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Madden NFL 18 Retail Impressions

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Old 08-22-2017, 06:20 PM   #113
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Re: Madden NFL 18 Retail Impressions

Was going to put this in the other thread but I feel like it fits here more.

What Works in the Passing Game

WR Screens. Lineman and receivers actually seem coherent when going out to block for them and they'll actually be set up well rather than just throwing out to a guy while the blockers shuffle in place and do nothing. I've had a wide variety of results out of them which is good but execution wise they are miles better in 18 than 17. Here's a couple that I really liked, one for a shorter gain and then one that I took to the house:

Spoiler


Spoiler


User scrambling. QB's no longer have the stuck in the mud feeling when trying to scramble. The faster QB's are probably more OP but it feels great with Alex Smith. It's not too easy but it's so much more viable than 17.

ID the Mike. It's been tough to use when using clock runoff at 15 simply because there isn't much time but when you use it and it works it feels really nice. If this leads to something like the CPU being able to disguise blitzes as well as being able to identify blitzes by using the hard count it could be even better.

A couple of smaller things I've seen as well are non-animation driven pass interference. I got called for PI on a play where the receiver came over the middle and I completely blocked his path as the ball was coming in and that was good to see, don't think it would have been called in 17. The other I'm not sure if it's actually a thing or not but it seems like receivers are a bit more aware of what's going on around them with routes sometimes. It's hard to explain but I've seen on some slants and crossing patterns when I've thrown the receiver will kind of sit in the open space rather and square up towards the ball rather than looking to run into coverage. I'm not sure if it's a QB thing or a receiver thing but it definitely seems different than 17.

What Doesn't Work in the Passing Game

Inaccuracies. Didn't really want to put this here but I expected a little bit more out of Simulation mode in this regard. It seems the same as 17 where QB's are uber accurate the vast majority of the time. That being said, it's nothing unexpected with how low QB accuracy has needed to be lowered in recent years so it's one of those things where it's working as intended but for simulation mode, I think it's a long way away from being where it should be. They happen and they're there but at default, I'd like to see there be way more than what I'm seeing.

CPU pocket awareness/movement and just AI QB in general. I've gone over this ad nauseam in the impressions and other threads. It's just not very good. When they do move it's not intelligently and they don't do it enough. If nobody is open they'll often hold the ball forever rather than taking chances or just throwing it away.

What Works in the Running Game

Just the running game in general. Running the ball has been really fun on All-Pro. I think it's a little bit too easy for my taste on default but it plays out really well IMO and there's a good variety of getting stuffed, chunk runs, and your average 3-8 yard gains. When everything lines up and does what they're supposed to and it works it feels even better. Short yardage could still use some work but overall I think the running game on both sides is the strongest part of the game. I will say though on All-Madden it's not nearly as fun. Maybe with settings it could be but from my experience it was nothing more than a ton of insta-sheds by CPU lineman but it is All Madden so take it for what it is. Here's a couple of runs that I've liked. Nothing special, just liked how they played out:

Spoiler


Spoiler


Spoiler


Balance/Fight. This is something I really disliked about 17. It seemed like everytime you ran into a blocker or got into someone the RB would go limp and just fall to the ground. It also seemed like they didn't fight very often for more yardage but in 18 I'm seeing it a lot more and when you get in behind guys they tend to stay on their feet way more often and you're not dead in the water the second it happens.

Ball carrier moves. There's probably going to be a lot of people calling them OP but I think they're fine. They actually work which is likely why they'll seem so OP but I like them on both sides of the ball. If you watched the screen above you can see how deadly they can be with quicker players. It is a bit frustrating when you get faked out as a user because there's nothing you can really do most of the time unless you're hit sticking which will cause a lot of misses. You can strafe but with as quickly and sudden as players can move it's not always a viable option.

Reach tackles feel nice on both sides of the ball. It's a lot better than 17 where you'd run right past guys and they wouldn't do anything. The animations are a little wonky and seem slower than everything else but all-in-all they're a nice addition and make the running game feel better.

Tackle battles seem far less invasive. It seems like I'm seeing less of them and I'm not noticing the jarring animation break that was so common in 17. It seems like it plays out more naturally and I haven't been anywhere close to as annoyed as I was with them in 17.

