were fun and it didn't feel either side had too much of an advantage. I won some, I lost some. It was only one game, but I never found a move that worked too often. A successful bullrush feels as good in this game as it did in 2k.
    CPU logic in playcalling is still bad. It's 3rd and 5, I have the ball, the CPU has all of their DB's 10+ yards off of the ball. I was running quick slants. Hill gets the 1st and more so easy because they didn't blitz and they gave the WR's all sorts of cushion. These types of decisions are made constantly. The adaptive AI didn't seem to be in the beta, either. The CPU seems to still call plays at random, not with a purpose of setting anything up or to get into certain situations.
    Overall, it is still Madden. The CPU/AI is still probably the absolute biggest weakness of the game on the field. The locomotion is the best I think it has ever been in the series. It's nice to see CPU QB's running, but it was frustrating to see the spy/contains were breaking the logic and the NCAA 14 Scrambling QB showed back up as Lamar gave me 100 sacks by simply running into the RT.
    The passing game is still too boom or bust. Way too boom or bust. There simply is not enough physicality in the passing game. The running game is still too easy for the user, but it has clearly been nerfed for the better. It needs to be tuned more. I think this may be as good as it gets until blocking is overhauled, though. The blocking in EA games is just not built to not be super wins or super losses. You either see great push or insta-sheds and that's about all the results there are available. Until the blocking is redone and we see stalemates at the line and more realistic amounts of bush, DL getting their own push, then the running game will always suffer from this. This just harps back to how boom or bust the game is. We need more middle ground results. The majority of results need to be slight wins/losses, but that isn't how the game is built. You either complete a pass for 10+ yards or you don't. You either push the OL 5 yards down the field or get instantly beat.
    If you like Madden then you will like 21, it will feel like an improved game over 19 and 20. It is one, too. It has its issues that I've pointed out. The gameplay is okay enough for me that if I had a good franchise mode I'd play it more. I hate the boom and bust nature of the game, but I could live with it if franchise was fun. The series does seem to be going in the right direction on the field, as it has felt for me since 19, but there are aspects that need to be completely redone, blocking and pass coverage being the two main ones. If the pass coverage was more physical, grounded, and the passing game had more smaller gains then it would be so much better. If the blocking was more in the middle like I said earlier, it would be so much better. As of right now, drives are either 3 and outs or 4 plays 82 yards. You don't really grind anything out in this game because of the way it's built with super wins and losses.
    On the field I'd give it a 7 out of 10. Plenty of good, plenty that needs updating yesterday. If you like Madden, you'll like 21.
    One other thing I wanted to mention, the living sidelines they mentioned are definitely just more cut scenes to sideline stuff. During gameplay it’s still weird generic players cycling a couple animations.
    Ive been critical but here are some positives im feeling:
    -Running with Lamar, after 2/3 consecutive plays he wears down considerably
    -Passing with Mahomes he had several passes off the mark while under duress. Frustrating because I had guys open but loved it because QBs historically have been too accurate in game.
    -Love the way they broke up the Superstar attributes for CBs and WRs. Guys can be great outside/inside the numbers exclusively or both. Same with short, medium and deep routes. DBs can also specialize in defending short/med/deep routes
    -The X Factor for Kelce which unlocks the route tree for him Im here for.
    -The camera is slightly lower and zoomed in. Big fan and feels like youre closer to the action.
    -Being able to control how deep the CBs drop on zones to combat certain routes also a big plus
    -The Chiefs crowd does a specific stadium war chant. Praying thats a sign of things to come as far as crowd immersion.
    Cpu cant run the ball and the AI is still pretty dumb. They still dont call games with logic. How long have these same issues been in madden? Need new talent in the development team
    Dblock1111
    One other thing I wanted to mention, the living sidelines they mentioned are definitely just more cut scenes to sideline stuff. During gameplay it’s still weird generic players cycling a couple animations.

    The Gameday Immersion stuff they were talking about was for next generation, however we still have to see how good a job they do on the new consoles.
    Haven’t played it but I’m noticing a lot of people commenting on how much better player movement is at the reduced speed. The speed of some of the gameplay last year was a pet peeve for me.. and in combination with some of the other aspects of the game, m20 felt more acradey overall. So, glad to see this pattern thus far.
    canes21
    I also saw a holding call against the CPU and a facemask call against the CPU when I was running the clock out.

    defensive holding??
    Jeter2
    -Love the way they broke up the Superstar attributes for CBs and WRs. Guys can be great outside/inside the numbers exclusively or both. Same with short, medium and deep routes. DBs can also specialize in defending short/med/deep routes
    -The X Factor for Kelce which unlocks the route tree for him Im here for..

    this kind of stuff doesn't make sense to me... i feel like that should all be based on the ratings.
    Is the Lead Passing changed? Can you still lead passes at all?
    I read they changed it. It's my favorite feature in Madden 20.
    I like being able to throw away from Safeties. Super bummed
    if this is gone.
    adriano
    Is the Lead Passing changed? Can you still lead passes at all?
    I read they changed it. It's my favorite feature in Madden 20.
    I like being able to throw away from Safeties. Super bummed
    if this is gone.

    Sabo said no, if I recall correctly. But I haven't played it.
    ForUntoOblivionSoar∞
    How many of you have played on All Madden? What is the difference in terms of difficulty, logic, fairness etc?

