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Madden NFL 13 Cover Star Decided [UPDATE]

  • Posted on 25 April 12 at 23:53Permalink
    Plus a ton of new information on the gameplay changes

    It's a great time to be an NFL fan. The Draft is this weekend, Peyton Manning is on a new team, the Patriots lost the Super Bowl, and offseason workouts are almost underway to let us all forget about how boring baseball is. Like the long, grueling road ahead of two-a-days and cardio drills for NFL vets and rookies, the team at EA Tiburon has an equally difficult uphill battle. The last few Madden games haven't been reviewed very highly. Though there will always remain a feverish group of people that will buy the annual release no matter what (myself included), most people are growing weary of the series' inability to match the quality of NCAA Football's gameplay and presentation.

    Part of the problem has been that the series can't seem to ever build on its successes. There exists an unfortunate 'one step forward, two steps back' aspect of the franchise. Many of their features that are highlighted prominently also have been known to get axed from the series entirely just a year or a few years later, like QB vision and the halftime show with Alex Flanagan. Last year's addition to the series toned down the product placement, which was nice, but when linebackers still jump like olympians and cornerbacks still drop easy interceptions, something was still lacking in defensive AI.

    The presentation of the series has also been "revamped" every year for the better part of the decade, but with the new details emerging today, it seems the Madden team may finally be addressing these concerns and others too.

    EA announced a huge list of changes coming to the game this summer. Rather than discuss them all one by one, here's the full list.

    - This year, CBS' number-one commentary crew of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms anchor the game with more lines of dialogue. EA Tiburon promising non-stop banter that is situationally aware of the playoffs, big games, divisional games, etc.
    - Nantz and Simms appear in an in-booth cutscene before the game that includes stadium-specific backgrounds.
    - 200-plus 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.
    - Halftime features a new stats overlay, but there is no halftime show.
    - The game contains all the new Nike uniforms and alternates on the disc. Some of the unis may have to be unlocked via a code as they are released in real life.
    - Lighting changes based on the time of day occur per play instead of just at quarter breaks.
    - Madden NFL 13 features the improved high dynamic range lighting and motion blur of NCAA Football 13.
    "For the first time ever, CBS' varsity squad will handle the game's commentary."

    - 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.
    - Madden 13 integrates new pass trajectories and ball speeds to open up more areas of the field in the passing game.
    - 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.
    - Pump fakes are now directed toward specific receivers, occur faster, and contain specific animations when performed outside of the pocket.
    - 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. QBs even drop back automatically and set-up in the pocket if you don't touch the right analog stick after the snap.
    - To improve the receiving, more than 430 new catch animations have been included, 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.
    - The quarterbacks have new moves for avoiding the pass rush. A slowed down pocket speed give you more control when you're trying to not get sacked.
    - Tweaked play-action to include an abort command that cancels the animation for those situations where a defender is barreling in unabated. The play-action also unravels faster in general. Running backs should be better in blocking after the fake (as well as release for passes) and defenders will be faked out more by play-action.
    - 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.
    "Mark Sanchez doing what he does best."

    - 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.
    - EA promises enhanced AI playcalling for two-minute drill, goal line, clock draining, and red zone situations.

    Special teams coverage has been revamped to get rid of player clustering. Cover and lane logic, new formations, and better wedges on returns.
    Madden's control scheme is now synched up exactly with NCAA's.
    "Save your breath, you're not gonna catch him."

    Edit: Do you want to see some of these changes in action? Well, since the publication of this article, we have a trailer to show you that focuses on the presentation and gameplay improvements:

    As you can see, the list of changes is quite extensive and mirrors a lot of the changes we heard about for just a few weeks ago. Hopefully, they can be implemented successfully and we football fans will have ourselves a great sim for the upcoming season.

    Now the news many of you were waiting for. The cover athlete has been announced. The finals came down to Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton a.k.a. "Superman" and Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson a.k.a. "Megatron". And the winner is...

    Calvin Johnson!