What Doesn't Work in the Running Game

Only thing I can think of is penetration/push from the DL. It seems like most negative plays are as a result of LB's or DB's shooting gaps and that more often than not play at the line is a stale mate. You don't ever see lineman getting penetration outside of the occassional insta-shed but they don't ever really win enough to blow up many plays. If you play on All-Madden though, decent DL will wreck games. I played the Bills and Marcel Dareus and Kyle Williams had 22 tackles between the two of them and it was impossible to run all game long.

What Works on Defense

Hit Stick. It finally seems a bit harder and more risk/reward. When I first started playing I was really hit stick happy and paid for it by constantly getting faked out by jukes and spins. It's still useful but seems harder to line up and it's been the most effective for me in the secondary for hitting receivers as they catch the ball and trying to dislodge it.

Run defense. Pursuit seems good the majority of the time and LB's are quick to react. It's also nice seeing lineman shed blocks and make tackles while engaged. There have been a few times where I've been playing as a safety and been sucked into the box and missed my gap assignment and paid for it and that feels good. Tackling can be a bit questionable at times and getting faked out can occasionally lead to huge runs but overall run defense feels good.

Spoiler


What Doesn't Work on Defense

Coverage. It just feels like a crapshoot most of the time. Having a guy like Marcus Peters and constantly seeing him get torched and/or not ever be part of the play is frustrating. Press almost always seem like a loss, even on subpar receivers. There's also just far too much separation all around whether it be man or zone. The windows to throw passes are usually quite large and in man there's usually too much separation to create interactions on defense. The CPU's plays and reacts better than the users but not by much. Players in zone are often slow to react and don't always do what you'd expect them to do based on the coverage you call. The flats are usually wide open on most plays it seems. It also gets even worse when the CPU goes into hurry up.

Alignment. This compounds the above issue. It's already hard enough for players to cover when they're lined up properly but there are often times where they're not. Guys in man won't lineup over their assignment and most commonly with the TE will be on the other side of the formation. Not having strong and weakside linebackers often gives the TE a big advantage being covered by a run-stuffing LB.

What Works in General

Injuries. I've seen more than a few OL get injured so that's been really cool even if it's at random. Have had more than a few injuries that have lasted a quarter or two as well which is nice. I've played the predominant amount of my games on 50 and that seems like a good spot for when I start a CFM.

What Doesn't Work in General

CPU Playcalling. They're still tied to 20 plays per situation and the vast majority of teams are loaded with four verticals on 3rd and long. I've also seen a few teams that run Curl Flats a lot which also often results in sacks. It's just not enough. Having the AI only have ~4% of their entire playbook available at a given time is just not enough. If it was dynamic and changed game to game then that would be one thing but being that shallow and static with something that has such a huge impact on the game is something that desperately needs to be improved. Some games it's good, some games it's really bad. Overall it just needs to be a lot better.
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Old 08-22-2017, 06:25 PM   #114
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Re: Madden NFL 18 Retail Impressions

PS4 Pro

Game definitely feels different from the past. Turned Game Speed to slow like I usually do but that's not really needed this year. Guys don't fly around super fast on normal. Passing seems too easy for both user & cpu so i'll have to play around with those sliders.

But one of the questions I had was why does Rex Burkhead's body look african american in this game? I thought they made him black until I went around to his face and noticed that looked a little more normal.
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Old 08-22-2017, 06:26 PM   #115
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Re: Madden NFL 18 Retail Impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskins04
Not sure on this injury system they implemented with off the ball injuries.

I'm the Browns and playing against Steelers and I'm currently on defense trying to stop Big Ben, and I just got a notification of an injury to my Tight End. Like the injury just happened and it says:

S.DeValve - TE - Hip Pointer - Out for Game


But I wasn't even playing on offense. I also checked the replay to see if maybe he was playing on the defensive side somehow and he wasn't.

WTF lol. Do off the ball injuries happen OFF THE FIELD too??? What did he fall over a Gatorade jug on the sideline?


I haven't seen that one yet. That said I've seen the notification like that pop up several plays after it's happened.


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Old 08-22-2017, 06:27 PM   #116
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Re: Madden NFL 18 Retail Impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Armor and Sword
As always....sliders are my friend.



Making some nice progress already. Will give some more impressions later tonight.



I am going to focus on the positives of this game. Because I am having fun.....but it takes some overlooking to do so.