    All Madden this year feels like last year defensively. CPU QB will pick apart every mistake or blown coverage. Best course of defense for me is heavy blitz or double the top option (s) and covering the middle with user LB.
    Offensively I like the feel of it compared to last year. You can sustain drives, mix it short/intermediate passing with screens, draws and runs. Dialing up deep shots are tricky ive found from most sets. The pressure will get in (primarily with Calais Campbell whos an X-Factor versus Eric Fisher whos a 72). If you go empty or 3x1 Ive found the CPU defense can not stop you.
    I've played over and over using the Ravens or Chiefs playbook. There's a play called High mid Lo with 5 WRs that has a post and curl on one side and a fade and curl on the other. If you flip the play so it puts 2 receivers on the rightside and make the fade WR your fastest guy (3rd WR on the depth chart), the cpu 90% of the time has no idea what to do.
    Ive racked up consecutive 500 yard-6 TD performances with Hollywood and Mecole. This is on all madden.
    Shogunreaper
    defensive holding??
    this kind of stuff doesn't make sense to me... i feel like that should all be based on the ratings.

    I agree with you, it should be that way, just better compared to last years zoned out that would make a Darius Slay into Revis island.
    Shogunreaper
    defensive holding??
    this kind of stuff doesn't make sense to me... i feel like that should all be based on the ratings.

    Holding by the OL. The facemask penalty was only when I was running the clock out. I could have worded that better.
    I was shocked to see OL with chunky, realistic body types.
    Also loved NOT seeing the "RB fall on butt" tackle animation every time I ran the ball. Running physics seem almost to have caught up to NCAA 06!
    After playing more, I'm convinced the cpu qb acc slider doesn't work...lol or it doesn't work real good....I made a mistake and loaded my am sliders but I was on ap, and the cpu qb acc slider was on 5 and Brady was throwing some serious dots...lol
    So at this point I sure hope EA patches in some defense, then this game will be pretty good (imo).
    Kramer5150
    After playing more, I'm convinced the cpu qb acc slider doesn't work...lol or it doesn't work real good....I made a mistake and loaded my am sliders but I was on ap, and the cpu qb acc slider was on 5 and Brady was throwing some serious dots...lol
    So at this point I sure hope EA patches in some defense, then this game will be pretty good (imo).

    Hasn't the accuracy slider acted more as a confidence and downfield tendency slider for some time now, as opposed to directly being accuracy only? Lower just results in the CPU QB going 20 for 24 for 180 yards while higher accuracy values lead to them throwing further downfield and into traffic at higher frequencies.
    Kramer5150
    After playing more, I'm convinced the cpu qb acc slider doesn't work...lol or it doesn't work real good....I made a mistake and loaded my am sliders but I was on ap, and the cpu qb acc slider was on 5 and Brady was throwing some serious dots...lol
    So at this point I sure hope EA patches in some defense, then this game will be pretty good (imo).

    I mean it is Tom Brady lol. On Madden 20 around 6 is the sweet spot on AM any higher everyone plays like Tom Brady. They'll still take plenty of shots downfield. Madden 21 doesn't seem any different.
    canes21
    Hasn't the accuracy slider acted more as a confidence and downfield tendency slider for some time now, as opposed to directly being accuracy only? Lower just results in the CPU QB going 20 for 24 for 180 yards while higher accuracy values lead to them throwing further downfield and into traffic at higher frequencies.

    I'm not sure I heard that before, probably some more black magic slider theories, I had Brady throwing all kinds of throws against me...long, medium and short so I don't buy into the "confidence" slider thing.
    Milticket
    I mean it is Tom Brady lol. On Madden 20 around 6 is the sweet spot on AM any higher everyone plays like Tom Brady. They'll still take plenty of shots downfield. Madden 21 doesn't seem any different.

    Thanks for the tip, I'll input that into what I've got so far and see how it goes:y220b:
    Kramer5150
    Thanks for the tip, I'll input that into what I've got so far and see how it goes:y220b:

    I mean it's definitely an issue on All Madden & has been for a long time. If I move the cpu slider 5 - 10 pts down from default I should notice a degree of difference if the slider actually worked. DL pressure has been tied to misfires in the past as well. I've done a bit of slider testing in the beta.
    Game #2, Bucs vs Ravens
    I'm the Bucs. Default All Pro Simulation.
    Spying/containing Jackson is similar to last game. He isn't running into as many sacks like NCAA 14 style scrambler, but it's as if the AI has no idea how to combat a user spying or running contain against them.
    The user running game is just way too easy. Getting more comfortable with the game, the locomotion, etc. I could just run random run plays all game and not punt unless the AI puts 9 in the box. On the flip side, I think I can basically confirm that ball carrier path finding is still a mess like it has been for a few years now. RBs zig and zag way too much, they run horizontally more than vertically. Holes that are big enough for a truck to drive through are 3 yard gains too often. Plays that the USER would get 10+ yards on are barely getting back to the LOS because the RB struggles to run in a straight line and in the proper direction.
    When the CPU isn't brain dead and decides to put the ball in the air, they are proficient at it and it doesn't feel like the Robo QB of the old to me. You can disrupt their passing game in natural ways unlike the old Robo QB days. Pressure definitely impacts accuracy, and if you get a good pash rush or a free blitzer, you can force errant throws. Pressing at the line also is a good counter for disrupting timing allowing more time for the rush to get there, but coverage as a whole is still messy and needs work done.
    The game looks like it still offers a weak game on the field vs the CPU, but 32-man franchises could experience some solid gameplay even without mods if the running game can be toned down with sliders. There will still be Madden moments where animations are not playing out right, where DB's make unrealistic plays on the ball, but overall the product on the field when not accounting for CPU logic is solid. When you look at the brain of the CPU, you will be looking forever because there isn't one.
    Jeter2
    All Madden this year feels like last year defensively. CPU QB will pick apart every mistake or blown coverage. Best course of defense for me is heavy blitz or double the top option (s) and covering the middle with user LB.
    Offensively I like the feel of it compared to last year. You can sustain drives, mix it short/intermediate passing with screens, draws and runs. Dialing up deep shots are tricky ive found from most sets. The pressure will get in (primarily with Calais Campbell whos an X-Factor versus Eric Fisher whos a 72). If you go empty or 3x1 Ive found the CPU defense can not stop you.
    I've played over and over using the Ravens or Chiefs playbook. There's a play called High mid Lo with 5 WRs that has a post and curl on one side and a fade and curl on the other. If you flip the play so it puts 2 receivers on the rightside and make the fade WR your fastest guy (3rd WR on the depth chart), the cpu 90% of the time has no idea what to do.
    Ive racked up consecutive 500 yard-6 TD performances with Hollywood and Mecole. This is on all madden.

