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adembroski's Blog
Madden NFL 11 Gameplay Impressions 
Posted on August 11, 2010 at 03:16 PM.

So here we are... part II of the Ian Experiment. Lets see how its going.

Gameplay this year is a mixed bag, more than any other year. That's not necessarily an indictment of this year, as many other years weren't mixed bags because they were all-around terrible. Madden 10 was the start of something new, and I like the new direction. However, the problems this year are not in design, but execution.

I started by writing a "good" and "bad" section, but that didn't work because much of the bad ties in with the good. Locomotion is the best example.

Locomotion injects a realism into the way players move that I and other Madden players have wanted for years. Ever since it was ripped out of the game entering the XBox 360 era. This was the fundamental flaw that made nothing worth doing with previous versions, and now its rectified.

Or is it? While the running game has an amazing feel to it I've ever experienced in a video game, the defense seems to have been severely hampered. This is most apparent in coverage where players are even further held back by poor or slow decision making. The overall effect is an extremely offensive game in which the defense, frankly, sucks.

It sucks in pursuit, sucks in gap control, sucks in zone coverage, sucks in man coverage. It doesn't make bad decision; rather, it fails to make any decision at all at times. A pass to a receiver crossing through a zone will reveal an indecisive defender not reacting until the ball has been caught and the receiver is digging his cell phone out of his sock. He's probably calling the DB's girlfriend.

This does not seem to happen to the high end defenders. The very best make quick decisions and good plays on the ball. This leads me to believe that the issue is patchable, so we'll see where it goes. I'm extremely disappointed the Madden team did not choose to jip NCAA's Tune File system.

Real Assignment AI is the marketing line for the new run blocking system, and it plays as advertised. You will see flaws, but the more I look at them, the more I realize that often I'm running plays my team simply does not have the personnel to run. If you have big mauling guards, don't try to pull them. They wont get there in time. You can't run when you don't have the numbers at the point of attack. All this results in complaints that the running game is broken, when in reality, it's far more realistic than we have ever seen. You, as a player, must be responsible for getting yourself out of those bad calls.

A huge improvement in the passing game is the trajectory of the ball, one area that unfortunately did not carry over to NCAA. I feel more in control over the velocity of my passes than ever before, and sideline/corner/fade routes work properly.

This is helped by an amazing new catch debug tool that has done its job well. The variety and appropriateness of the catch animations have in and of themselves made passing more entertaining than ever before.

The feel and flow of offensive football in Madden 11 is better than ever. Defensively, however, the flaws are many and contribute to what feels like a late alpha release.
# 1 MizzacNYC @ Aug 12
How about the pre-snap menu revealing exactly what type of quick audible play you're calling to human opponents when playing side by side (not online). You can turn the pre-snap menu off but then you'll be basically calling quick audibles in the blind. Strategy Pad is alittle tough, but getting the hang of it...
# 2 jWILL253 @ Aug 14
Yeah, I agree on the running game. As real as ever...
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