It’s tough releasing a game every year. How do you get truly new and innovative ideas into it while weeding out the things that don’t work and improving on the things that do? No easy task, that, but EA gamely works at that each and every year with the venerable Madden franchise. Of course, we hear every year how the changes coming to Madden will make it the best Madden ever, but there is the possibility that Madden NFL 13 may actually live up to those claims. Maybe.
The big change revealed at this year’s E3 was the game is getting a new physics engine. This could potentially have a huge impact on the gameplay. Every shove, bump, and nudge will affect your player with this new engine, which means things should play out more naturally. Size, weight, speed will all factor in to collisions between players; meaning perhaps your big bruiser of a running back will get hit but won’t lose his balance on first contact. It also means bump and running will actually have some bumping. It also means that tackles and hits will look more varied and have more varied results. All of this means that Madden NFL 13 will likely have a different feel to it thanks to all the additions this new physics engine brings. Am I excited for that? You bet I am.
Another big change coming to Madden this year is the “connected career.” Superstar Mode, Franchise Mode, and Online Franchise will now all be connected to each other. Interesting. You can play as either a created player or as a current superstar or even a legendary one like, well, John Madden. As you play you’ll gain XP as you meet certain goals, and this can be used to help make your player into an NFL legend. Plus, all of this will generate its own storyline that will have an in-game Twitter feed talking about what you do. Sounds intriguing and just the sort of refreshment these modes needed (I don’t think I hardly even played Superstar mode in the last Madden).
There are also new announcers coming to the game (Mr. Phil Simms and Jim Nantz), which hopefully should improve the many audio problems heard last year. Also, Kinect is coming to Madden. In fact, Joe Montana himself came out to demonstrate this feature. You can call out plays and audibles and even hike the ball, all using voice commands. There was a bit of a lag for some of this, even for someone like Joe, but it could prove useful.
Questions like whether or not online franchises will now have the same improvements and capabilities as the offline ones haven’t been answered yet, but once again EA is trumpeting that there are indeed a whole host of improvements coming to the franchise (including “Tebowing”) to make this year’s Madden the best ever. Only time playing the game will tell if this is true, but it does look promising.