    Defensively playing on all madden, the cpu offense knows what plays you pick, the only way to get an actual “fair” game is to audible at the line of scrimmage. I wonder if it’s the same for AP
    One impression I have about the beta and game each of the past three years has been: As the beta nears release and through the the beta period, the current version of the game at the time seems to see changes in its own gameplay that seems to coincide with the beta gameplay.
    Maybe I am seeing things. But animations seemed to have been cleaner in M20 the last few weeks. I can roll out with a QB like Goff and the DE doesn't immediately peel away to chase, for example.
    A current observation is that I feel EA has increased the speed of the offense in beta, with the defense speed slightly increased, maybe, but still slower than the offense. I wonder if EA makes beta changes on the down low to observe any changes to which threads are voted on, and what types of new thread topics are created?
    Fuimus Troes
    I was shocked to see OL with chunky, realistic body types.

    Yeah the player models have definitely been tweaked...arms also have different musculature now it seems though it is hard to tell at times with the "fruity pebbles" skin textures in the beta.
    can someone look and see if they added
    ATL 55 Larkin, Austin SF19 46 Robinson, Edmond SF20 was on madden 19
    Balt 85 Scarff, Charles CF19 96 Onuoha, Michael CF19 38 Bonds, Terrell SF19
    KC 8 Ta'amu, Jordan SF20
    TB 83 Schnell, Spencer CF19 86 McElroy, Codey SF19 15 Grayson, Cyril P/Dal
    4thQtrStre5S
    One impression I have about the beta and game each of the past three years has been: As the beta nears release and through the the beta period, the current version of the game at the time seems to see changes in its own gameplay that seems to coincide with the beta gameplay.
    Maybe I am seeing things. But animations seemed to have been cleaner in M20 the last few weeks. I can roll out with a QB like Goff and the DE doesn't immediately peel away to chase, for example.
    A current observation is that I feel EA has increased the speed of the offense in beta, with the defense speed slightly increased, maybe, but still slower than the offense. I wonder if EA makes beta changes on the down low to observe any changes to which threads are voted on, and what types of new thread topics are created?

    I felt the same thing, it improved some things by doing this, but made some other things worse. They've got a lot of work to do to get a solid balance on this front.
    Only played one game between the Bucs and Chiefs and honestly it felt really good.
    Presentation is different, has a FIFA feel to it.
    QB throwing is more smoother. Running the ball isn’t as slow and there isn’t a stutter step like in Madden 20.
    Loving the defensive play off the line, it’s quick and it’s smoother.
    CPU secondary are slow to react and can easily be beat. Robo QB is still in effect. But can contain little more easier.
    Overall it definitely feels different than Madden 20 but still needs a lot of work obviously. If they fix minor bugs by next Beta, this can easily be a purchase for me way down the road.
    Played a few more games:
    All madden has felt easier than all-pro to me so far, playing defense the QB still completes 90% of passes on either, but on All-pro my computer players on offense play significantly worse for some reason. Default sliders.
    Notice a major issue with man coverage vs slants by outside receivers. Corners almost all turn to the outside and flip a full 360 when covering slants.
    I do like the new jukes, feels more like the old ignite 2.0 jukes from NCAA 14. Less ridiculous sideways jumps and more side step jukes and actually possible to juke into the hole between OL.
    Fades are still broken, of course.
    Probably going to test out tweaking the sliders a bit with whatever time I have left (nice that they finally put in the description on fumble slider to tell you if you move it left it causes more fumbles haha).
    Overall, still feel the same as when I started. Feels like a nicely polished tuning patch for Madden 20. Game plays smoother, its nice, but not enough to justify a purchase for me on the gameplay alone.
    Got my second game in late last night. I played as Atlanta, taking on Brady and the Bucs (CPU) in Tampa. Same settings as last-time: 15 minute quarters on default All-Pro Simulation. This game was even more of a shootout than my first game, with Atlanta eking out a 59-56 win. Both Brady and Ryan threw for just over 500 yards.
    Most of my observations on page one still stand, but I have a few more i'd like to add:

    • Both teams' rushing attacks were more effective than in my first game. In spite of what the final score would suggest, the run game feels pretty balanced.
    • The passing game, though, is where I feel gameplay needs the most tuning at this point in time. Like others have mentioned, pass coverage needs to be a bit tighter and more effective.
    • This game had my first instances of the "reaching across the first down line/goal line" animation. They looked solid, and, along with new new tackle and under-pressure passing animations, really help the overall look and feel of the game.
    • In addition to pass coverage effectiveness, I'd also hope that Tiburon would make some changes to the game intros. Or at least reserve these over-the-top ones for modes like MUT and Superstar KO.
    It seems a bit odd that EA releases a beta where everyone plays the cpu. I say that because in reality, they base 85% of their patches and changes on what people find as issues when playing online h2h.
    I see folks calling out the still brain dead CPU in this beta...but will EA address at all? My gut tells me they are looking for feedback on what people find when controlling their team, as opposed to how the CPU reacts and plays.
    Hope I am wrong but I don't have a lot of confidence CPU intelligence will be tweaked much, if at all.
    C
    jerwoods
    can someone look and see if they added
    ATL 55Larkin, Austin SF19 46Robinson, Edmond SF20 was on madden 19
    Balt 85Scarff, Charles CF19 96Onuoha, Michael CF19 38Bonds, Terrell SF19
    KC 8Ta'amu, Jordan SF20
    TB 83Schnell, Spencer CF19 86McElroy, Codey SF19 15Grayson, Cyril P/Dal