You'll come through like you always do.

Personally I'm having fun with the game albeit in an incredibly small sample size.


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Old 08-22-2017, 06:39 PM   #117
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Re: Madden NFL 18 Retail Impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Armor and Sword
As always....sliders are my friend.

Making some nice progress already. Will give some more impressions later tonight.

I am going to focus on the positives of this game. Because I am having fun.....but it takes some overlooking to do so.
Great impressions today one of the best I have read so far. Took me some time to get over the let down from this game but I have found that the more games I played the more I appreciated the positive aspects of this game. For me A.I. and play call improvements are at the top of my list for Madden 19. No more excuses. Time for EA to get it done.

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Old 08-22-2017, 06:41 PM   #118
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Re: Madden NFL 18 Retail Impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by HakeemDaDream
Just start your cfm. The dude that started the rumor in regards to a Day 0 patch isn't even an employee for EA. Unless you hear something specific from a developer, then I'd just dive right in and have fun with the game.
You're right. I gotta look at the positives. With the right sliders this game will be nice
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Old 08-22-2017, 06:47 PM   #119
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Re: Madden NFL 18 Retail Impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkrich83
Not sure if it's the version but I went from EA Access version to Retail version on PS4 plus and I feel the exact opposite. Game feels so much smoother since Access. Haven't tried full retail on XB1S yet.


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It seems the ea access 10 hour free play, you don't get to enjoy the day 1 patch. That's a shame
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Old 08-22-2017, 06:56 PM   #120
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Re: Madden NFL 18 Retail Impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeuceDouglas
Was going to put this in the other thread but I feel like it fits here more.

What Works in the Passing Game

WR Screens. Lineman and receivers actually seem coherent when going out to block for them and they'll actually be set up well rather than just throwing out to a guy while the blockers shuffle in place and do nothing. I've had a wide variety of results out of them which is good but execution wise they are miles better in 18 than 17. Here's a couple that I really liked, one for a shorter gain and then one that I took to the house:

Spoiler


Spoiler


User scrambling. QB's no longer have the stuck in the mud feeling when trying to scramble. The faster QB's are probably more OP but it feels great with Alex Smith. It's not too easy but it's so much more viable than 17.

ID the Mike. It's been tough to use when using clock runoff at 15 simply because there isn't much time but when you use it and it works it feels really nice. If this leads to something like the CPU being able to disguise blitzes as well as being able to identify blitzes by using the hard count it could be even better.

A couple of smaller things I've seen as well are non-animation driven pass interference. I got called for PI on a play where the receiver came over the middle and I completely blocked his path as the ball was coming in and that was good to see, don't think it would have been called in 17. The other I'm not sure if it's actually a thing or not but it seems like receivers are a bit more aware of what's going on around them with routes sometimes. It's hard to explain but I've seen on some slants and crossing patterns when I've thrown the receiver will kind of sit in the open space rather and square up towards the ball rather than looking to run into coverage. I'm not sure if it's a QB thing or a receiver thing but it definitely seems different than 17.

What Doesn't Work in the Passing Game

Inaccuracies. Didn't really want to put this here but I expected a little bit more out of Simulation mode in this regard. It seems the same as 17 where QB's are uber accurate the vast majority of the time. That being said, it's nothing unexpected with how low QB accuracy has needed to be lowered in recent years so it's one of those things where it's working as intended but for simulation mode, I think it's a long way away from being where it should be. They happen and they're there but at default, I'd like to see there be way more than what I'm seeing.

CPU pocket awareness/movement and just AI QB in general. I've gone over this ad nauseam in the impressions and other threads. It's just not very good. When they do move it's not intelligently and they don't do it enough. If nobody is open they'll often hold the ball forever rather than taking chances or just throwing it away.

What Works in the Running Game

Just the running game in general. Running the ball has been really fun on All-Pro. I think it's a little bit too easy for my taste on default but it plays out really well IMO and there's a good variety of getting stuffed, chunk runs, and your average 3-8 yard gains. When everything lines up and does what they're supposed to and it works it feels even better. Short yardage could still use some work but overall I think the running game on both sides is the strongest part of the game. I will say though on All-Madden it's not nearly as fun. Maybe with settings it could be but from my experience it was nothing more than a ton of insta-sheds by CPU lineman but it is All Madden so take it for what it is. Here's a couple of runs that I've liked. Nothing special, just liked how they played out:

Spoiler


Spoiler


Spoiler


Balance/Fight. This is something I really disliked about 17. It seemed like everytime you ran into a blocker or got into someone the RB would go limp and just fall to the ground. It also seemed like they didn't fight very often for more yardage but in 18 I'm seeing it a lot more and when you get in behind guys they tend to stay on their feet way more often and you're not dead in the water the second it happens.

