This year Madden NFL 25 is all about control. EA Sports opens up its popular Playbook Series with “Run Free”, which as you might imagine is all about what you can do when you are on the move. The first feature up is the precision modifier, which allows for both the execution of new moves, as well as some important refinements to old favorites. Tapping the precision modifier button (LT/L2) causes a quick stutter step, which is sometimes all you need to move a defender out of position and blow right by. Holding the button slows your player down, allowing for more precise moves that will leave the defense flailing at empty space, basically putting your foot in the ground and going hard.
How does it work? First off, the trusty juke. For years, Madden NFL players have been leading a defender in one direction then, BOOM, after a quick change of direction, they cut back across the field. While that technique sometimes works, speedy defenders can quickly recover and make plays. The new precision modifier adds nuance to the juke, changing the move from a simple change of direction to a stutter step with a hard cut, a jump cut to find the hole, and more. While the old-fashioned juke is still a great weapon against linemen and linebackers, you now have an additional arrow in your quiver for those pesky defensive backs.
If you prefer brute strength to quickness, the precision modifier also makes the stiff-arm more formidable than ever. Tapping A/X without the precision modifier leads to a quick thrust of the arm aimed at the opponent’s chest or shoulder. This is a viable option against smaller players, but a big, bruising linebacker will likely still wrap you up and make a tackle. However, adding the precision modifier can give you the additional force and accuracy to pop the defender and provide the extra step you need.
Run Free and the precision modifiers reach into all elements of running the ball, even offering variations on dives and hurdles. Furthermore, players with high attribute ratings (over 90) will be able to unleash even more nuanced moves, making them even more difficult to bring down. Before you say it, EA Sports has just focused on offense this year, they’ve paid some attention to us defensive minded folks too. They’ve added more powerful defensive pursuit and tackling behaviors that we will learn more about in the coming weeks.
To take things to another level, combo moves have been created to escape sticky defensive situations. For instance, if a linebacker is coming in from the side of a ballcarrier and a safety is coming down hard. Utilizing the new combos, you could make a back cut to make the linebacker miss, then spin away from the safety and into the open field. In many ways, the precision modifier and the new combo system create a game within the game, letting you see the defense in a whole new way. Depending on how well these are implemented, offensive minded players may have to completely reinvent the way they play. Again, just when it seems they are favoring the offense, they show us that they are really trying to balance things out this year. Madden NFL 25 will feature a new visual stamina meter that will drain as you execute moves. Juking, spinning and trucking will get you out of trouble, but they will also makes you tired. Consequently, if you run out of stamina during a play, you’ll see your player slow down. Once you’re out of gas, any additional moves you try will be much less effective.Stamina refills after each play, but there is a cumulative effect over the course of the game. So if you’re running the ball a lot, don’t expect your running back to be as fresh when you’re trying to pound the rock in the fourth. In fact, he might be down to half-stamina or less depending on how hard you’ve been pushing him. You see a lot of NFL teams going to a two-back look for this exact reason, so it may be something you want to keep in mind for your Madden NFL team as well From a balancing standpoint I like this move but I can see it not being tweaked quite right when the game first comes out, meaning either it will be overpowered or underpowered.
So that’s it for the first Madden NFL 25 Playbook but stay tuned there will be plenty more revealed soon. Until then, check out the video below which shows off a little bit of what you’ve just read.