    They aren’t running with actual launch rosters or ratings. It’s just a hodgepodge.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    Anyone have any tips on pass rush and just defense in general? Seem like no matter who I control I’m always out of control and out of position lol. The new locomotion is an improvement though
    I’m seeing good tackling, but seems the second guy whom you would expect to be in on tackle also, sometimes goes into this wonky avoidance animation.
    Stiff arms seem toned down.
    Loose ball awareness by receivers lacking. Once the animation plays out on live loose ball, ball could be on top of player on ground and he is clueless. They did some good stuff with this in 20 and receivers would go after batted balls, but they toned it down in first patch.
    I want them to fix the camera on offense where it zooms out and you have to wait for it to reset. If you start the play before it does you’re stuck with that angle. Same as 20.
    Madden is just Madden.......it’s basically that simple.
    If your expecting a different game.......you’ll be leaving disappointed.
    Maybe PS4 to PS5 you’ve got a slim chance for something different.
    Ranked matches are ranked matches. No punting, hurry up offense etc etc.....
    Madden 08, madden 11, madden 21. Makes no difference.
    Madden 05 ranked matches with fair play on......that there kids was the good stuff.
    Mintsa
    Madden is just Madden.......it’s basically that simple.
    If your expecting a different game.......you’ll be leaving disappointed.
    Maybe PS4 to PS5 you’ve got a slim chance for something different.
    Ranked matches are ranked matches. No punting, hurry up offense etc etc.....
    Madden 08, madden 11, madden 21. Makes no difference.
    Madden 05 ranked matches with fair play on......that there kids was the good stuff.

    I have not played an online game in years. Can you still make a game with a title? I used to do "SIM Only"
    Mintsa
    Madden is just Madden.......it’s basically that simple.
    If your expecting a different game.......you’ll be leaving disappointed.
    Maybe PS4 to PS5 you’ve got a slim chance for something different.
    Ranked matches are ranked matches. No punting, hurry up offense etc etc.....
    Madden 08, madden 11, madden 21. Makes no difference.
    Madden 05 ranked matches with fair play on......that there kids was the good stuff.

    So, how is the beta?
    xSABOx
    THINGS I LOVE
    -CPU throws on the move
    -CPU making anticipation throws
    -CPU aggressive downfield
    -Throw out of sack innacc throws
    -stretching for 1st is HUGE for cpu
    -user movement in general is realistic
    -Players feeling slower
    -Catch in stride is smooth
    -Cant cover entire section of field with 1 player
    -Sped up/realistic bc moves
    THINGS I HAVE TO MOD
    -CPU bc doing the zigzag movement
    -bc headtracking seems off?
    -2 man catch is still unnatural looking and needs to be toned down
    -play action fakes not effective enough

    -pass blocking blitz pickup feels busted
    -4 man pass rush is non existent for both sides
    -zone players, especially deep zone, are slow to break on the ball
    -cover 4 logic seems busted
    -barely any gang tackles
    -too many hitsticks

    This would destroy the game for me. I hope they reconsider this
    change.
    EA can call me when they implement some sort of passing feature this gives me control of the location of the pass. We're 30+ years into this and we still don't have a football game where it requires some skill from user input to complete a pass. Zero innovation in the passing game.....all they do is fix/add animations....
    roadman
    So, how is the beta?

    Hahahahah.
    C’mon man. You couldn’t decode my impression through all of the rambling banter.
    The beta is decent. It’s madden. It’s madden decent.
    I would consider myself a casual fan. Not that I don't understand football or that I don't enjoy it, I haven't played Madden on a consistent basis in several years. I've played in a few Madden leagues friends set up, but nothing where I play single player thru franchise since sometime on the PS3 maybe.
    Playing the Beta of '21 and there is a lot that I like. I like the commentary, the animations are good and it looks fantastic. The issue I have is the defense, most notably the passing defense.
    Now granted I didn't mess with sliders during the Beta because I don't like to adjust sliders as I think it becomes a chasing the tail type of thing. So default out of the box so to speak, the passing defense seems lackluster. It's far too easy to beat coverage in this game as defenders seem to lack ball awareness, assignment awareness, and player awareness. I know there are adjustments at my disposal but you have to be lightning quick to make all the adjustments on a given play as you need to make adjustments for each level (line, LB, DB) as well as at times individual coverage assignments. Far too much to do before the snap of the ball.
    It's like the defenders wait for the receiver to make a catch and then react to try to make the tackle. Running slants and crossing patterns will continuously lead to easy completions, unless somehow the pass rush gets to you or you make a errant throw. Again, I understand if you let the QB sit in the pocket all day, eventually someone is going to break open, but in Madden, the rush does a good job of getting to the QB in a timely manner that makes him have to make a decision and its far too easy again to just beat coverage.
    Maybe there is a slider combination out there that will help remedy this issue, maybe when the game launches, pass defense will be better/tighter. I don't know. But thus far based on the Beta, I'm going to likely sit out again on the PS4 and see if the PS5 offers anything better.
    Game is fun. Game is good, but the lack of defense, mainly pass defense, really keeps me as a "casual" fan instead of a franchise gamer like I was back in the PS2 era.
    Screen passes finally work effectively. Not sure if its the speed of players, the game speed or reaction times, or whatever, but I hope whatever it is that makes the screen passes viable in M21 doesn't change by release.
    Played one game, All-Pro, 12 minute quarters. KC (me) vs BAL (CPU).
    Good:

