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Madden NFL 13: What We Learned Today Stuck
Posted on April 25, 2012 at 03:29 PM.

The New Broadcast Team is promising:
Jim Nantz and Phil Simms are leaps and bounds better than Gus Johnson and Chris Collinsworth. Call me a stickler for good old school commentary, but Johnson wears on you over time. With Madden's commentary last year, he was downright atrocious because EA made him that way. With situational aware commentary this year, it's very possible we might finally have commentary that'll suck you in rather than bring you out of your NFL experience on your TV screen.

New Presentation Elements: The new HUD looks promising, we're slowly seeing Madden become a presentation powerhouse. We'll see if it can match the other top titles in our genre with time.

It Looks Prettier: We say this every single year -- but the new game should always look better than the last one. Our own Steve Noah says it "is not even close" between Madden 12 and 13 in terms of looks. That's good enough for me.

New Cut-Scenes: This means things won't just dynamically happen out there on the field, but will rather be canned over time. This also means that no matter what happens, the presentation will ALWAYS feel stale after awhile. I'll wait to see how it's fully implemented, but new cut scenes to me says "a new batch of sure to be repetitive scenes."

Madden Takes NCAA's Passing Game a Bit Further: The numbers being spewed out on new passing trajectories and the lead-pass mechanic seem to indicate Madden has taken NCAA's passing game a step further. This will probably result in a much more fluid playing game than NCAA. All the other things (receivers icons not showing up until they're ready to catch, read and react defenders) are in Madden NFL 13 just like they are in NCAA 13. Kudos to the Tiburon guys for addressing one of my chief concerns about EA football, let's hope it works.

The Dropbacks are Good: Especially if tinkering with it yourself will result in a sack if you try to bail too early. A lot of people have expressed concern about the AI taking control away from you, but I personally believe the ONLY way for a more accurate simulation of football is to strike a balance between the game forcing sim and you having control. Otherwise, people's play styles will tend to result in a wide-variety of situations real-football can't account for (dropping back 20 yards while rolling out being one example.) There are simply some situations where the AI should take control and deviating out of that should result in a negative play.

AI Conserving Time: I like this. Basically, the AI will play to not lose when it is up big at the end of the game, like an NFL team does. This will probably make those wild comebacks harder to achieve since your AI opponents will be playing more like an NFL team should be. Hence, more realism.

Madden and NCAA Share the Exact Same Engine: Remember when people held the false idea that NCAA had last year's Madden engine? Wait, you mean you still believe that? No, these games are devloped side-by-side now. Madden's gameplay announcements are a lot like NCAA's, so there's not much groundbreaking info to be had here.

There's something big coming: We know it by the Gameplay Part 2 blog scheduled to be released on June 4. I'm not sure what it is, but I do know that it's likely to change the way we play Madden. Hopefully it's for the best.

Final Thoughts

Last year, I was pretty down on Madden the whole year. I wanted to review the game even lower than I did, and a lot of people seemed upset I gave Madden a 7.5, which still stood for 'good'. Truly, I initially rated Madden a 7 after considering 6.5 -- but a few things tipped the scale in Madden's favor. This year, I'm a bit more optimistic because a lot of what I've said is wrong with the series (passing game being the biggest) seems to be addressed on some level this year. Thus, I'm somewhat optimistic this year about the game.

Of course, that optimism comes laced with a heavy hint of skepticism.

My Current Madden Outlook: Looking Somewhat Promising
# 1 cuttingteeth @ Apr 25
Please, let there be teambuilder...haha.

Obviously, the best news is that both games run on the same engine, so that basically tells us that we will absolutely not have trouble importing draft classes (or, either I just jinxed it all).
# 2 DJ @ Apr 25
I'm glad they finally decided to make all the controls the same, seeing as how the games are developed side-by-side. With that said, Madden needs to have the Player-Lock option from NCAA for defense in its game this year.

I'm very happy the audio team has been changed. It was terrible last year.
# 3 jsquigg @ Apr 25
Jim Nantz and Phil Simms are the WORST play by play team in real life (for football, Nantz is ok in other sports). They could have just implemented the broadcast sounds better with who they had. Oh well.
# 4 Dynastium @ Apr 25
Good to see Madden taking a step in the right direction. Anything is better than Gus Johnson and Chris Collinsworth. I owuld have preferred Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, but Jim Nantz and Phil Simms is so much better than what we have.
# 5 Eski33 @ Apr 25
I watched the Podcast and I was beyond impressed. The new presentation features and the read and react defense look awesome. Simms and Nantz has to be the best sounding play-by-play in any Madden to date.
# 6 HARTSTOPPER @ Apr 25
They are going on year what, 6 with the ESPN license and we still get absolutely freaking no representation from ESPN. I'm starting to think they struck the deal with ESPN JUST so 2K couldn't use ESPN in All Pro Football or something. This is beyond ridiculous. I know NCAA has NCAA integrated into the fold (finally), what's the hold up Madden?
# 7 kingsofthevalley @ Apr 25
You forgot to mention the new dynamic NFL films camera angles which will make a huge difference in live cutscenes man.
# 8 balljonesjr @ Apr 25
The new catch tackle thing seems cool I wonder if it's timed wrong will I get a helmet to helmet penalty… im still super excited for madden this year more than ever!
# 9 bigdoc85 @ Apr 25
Unless there is a nice $20+ pre-order credit incentive from Amazon, I'll probably still be waiting for the reviews and black friday. I traded-in Madden 11 and 12 soon after getting them so I need to be convinced by the final product.
# 10 Retropyro @ Apr 26
One thing in the podcast was on the main menu it said "Career Mode: Be a Player or Coach". Really hoping the be a coach is similar to how Dynasty works in NCAA.
# 11 pHiLKizer @ Apr 27
EA does this every year, they promise golden unicorns and we end up with bug-infested imps. New Presentation yada yada...New passing game..blah blah. When the game drops, we'll be dissecting it to atoms complaining about how it still doesn't measure up to NFL 2K5.

I'll start to care again when PS4 and Xbox 720/Loop/Next (or whatever they are going to call it) comes out to where we can TRULY expect new graphics and the possibility of new gameplay.
# 12 timisone @ Apr 28
What I think the license issue comes down to is that the NFL is so big it doesn't care about the product that EA puts out. Where the Nba and other sports do care cause they have smaller fan bases and need the advisertising. The reason I watch the NBA is because of NBA2k. If I had to use Madden as a reason, I would use it not watch the NFL.
# 13 Austin97 @ Apr 30
I've always wanted to be able to see the comentators and now with Madden 13. I'm glad that they are getting rid of Chris and Gus. Gus really grows on you after you play for a hour or more.
I also want to see if Career Mode:Be A Coach? Is any good. I hope that it's similar to Dynasty Mode in NCAA.
# 14 Austin97 @ Apr 30
I agree with balljonesjr. I will be really mad if they bring all the helmet to helmet crap into Madden.
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