Today we got our first bit of actual info about the some of the new gameplay improvements we are going to see in this year’s game. Madden NFL 12 launches Autumn 2011 and transforms on-field action and core gameplay modes, driving innovation in six key areas: Playbooks and Gameplay; Presentation; Franchise and Superstar modes; Dynamic Player Performance; Madden Ultimate Team; and Online Communities. What I like about what EA Sports did this year is they gave us dates when they will reveal more info about particular game modes so no more having to guess. Let’ get right into it.
Playbooks & Gameplay
o All-New Collision System: Now maintain full control of players up to the point of impact – from tackling to blocking – providing the most authentic collisions in franchise history. This new system uses a player’s momentum and over 100 new tackle animations, including 40 gang tackles, to provide more impactful hits, stolen tackles, and consecutive hit tackling.
- Thoughts: Really want to see how this will affect gameplay. They talked about implenting this a little bit last year but it didn’t make that much of difference on overall gameplay. It’s obvious they are ramping this up this year so it will be interesting to see.
o Advanced Defensive AI: Over 100 defensive A.I. enhancements resulting in the smartest Madden defense ever. Players in zone and man coverage will properly recognize and react to plays, including the ability to break out of assignments when appropriate, resulting in a defensive team that truly works together.
- Thoughts: I am still not convinced that this will work properly, real Madden fans have been begging for true improvements to the defensive A.I. for years so they could start playing real defense and not have to play to counter people’s money plays.
o Custom Playbooks: The #1 most requested feature by fans in recent years, allows you to build the ultimate game plan by modifying an existing playbook or creating your own by selecting up to 400 offensive or defensive plays from 75 different playbooks. Integrate your custom playbook into a game plan for use with the improved GameFlow system, which executes an authentic, situational game plan for you.
- Thoughts: Folks have been asking for this one seems like forever, people shouldn’t have to complain about not having the perfect play for every situation this year.
o Broadcast Redefined: Experience NFL Sundays like never before with completely overhauled presentation, including 32 team-specific run outs featuring mascots and cheerleaders, over 500 dynamic broadcast cameras authentic to every NFL stadium, innovative “real” on-field cameras shot by expert NFL Films cameramen, and a network inspired new broadcast graphics package.
o Unprecedented On-Field Authenticity: Hundreds of visual improvements across all areas of the game including: new player equipment, helmet stickers, pylon and ball physics, a player degradation system that affects uniforms and helmets based on weather and field surface, 3D grass, and new player specific animations that showcase the personalities of each NFL player.
Franchise and Superstar Modes
o Franchise mode includes more than 100 new features and enhancements, including expanded rosters, an all-new rookie scouting system, a free-agent bidding system, and more.
- Thoughts: They haven’t made any MAJOR changes to franchise mode in quite a while, they say they added 100 new features but I want to see how many of those we could classify as major.
o In Superstar mode, fans can now control the growth of their superstar with an all-new progression system that allows you to earn skill points by participating in practice and games. More details on Franchise and Superstar modes will be released on May 16.
Dynamic Player Performance
o Dynamic Player Performance is an all-new feature that creates unprecedented realism as a player’s skills and confidence will rise and fall based on his performance throughout a game or in Franchise mode, just like the real NFL. No two players will play the same in Madden NFL 12, and more details will be revealed at the E3 Expo on June 6.
- Thoughts: This sounds really good though I could definitely see some issues with them being able to implement this in a way that is consistent. It seems like it could amp some players up too much and bring other players down too much, guess we will see.
Madden NFL Ultimate Team
o The perfect combination of Madden NFL Football, fantasy football, and trading cards comes to life in Madden NFL Ultimate Team. More information on how to earn, buy, auction, and trade players will be released on June 20.
o Online Communities will provide an all-new way for Madden NFL gamers to meet and play. More details will be released on July 25.