    • Presentation tweaks. I like the new wipes and scorebug
    • Running game - I like the feel of players, especially with the COD rating now
    • Pass Rush controls - I don't feel like I'm button mashing or hoping to get lucky. Plus it makes it possible to maintain outside leverage which stopped Lamar Jackson from ripping off big runs on me multiple times
    • QB Running - Good to see designed runs and Lamar just taking off.
    • Throwing on run - Again good to see the QBs not choosing only to pass or run
    • WR favor in jump balls - There were about 5 deep 1-on-1 shots between us and 3 were catches. 2/3 for me were Damien Williams on a 72 OVR LB, so I was pleased with that. 2 others were 6'4 Miles Boykin coming down with catches over 5/11 Bashaud Breeland. One on a beautiful back-shoulder throw.
    • Tackling - Way less suction and warp tackling. I saw a nice animation from Patrick Queen who was probably a gap away from my RB and instead of warping to the tackle in past games, he stepped and lunged toward me with one hand, and then wrapped up with the other.
    • First down lunges - I hit Ingram right at the line of scrimmage and I was expecting that it would trigger one of those tackling animations that would end with him marked 4th and in, but he carried me an extra step and twisted his body to lean toward the first down marker, and got it.
    • Drop ball animations - Receivers don't continue to play out the catch animation but without the ball in their hands anymore
    • Kick return animations - Amazing how much better it looks to see your KR just calmly walk into the location of the ball instead of do the weird strafe animation. Same with the blockers who will drift back and watch until you secure the catch.
    • Faster QB throwing animations
    • Off-ball injuries - First injury was to a lineman in the game
    • Throw out of sack animations

    Bad:

    • Commentary largely the same
    • Commentators kept talking as if Damien Williams had over 100 receiving yards when he only had 100 total yards.
    • Ridiculous cross-body throw from Lamar Jackson when scrambling in the opposite direction
    • Old celebration animations still in the game. Why are players still doing the nae-nae?
    • TD celebration animations not triggered on defensive TDs. Only defensive player animations.
    • High CPU Comp %. Lamar Jackson only threw one inaccurate pass which was that cross body throw on the run
    • Injury animations still are lacking. Players just take a knee after the play, then the same old cutscenes are triggered

    Ugly:

    • Some of the wipes...Sack lunch?? Loose ball? Keep it simple.
    • I missed a FG that hit the camera on the crossbar (smfh) but it was still counted good in the game

    Overall it definitely feels improved, but not dramatically. I'll be getting it on PC so I'm excited to see what some of the guys like SABO can do with this.
    Glad to hear the X Factors are toned down a bit. Last year Khalil Mack was extremely too overpowering.
    Yes, I know he's elite. But it was WAY overdone last year any time he lit up. :brickwall
    reverend_heat
    Does anyone else hate that truck is a button press instead of right stick up? Really bad idea imo.

    yes for sure.
    hopefully they give us a chance to remap it. I keep getting to the 3rd level with T. Gurley and when i go to truck the safety, up and away I go....lol
    Is there any chance these rainbow arms are hiding possible tats that they don't want to give away til release?
    reverend_heat
    Does anyone else hate that truck is a button press instead of right stick up? Really bad idea imo.

    Definitely a reason its the highest voted topic on the beta feedback page haha
    CT Pitbull
    yes for sure.
    hopefully they give us a chance to remap it. I keep getting to the 3rd level with T. Gurley and when i go to truck the safety, up and away I go....lol
    Is there any chance these rainbow arms are hiding possible tats that they don't want to give away til release?

    My understanding, per the reveal on Good Morning Madden on Twitch, oldenburg said that the truck could easily be twitched back to its original mapping if enough people asked.It appears the M21 release will see trucking back on the Right stick.
    Hassan Darkside
    I missed a FG that hit the camera on the crossbar (smfh) but it was still counted good in the game

    This was ruled correctly. The camera is attached to the stanchion connected to the crossbar so even if it hits the camera and bounces back it's still considered good.
    I wish we could have a setting to adjust the HDR effect like some other games. I seem to be running into the same problem I did with last year’s Madden.
    With HDR on, the color tones are much more natural and you see much more detail on uniforms and helmets. However, it also creates this overcast look and makes things appear darker than they should, it’s obvious when playing in a dome.
    This is on Xbox One X with an OLED.
    Feels smoother and less glitchy than M20. The player builds are better also imo (not as bulky. WRs don't look like LBs). Running game is tougher which i like. Though it still is very similar to M20.
    However, I still won't buy it unless they upgrade Madden franchise as well. I'm a franchise offline player and don't like the lack of focus EA has for that mode.
    Americas Team
    You're not sacking Matt Ryan, he's getting the ball off no matter what. It's easier to sack Maholmes and Jackson than Matt Ryan. Im playing on All Pro default sliders.

    Beautiful
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    Potatoes002
    I wish we could have a setting to adjust the HDR effect like some other games. I seem to be running into the same problem I did with last year’s Madden.
    With HDR on, the color tones are much more natural and you see much more detail on uniforms and helmets. However, it also creates this overcast look and makes things appear darker than they should, it’s obvious when playing in a dome.
    This is on Xbox One X with an OLED.

