As the true sports gaming junkies we are, one of the most exciting “hits” we can get is reading full patch notes to know exactly what was touched under the hood of this beloved sports car we call our games. And as we all know, the patch notes almost never tell the full story. There are other tweaks to be noticed, sometimes as a consequence of something that was in the patch notes. Other times there are new problems created from the changes and picked up on by the community.
We here at Operation Sports have been bringing you our impressions of the Madden 20 beta that was available post-E3 and wanted to hunt for those extra tidbits that make up the story beyond the “patch notes” so to speak. What are some changes to the game that have not been officially heralded?
From OS Member OhMrHanky
“First INT returned for TD – play flip around when INT felt good and easily transitioned to running the other direction for 80 yard INT return.”
The action camera flipping around during an interception feels more crisp than before, resulting in an easy transition to running. In the past, this has proven tricky and often results in interceptions turning into awkward stutter steps, allowing the defender to be captured before he takes the pick to the house. Also, shout out to a fellow Dirty Bird.
From OS Member roadman
“The view around the stadium is much more enhanced and you can see out further than the stadium. Presentation notice.”
Presentation, presentation, presentation. This community member notes that the view around the stadium has been enhanced, allowing for a wider view of the city you’re playing in. If you have watched an NFL broadcast, or especially if you have been to a stadium live, the surrounding area and scenery is a big part of the experience.
From OS Member JoshC1977
“No Tackle Battles!!!”
If tackle battles are indeed a thing of the past, many players will rejoice. Rather than a tackle succeeding based off of the skill and strength of the two clashing players, an arbitrary QTE would appear to determine whether or not the runner could shake the tackler off. Some may argue this never felt natural and took away from the dynamic of matchups.
From OS Member howboutdat
“Ball seems more tangible. Just one instance. Hit a guy who fumbled. As his knee came up, it tipped the ball and changed its direction some, then as hit leg continued to go up, it caught his foot on his toes, and slightly kicked the ball in a correct direction based on those actions. Kinda nice to see.”
According to this community member, the ball is more tangible when coming into contact with other players and it has a more natural reaction. Clipping is a legacy issue in nearly every sports title, an immersion breaker that has haunted us for a generation. Any battle won in that war is always welcome.
From OS Member jpdavis82
“Superstar X Factor Abilities aren’t OP and can actually be turned off in Franchise if you like (always love having options).”
In the midst of the “are they overpowered” question regarding Superstar X-Factors, an important tidbit to know is that you can turn them off entirely. Though, based on the impressions so far from the writing team and community, many early concerns may be unfounded. You may end up wanting to leave those bad boys on.
From OS Member ehh
“Running backs are much more elusive behind the LOS. I could get out of some tricky situations to gain a couple of yards; this is a nice change from the bevy of “take the handoff and immediately get hit for a three-yard loss” situations in M19.”
Something that put hesitation into the heart of every run game was watching the handoff develop while knowing that the ball carrier would be tackled the nano-second he touches the ball. Due to this observation, the ball carrier may now have more of a fighting chance.
From OS Member edgevoice
“I love the new additions to the playbooks. However, I was disappointed that building a custom playbook is basically the same cumbersome task and we still don’t have the ability to slot our plays in the order we wish for them to appear. The play call system and game plan feature has changed rather dramatically. When you put together a game plan, running plays selected will appear under the run plays window, whereas your pass plays selected will appear under the proper pass play window. However, if you don’t select at least 21 pass plays per-situation, you will be relegated to seeing plays repeated. Also, the plays will scramble. They are on the right track with this but need to see it through completely and better organize the system.”
There is some big news on the playbook front this year with the addition of the long-awaited RPOs. But the structure of the playbooks themselves has needed work for some time and continues to be a sore spot for those wanting to easily piece together their schemes. The lack of organization is overdue for a fix.
From OS Member Shosum13
“User vs CPU games, they actually felt much better than in 19. The CPU while there is always room for improvement ran a better game plan against me. Their ball carriers actually utilize their moves when it makes sense. I didn’t see any unnecessary jokes or spins in open field.”
For offline and CFM players, CPU games can make up a large portion of a season. Most players would prefer it if they were not an automatic formality, as the chance of losing to the CPU provides the sort of excitement we’re looking for week to week. An improvement in the CPU’s actions, including how they handle game management and their choice of special moves in the open field, would go a long way to making Madden a complete experience.
From OS Member MajorSupreme
“Kind of an under the radar pro, but to go along with updated playbooks and RPOs, there are some new plays that I thought were pretty awesome. A hail mary play that has all players running towards the goalpost to set up a jump ball situation, and some plays designated as get-out-of-bounds quick.”
Even though organization still needs a boost, the playbook do appear to have made some radical leaps in terms of quality and different looks. According to this member, a hail mary play can be set up to create a jump ball towards the goalpost, and other plays are specifically designed to get out of bounds quick in time-management situations.
From OS Member canes21
“I am happy to say that I tried spamming some plays and each time the CPU jumped the routes when they saw the same exact play the next snap. Hopefully that is not a coincidence.”
An improvement to the AI’s adaptive ability? If so, it is an area Madden has lagged behind on. For the chess game that is football, this would be a step towards a welcome future. However, let’s not forget that some NFL teams will run the same play until it gets stopped.
From OS Member scitychamps87
“No more camera cuts to the coach in Franchise 700 times!”
A little thing can go a long way towards immersion. Coach cuts became a recurring annoyance for players and seems to have been rectified.
Did you notice anything small, but important? Comment below.