The new Madden Football 13 dropped over this Labor Day weekend, what better way to release a game than before a 3 day weekend dedicated to the ‘Merican workforce. I picked it up Friday night and have been playing it nonstop the whole weekend. First things first, the graphics are outta this world. Super impressed with how playing a game looks like you’re watching a real presentation live. The way the players react to each other, limbs getting tangled, the new hit impact physics and the between play graphics all look beautiful. Super bright and defined, you can see the grass flick as your receiver drags their toe to complete the pass. I did find that the camera angle option is buggy. It won’t allow you to change once the game starts so you have to start a quick game to see the camera angle then quit and go back to the main screen to change it, but that should be fixed with the September 11th update. The AI is greatly improved, almost a pain-in-the-ass to even try and get any deep streak passes unless your receiver smokes the corner right off the snap. Here’s some stills of the game play and a list of some of the new features. I highly suggest this one, especially now that football season is starting.
- This year, CBS’ number-one commentary crew of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will anchor the game in the broadcast booth in an in-booth cutscene before the game that includes stadium-specific backgrounds.
- EA is introducing 200+ new cutscenes between plays, before games, and more. These cutscenes are inspired by broadcast TV presentation. Replays are also being overhauled for more dramatic effect.
- The game contains all the new Nike uniforms and alternates on the disc. Some of the uniforms may have to be unlocked via a code as they are released in real life.
- EA improved the left-analog stick passing controls so you can place the ball on a receiver’s back shoulder, out toward the sideline, up high, down low, and other places where only your receiver can get it.
- New pass animations speed up the time in which quarterbacks get rid of the ball, including a new shovel pass and specific set-ups for throws on the run.
- Like NCAA 13, Madden features more than 20 new quarterback dropbacks, including those for 1/3/5/7-step variations, screens, and plays with auto-pump fake dropbacks.
- To improve the receiving, EA is including more than 430 new catch animations, some of which are fueled in part by the changes made to the left-analog passing stick. EA Tiburon says it also wants to make user catches easier to do by slowing down players when they select a receiver.
- Receivers have timing windows in their routes. When they expect the ball they’ll turn their head to the quarterback. Until this time, their passing icons are grayed out. Passing to a receiver who isn’t expecting the ball will often result in an incompletion. However, receivers will sometimes look for the ball earlier if the cornerback across the line of scrimmage blitzes or the receiver beats the jam at the line.
- Neither receivers nor defensive backs react to a ball unless they are expecting it (like in the case of a quick slant for receivers) or they have their heads turned and are looking at it.
- Defenses line-up opposite receivers in a best-on-best designation. This prevents your linebacker from matching up against an elite wide receiver lined up in the slot, for instance.
- Defenses disguise their man or zone coverage before the snap so offenses can’t try to use motion to uncover the defense’s plans.
- Defenders use different coverage techniques such as off coverage (where they start seven or so yards off the line of scrimmage and attempt to read the ball), trail techniques (including hand fighting), and split techniques (where the linebacker stands between the tight end and slot receiver).
- New animations allow for simultaneous tackles while the ball is being caught (including being able to knock out the ball in mid-air), and in general the development team says it’s been working on the interplay between players while the ball is in the air.
- Over 82 hours of commentary from Nantz and Simms, to keep the audio new and different each time, with over 9,000 unique lines. Most of the lines are ad-libbed and Nantz and Simms regularly have interactions and comment on what is actually happening on the field.
- Partnership with NFL Films to get exclusive sound clips, such as QB cadences, hits/tackles, and group chatter.
- New crowd noise, recorded with 24 microphones, opposed to 4 microphones in previous years.
- Special teams coverage has been revamped to get rid of player clustering. EA is also integrating cover and lane logic, new formations, and better wedges on returns.
- Madden’s control scheme will now match the control scheme on NCAA Football.
- Kinect is included on the Xbox 360 console.
- “Tebowing” will be included in the game.