    It's been that way since they introduced HDR in '17 or whichever version. Other games look great, Madden looks cloudy.
    So after playing my final games on the Beta, mostly All-Madden default with a couple All-Pro default, here are my final impressions:
    PROS:
    -New tackling is appropriate and smooth.
    -Slower speed seems to fit the real NFL and player weight very well.
    -New WR stances look great
    -Graphics push the limit of sports games this gen
    -Signature animations still look good
    -Personally, I like the new screen wipes. They're edgy but not annoying.
    -New scorebug is slick
    -Running game is not OP
    -New pass rush is FUN on the right stick
    -CPU will punish you for poor throws
    -Lamar Jackson plays like Lamar Jackson
    -Kicking is harder
    -Hit sticks are more difficult to land
    CONS
    -CPU Robo QB is back
    -AI defenders are dumb and it makes playing defense difficult unless you use the guess play feature
    -CPU still cannot run the ball (outside of Lamar Jackson)
    -Trucking re-mapped to Triangle/Y.
    I'll be buying Madden 21. Could be even more amazing but such is life as a sports gamer these days.
    As for finding the perfect difficulty, I feel like tweaking All-Madden in some ways (namely strengthening my DB coverage/reaction time and nerfing CPU QB accuracy and INTs) would make this game a lot better. This is coming from someone who is usually an All-Pro player who goes anywhere from 9-7 to 14-2 in the typical Franchise season on All-Pro.
    Sent from my XT1650 using Operation Sports mobile app
    I played several games this weekend, 8 mins quarters, All Pro default sliders against CPU only.
    PROS:
    Contain, defensive line contain works well, if you play on the defensive line like I do, use a defensive tackle to get pressure up the middle causing the QB to sprint to the outside right into the arms of the defensive end is nice, the defensive ends will get off their block to get the Qb.
    Run blocking/line play, the line play seems to be improved some, blockers actually try to move defensive linemen in a certain direction to open holes.
    The new pass rush moves on the right stick is nice, feels good, can push blockers in the back field.
    Linebackers and safety's take better outside angles at the line of scrimmage cutting off the outside making the running back cut back in, tosses are no longer automatic at the goal line.
    Passing out of a sack is nice, I like the inaccurate passes that come from those.
    CONS:
    Horrible pass coverage, defensive backs often get stuck in the mud and let receivers run right past them.
    Guards are too slow when pulling, they often don't reach defenders to block them before the running back gets there.
    Defensive backs turn 180 degrees to defend passes, for example if the receiver cuts on a in route or slant the defensive back often will turn a 180 on the receivers cut and still able to locate the receiver and defend the ball after being completely turned around. Defensive backs should not be doing 180's on slant routes.
    Tackling has improved a little but still needs a lot of work, too many instances where when a certain tackle animation kicks in near by defenders will just give up and wont even attempt to help out on the tackle.
    Reaching for the pylon and first down is not consistent, seems you have to be in the perfect situation, it does not activate on many tackle animations where its possible to reach.
    Pocket Qb's get the ball off too fast (is this robo Qb?), this often leads to interceptions. Instead of them just throwing the ball to avoid a sack, they need to move around in the pocket to buy more time.
    No subtle team celebrations, everything is solo, you get a sack or a interception and your team mates act like nothing happened.
    OTHER:
    Kick meter is so basic and boring! Make it so the kick meter is on the right analog stick. Something similar to The Show's analog pitching.
    Playable cameras, still cant adjust the height and zoom of the cameras, why? Seems like a basic feature.
    The new intro, it's erratic, all over the place, no flow, trying to do too much in too little time. Just make it look like a real football game or give us multiple intros. There should be five intros.
    1. One for regular Sunday games
    2. One for Sunday night games
    3. One for Monday night games
    4. One for the Playoffs
    5. One for the Superbowl
    Post game highlights.
    Still not enough of them and the camera angles are too zoomed in.
    Overall improved but nothing major, this is more like Madden 20.5, not planning on buying it unless I'm impressed by the next gen version.
    I had a huge writeup for my post-beta thoughts. I'll summarize it.
    The game remains to play like Madden. There are good improvements, but the game is still way too boom or bust. The game relies on scripted animations way too much at times. It's not a nitty gritty football game where drives go 6 plays and then punt. It's so boom or bust you typically go 3 and out or score in 5 or less plays. Running the ball is still way too easy. The CPU AI is still pretty poor, they can't run, I didn't personally see ROBO QB, though, pressure disrupted the AI for me. Passing is still all or nothing. You either get 15 yards per completion at minimum or see an incomplete pass or picked ball. Dinking and dunking does not exist in Madden because of how open or closed the passing game remains.
    If you liked 19 or 20, you will like 21. If you didn't, you won't like 21. The graphics are great, the equipment is beautiful, the locomotion feels nice, but the passing trajectories are still off. WR/DB animations are terrible still and defy physics more often than not. Super wins and losses in the interactions across the board make the game as boom and bust as it is. Every run play sees the OL have 3 things that can happen. They will get 5 yards of push, they will get insta-shed, or they will completely go braindead and block nobody. That is why the game is so boom or bust and why running is so easy. You won't see a DT disrupt a play by denying the push, you won't see the OL hold all of their blocks, but fail to open a hole. That's just not possible with the system we have in place. You either get huge holes or see insta-sheds that "close" the holes.
    The passing game is no different. A WR either gets smothered on a play or they get high school open on a play which results in the inflated passing stats. You don't dink and dunk. Hitches are either covered up or so open you are guaranteed 10 YAC. Drag routes are either disrupted or 15+ yard gains every single time. Slants are either a bleh 2-man animation that can go 50.50, or they are completed and the WR gets 10+ yards each time.
    It remains Madden. A very pretty game that does some things well, a few things very well, but really struggles to be well-rounded anywhere. For as good as the locomotion feels, the heavy reliance on scripted animations takes any organic feeling out of the game. For as nice as it was to see the CPU QB take off and scramble, simply spying or running contain causes the AI to break and they instantly catch the snap and run into the RT/DE for a sack practically every time like it's NCAA 14 with a Scrambling QB that hasn't been edited to be balanced. As nice as it is to see the run game get nerfed, I still played a game calling random run plays all game and averaged 10.6 yards per carry because the OL literally gets a ridiculous amount of push every play or gets insta-shed. I never had a game where I ran less than 7 yards per carry. The CPU cannot run and it cannot stop the run simply because the holes are so big every single play because of the boom or bust nature. The CPU also cannot run vertically or in a straight line. They zig and zag and are allergic to running through the hole.
    It's Madden football. Don't expect anything more. It's not great to me, it's okay enough that I'd play a modern NCAA game with this gameplay. It's okay enough that I'd play Madden if we had an elite franchise mode. It doesn't even come close to rivaling 2k8 for me still, and it really is still behind 2k5 simply because of how animation driven it is and because of how inconsistent it can be and how whacky it plays. DB's still break physics to make unbelievable plays on the ball. They instantly turn on a dime and never lose speed to break up passes. They warp around to get into a 2-man animation.
    There's no other way to really say it other than it is still Madden. Everyone knows what that means at this point basically. A very inconsistent game with animation and scripting issues and basically no reliance on physics or organic gameplay. It can play pretty at times and get you decent box scores if you tune it properly, but the actual way it plays out on the field is not representative of real football. It's Madden-ball through and through.
    Got bored of it after 2 quarters lol. Gameplay is good but it just felt like M20 to me but polished and faster. Nothing really stood out and made me drop my jaw. Oh well, back to 20 with updated rosters
    canes21
    I can type up a book that basically states that in 100 different ways. :p