Ball carrier moves. There's probably going to be a lot of people calling them OP but I think they're fine. They actually work which is likely why they'll seem so OP but I like them on both sides of the ball. If you watched the screen above you can see how deadly they can be with quicker players. It is a bit frustrating when you get faked out as a user because there's nothing you can really do most of the time unless you're hit sticking which will cause a lot of misses. You can strafe but with as quickly and sudden as players can move it's not always a viable option.

Reach tackles feel nice on both sides of the ball. It's a lot better than 17 where you'd run right past guys and they wouldn't do anything. The animations are a little wonky and seem slower than everything else but all-in-all they're a nice addition and make the running game feel better.

Tackle battles seem far less invasive. It seems like I'm seeing less of them and I'm not noticing the jarring animation break that was so common in 17. It seems like it plays out more naturally and I haven't been anywhere close to as annoyed as I was with them in 17.

What Doesn't Work in the Running Game

Only thing I can think of is penetration/push from the DL. It seems like most negative plays are as a result of LB's or DB's shooting gaps and that more often than not play at the line is a stale mate. You don't ever see lineman getting penetration outside of the occassional insta-shed but they don't ever really win enough to blow up many plays. If you play on All-Madden though, decent DL will wreck games. I played the Bills and Marcel Dareus and Kyle Williams had 22 tackles between the two of them and it was impossible to run all game long.

What Works on Defense

Hit Stick. It finally seems a bit harder and more risk/reward. When I first started playing I was really hit stick happy and paid for it by constantly getting faked out by jukes and spins. It's still useful but seems harder to line up and it's been the most effective for me in the secondary for hitting receivers as they catch the ball and trying to dislodge it.

Run defense. Pursuit seems good the majority of the time and LB's are quick to react. It's also nice seeing lineman shed blocks and make tackles while engaged. There have been a few times where I've been playing as a safety and been sucked into the box and missed my gap assignment and paid for it and that feels good. Tackling can be a bit questionable at times and getting faked out can occasionally lead to huge runs but overall run defense feels good.

Spoiler


What Doesn't Work on Defense

Coverage. It just feels like a crapshoot most of the time. Having a guy like Marcus Peters and constantly seeing him get torched and/or not ever be part of the play is frustrating. Press almost always seem like a loss, even on subpar receivers. There's also just far too much separation all around whether it be man or zone. The windows to throw passes are usually quite large and in man there's usually too much separation to create interactions on defense. The CPU's plays and reacts better than the users but not by much. Players in zone are often slow to react and don't always do what you'd expect them to do based on the coverage you call. The flats are usually wide open on most plays it seems. It also gets even worse when the CPU goes into hurry up.

Alignment. This compounds the above issue. It's already hard enough for players to cover when they're lined up properly but there are often times where they're not. Guys in man won't lineup over their assignment and most commonly with the TE will be on the other side of the formation. Not having strong and weakside linebackers often gives the TE a big advantage being covered by a run-stuffing LB.

What Works in General

Injuries. I've seen more than a few OL get injured so that's been really cool even if it's at random. Have had more than a few injuries that have lasted a quarter or two as well which is nice. I've played the predominant amount of my games on 50 and that seems like a good spot for when I start a CFM.

What Doesn't Work in General

CPU Playcalling. They're still tied to 20 plays per situation and the vast majority of teams are loaded with four verticals on 3rd and long. I've also seen a few teams that run Curl Flats a lot which also often results in sacks. It's just not enough. Having the AI only have ~4% of their entire playbook available at a given time is just not enough. If it was dynamic and changed game to game then that would be one thing but being that shallow and static with something that has such a huge impact on the game is something that desperately needs to be improved. Some games it's good, some games it's really bad. Overall it just needs to be a lot better.
👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 This is an excellent post and review of the game. Good work Deuce!!
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