    It's time to rethink your fantasy draft strategies. He said he isn't afraid of the "Madden Curse", but with an injury prone quarterback and having just signed a huge contract, Megatron already has a few strikes against him. It should be a fun season. Look for Madden NFL 13 on August 28th.
  • Posted on 25 April 12 at 23:58Permalink
    sweet congrats to Calvin Johnson aka megatron it is a huge honor to be the cover athlete on madden games
  • StevannoStevanno842,632
    Posted on 26 April 12 at 00:05Permalink
    MEGATRON!!! He can snap the curse!
  • Posted on 26 April 12 at 00:08, Edited on 26 April 12 at 00:09 by JoeyCartoonzPermalink
    Sucks to see this, I don't want Calvin Johnson injured, hes a good guy. :(
  • Posted on 26 April 12 at 00:10Permalink
    YESSSSS!!!!! I can draft Cammy Newt in FF this year with no worries...
  • Posted on 26 April 12 at 00:25Permalink
    Well, I hope he isn't injured too badly. The game itself is looking nice from the screenshots and the improvements also sound good. With this being the only sport I like and with American Football becoming absolutely massive in the UK during the past few years (especially regarding the Super Bowl, with local pubs / bars staying open until the early hours of the morning) I may be inclined to pick it up!
  • Posted on 26 April 12 at 00:28Permalink
    Megatron looks like he is trying to squeeze out a massive dump and he's using the ball as a pressure to assist in said squeezing. What i'm trying to say is....

  • Posted on 26 April 12 at 00:33Permalink
    Hustlinonradio said:
    Megatron looks like he is trying to squeeze out a massive dump and he's using the ball as a pressure to assist in said squeezing. What i'm trying to say is....

    The official box art has not yet been released. They will still have to do the photo shoot soon.
  • Posted on 26 April 12 at 00:46Permalink
    N0T PENNYS B0AT said:
    Hustlinonradio said:
    Megatron looks like he is trying to squeeze out a massive dump and he's using the ball as a pressure to assist in said squeezing. What i'm trying to say is....

    The official box art has not yet been released. They will still have to do the photo shoot soon.
  • N7RedeemedN7Redeemed105,525
    Posted on 26 April 12 at 01:45Permalink
    Glad Cam Newton didn't win because as a person he is an absolute tool. Calvin is a humble guy as well as my favorite player. If there is anyone who can break the "curse" it is Megatron.
    King of the Bottle Shooters
  • lidddliddd1,082,540
    Posted on 26 April 12 at 02:01Permalink
    Maddens back again in 2012
    put those other 24 shitty games on the shelf
    we know every damn year this game comes out
    but this years the best no question no doubt

    You can sprint this year! you know what im sayin?
    Custom throwing animations? WHATS THIS NEW GAME IM PLAYIN
    Kick off from 35, cuz thats a big deal!
    and now there's concussions OH shit just got real!

    thats all the new features... thats all they got...

    its better than ever!
  • Posted on 26 April 12 at 02:17Permalink
    Looking forward to the news of how kinect will be a part of madden
  • NastyMastaDaddyNastyMastaDaddy2,044,658
    Posted on 26 April 12 at 02:27Permalink
    The cover art for madden 13 they debuted on ESPN had kinect on it so that will be interesting.....NOT!
    Oh how I loathe thee completion percentage
  • Case Dang ItCase Dang It195,111
    Posted on 26 April 12 at 02:50Permalink
    Expecting a special Hall of Fame edition.
    Posted on 26 April 12 at 02:51Permalink
    I won't buy another Madden until they put the rewind feature back in. It was nice being able to redo a play after some kind of glitch happened or a cornerback/linbacker jumped 50 feet across the field to pick you off.
  • Jess StrykerJess Stryker1,077,298
    Posted on 26 April 12 at 02:57, Edited on 26 April 12 at 02:59 by Jess StrykerPermalink
    Good thing my draft strategy is unaffected. I never take WR early. And while I probably wouldn't draft him anyways, it's a shame I have to add Calvin Johnson to my Do Not Draft list. I was hoping Peyton Hillis would break the curse last year, but that backfired on me. Never again.

    Also, couldn't help but laugh on the rip against Mark Sanchez. And to think. He won't even be handing the ball off all year. Just a matter of time before Timmy gets the ball in New York.
  • Posted on 26 April 12 at 03:05Permalink
    I can now say I don't like this author. I am a fan of the Patriots and Baseball. Anyway I really like the changes. The commentators are great and I wasn't expecting the Nike changes to go through since there wasn't any evidence in the Screenshots. Many more animations and gameplay changes should make this the best Madden yet. I'm looking forward to the game and the season.
  • Posted on 26 April 12 at 03:13Permalink
    Can I finally be a punter or kicker in superstar/my player mode?

    I want that more than anything else. Don't judge me!
    How much for the whole kitten kaboodle?
  • KanjiKokaKanjiKoka266,504
    Posted on 26 April 12 at 03:32Permalink
    Detroit stand up!!

    Job & A Social Life, achievements most gamers refuse to earn...therefore, their ratios are high.
  • Posted on 26 April 12 at 04:01Permalink
    I prefer baseball to football any day of the week. This looks and sounds promising so I will keep an eye on it.
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