    I don't have a time for a book, so, you get the snapshot version.
    Sparkles
    Got bored of it after 2 quarters lol. Gameplay is good but it just felt like M20 to me but polished and faster. Nothing really stood out and made me drop my jaw. Oh well, back to 20 with updated rosters

    100% how i felt. I forced myself to play 2 games but that's all I could get through.
    played like 600 hours of M20 and it just felt like the same thing.
    I didn't get a chance to spend a ton of time with the beta but it mostly felt like M20, as to be expected. The "reach for the plyon/marker" stuff is a very welcome improvement. I had a few TDs in the beta that would have been down at the half-yard line in any previous version of the game. It was gratifying to see a more natural result around the goal line.
    One of the biggest changes I noticed was that defenders had more weight and momentum. I couldn't fly all over the field as a LB or S and bait the CPU into throwing INTs. If I was controlling an LB and started taking the wrong angle on a running play I couldn't easily recover and I paid the price. Counter to most other posters' impressions, the CPU's running game tore me up (Damien Williams had 90 yards at halftime in one game) because I wasn't used to the more realistic physics while controlling a defender. I left some huge running lanes by getting out of position and not being able to recover. I imagine that once I get used to it the CPU's running game will go back into hibernation.
    This change also led to more YAC for myself and the CPU, which is a double-edged sword. I like that YAC is more common and I'm long-tired of the constant "catch ball and immediately get tackled" stuff that has been in Madden forever, especially since the CPU D drops into deep zones so frequently. The downside is that it feels like there's no defense in the game. It's good that if you lose a single step to Julio Jones or Hollywood Brown they'll take it all the way for a score but the defense isn't smart enough or in good enough of a position (since coverage is still way too loose) so big YAC plays happened a little too often for my liking. A simple slant led to long TDs a handful of times and it seemed a little too easy.
    Robo-QB was still there, granted Brady and Mahomes were two of the available QBs to use. Even Matt Ryan was consistently on fire against me.
    Overall it's what I expected. I'll preorder the game and get my $60 worth of entertainment out of it.
    One caveat I will add that not many people brought up.(Presentation/Immersion)
    I do like the PA announcer, reminds me of Joe Montana Sports Talk Football days.
    roadman
    One caveat I will add that not many people brought up.(Presentation/Immersion)
    I do like the PA announcer, reminds me of Joe Montana Sports Talk Football days.

    Retooling the PA announcer was something that they did last year and if I remember correctly didn't mention one word about it anywhere. I'll have to see when the full game releases but it did seem even better in this Beta.
    I play with commentary off so I really appreciate the work they've done in this area.
    ehh
    I didn't get a chance to spend a ton of time with the beta but it mostly felt like M20, as to be expected. The "reach for the plyon/marker" stuff is a very welcome improvement. I had a few TDs in the beta that would have been down at the half-yard line in any previous version of the game. It was gratifying to see a more natural result around the goal line.
    One of the biggest changes I noticed was that defenders had more weight and momentum. I couldn't fly all over the field as a LB or S and bait the CPU into throwing INTs. If I was controlling an LB and started taking the wrong angle on a running play I couldn't easily recover and I paid the price. Counter to most other posters' impressions, the CPU's running game tore me up (Damien Williams had 90 yards at halftime in one game) because I wasn't used to the more realistic physics while controlling a defender. I left some huge running lanes by getting out of position and not being able to recover. I imagine that once I get used to it the CPU's running game will go back into hibernation.
    This change also led to more YAC for myself and the CPU, which is a double-edged sword. I like that YAC is more common and I'm long-tired of the constant "catch ball and immediately get tackled" stuff that has been in Madden forever, especially since the CPU D drops into deep zones so frequently. The downside is that it feels like there's no defense in the game. It's good that if you lose a single step to Julio Jones or Hollywood Brown they'll take it all the way for a score but the defense isn't smart enough or in good enough of a position (since coverage is still way too loose) so big YAC plays happened a little too often for my liking. A simple slant led to long TDs a handful of times and it seemed a little too easy.
    Robo-QB was still there, granted Brady and Mahomes were two of the available QBs to use. Even Matt Ryan was consistently on fire against me.
    Overall it's what I expected. I'll preorder the game and get my $60 worth of entertainment out of it.

    Other than the weak coverage this sounds pretty good. Still probably won’t buy, but it won’t be because of gameplay, which sounds fairly good (again, besides coverage).
    It's messed up say, but it's much better that offense was OP in the Beta instead of the defense. If people have too hard a time scoring then the complaining is legion. It's tinfoil-hatty but I feel like that is when a Suit has a little chat with the gameplay team.
    Hopefully reaction time, pursuit, pass rushing, and zone coverage can get some work on the low, and the game can be more balanced at launch.
    jfsolo
    It's messed up say, but it's much better that offense was OP in the Beta instead of the defense. If people have too hard a time scoring then the complaining is legion. It's tinfoil-hatty but I feel like that is when a Suit has a little chat with the gameplay team.
    Hopefully reaction time, pursuit, pass rushing, and zone coverage can get some work on the low, and the game can be more balanced at launch.

    Yeah, there's a little tinfoil hat thing going on there...but ya know what, even if there isn't "a chat" it makes sense.
    Scoring is "more fun" - it gives people that adrenaline rush and keeps them engaged for awhile; but they'll get bored eventually and start asking for "more defense". Then the devs can say "OK! Can do!!".
    I'd actually be OK if they didn't hit that "more defense" stage until after launch....get the masses asking for it after they get through their honeymoon stages.
    JoshC1977
    Yeah, there's a little tinfoil hat thing going on there...but ya know what, even if there isn't "a chat" it makes sense.
    Scoring is "more fun" - it gives people that adrenaline rush and keeps them engaged for awhile; but they'll get bored eventually and start asking for "more defense". Then the devs can say "OK! Can do!!".
    I'd actually be OK if they didn't hit that "more defense" stage until after launch....get the masses asking for it after they get through their honeymoon stages.

    I feel like only the hardcore would ask for more defense. IMO the masses would be cool with every game of Madden being a shootout every year. They lose a game 42-35, okay, but lose 14-7 or even win 10-3, nope, not "fun". To be fair I feel that this is true for every sports game.
    Anyone get a beta patch? I’m still in play now mode and keep repeating game as much as I want, and don’t want to exit, so not launching patch or my beta is over. It’s a patch for online, pretty sure. MXX 1.38.
    mtmetcalfe
    Has dive over the pile been taken out?

    Good question..I’ve always felt goaline logic and the way the players react were sadly misrepresented. Not only lack of dives by running backs but just never got the sense of the struggle upfront...
    Sparkles
    Got bored of it after 2 quarters lol. Gameplay is good but it just felt like M20 to me but polished and faster. Nothing really stood out and made me drop my jaw. Oh well, back to 20 with updated rosters

    Oh no..did you say “faster” that’s not good, for me game is too hyper fast already.:confused:
    tuckermaine
    Oh no..did you say “faster” that’s not good, for me game is too hyper fast already.:confused:

    No it was definitely slower than M20 from what I experienced. Guys actually felt like they all didn't have ice skates on.
    Milticket
    No it was definitely slower than M20 from what I experienced. Guys actually felt like they all didn't have ice skates on.

    This is the same as I experienced.
    You need to switch to the person that is the fastest person in pads on your team or it's bye bye Charlie.
    Milticket
    No it was definitely slower than M20 from what I experienced. Guys actually felt like they all didn't have ice skates on.

    Thanks great to hear...:cheers:
    The Kid 24
    Do players still dance when showing starters? Or did they FINALLY change that?
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    That wasn’t in this build, presentation is usually one of the last things they add/tweak.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    MrZombie09
    Does anyone know when are we going to see more gameplay? Launch day is less than a month away and we’ve only seen the gameplay trailer.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    If like last year, it'll be just prior to EA Access when they allow "content creators" to release vids (none of which are ever worthwhile).
    Your best bet will be to wait for EA Access and play the 10 hour trial.
    jpdavis82
    That wasn’t in this build, presentation is usually one of the last things they add/tweak.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    I sure hope they tweak those god-awful intros, then. Or at least limit them to MUT games or something.
    ripcandlestickpark
    I sure hope they tweak those god-awful intros, then. Or at least limit them to MUT games or something.

    I could just about tolerate the Fortnite dancing if they actually showed the correct line ups.
    They would contently show my teams in a 3-4 when when I was playing a 4-3 and vice versa, and even had players randomly appearing in entirely the wrong position group. I kept getting safeties appearing with the defensive line.
    Offense always seemed but defense line ups were bugged to help and back.
    Mackrel829
    I could just about tolerate the Fortnite dancing if they actually showed the correct line ups.
    They would contently show my teams in a 3-4 when when I was playing a 4-3 and vice versa, and even had players randomly appearing in entirely the wrong position group. I kept getting safeties appearing with the defensive line.
    Offense always seemed but defense line ups were bugged to help and back.

    I wasn't necessarily referring to the lineup presentation elements that have been in the game since M17 (though I do share your gripes). I was referring to the new pre-game elements for M21 that featured players goofing around in full uniforms and showed footage from the upcoming game before it's actually been played (similar to NCAA 14 in that regard).
    Mackrel829
    I could just about tolerate the Fortnite dancing if they actually showed the correct line ups.
    They would contently show my teams in a 3-4 when when I was playing a 4-3 and vice versa, and even had players randomly appearing in entirely the wrong position group. I kept getting safeties appearing with the defensive line.
    Offense always seemed but defense line ups were bugged to help and back.

    It shouldn't be this way, but here is the WHY....
    If your offensive playbook comes from a team that runs a 34 defense, it will show the intros as you running a 34 defense; even if you're running a 43. (I think there might be a couple of others where teams originally started in M20 as 43 but switched to a 34 IRL...and were later changed in M20 which may have issues).
    The DB in the line intro thing....it's more transient, and I haven't figured out the trigger for that - not sure if it is sub/injury related or something else...it's weird.

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