Madden NFL 18 Retail Impressions

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Old 08-23-2017, 09:35 AM   #145
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Re: Madden NFL 18 Retail Impressions

Originally Posted by Skyboxer
I was really excited about the 3 modes this year as I thought that would eliminate these types of issues.
Hopefully EA tunes it rather quickly.. IF they tune it.

I like a lot about the game especially having new passing system.
I've seen new animations and the game looks GREAT.
Just a needed tune or 2 and I'd be very happy.
Bummer that 's this true about zone, especially since the gamechanger that brought the issue to the forefront earlier this month, after getting retail build, stated that gamechanger visit version was fine. EA's reaction or non reaction to this after Friday will be a tell. Skyboxer: is this your biggest issue with game?
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Old 08-23-2017, 09:48 AM   #146
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Re: Madden NFL 18 Retail Impressions

Originally Posted by l8knight1
Bummer that 's this true about zone, especially since the gamechanger that brought the issue to the forefront earlier this month, after getting retail build, stated that gamechanger visit version was fine. EA's reaction or non reaction to this after Friday will be a tell. Skyboxer: is this your biggest issue with game?
Yes it is. Even AI qb play, while not perfect, is better. I've had plays where they've moved around and even took off. There are still times they just take a sack but overall I can live with that.
Everything else is manageable for me. .
Game looks great also.
So hopefully we get a tune soon.
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Old 08-23-2017, 10:21 AM   #147
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Re: Madden NFL 18 Retail Impressions

Hopefully I'm wrong, but I don't think that the zones can be addressed in a tuner, so it is probably early/mid September before we see a patch for it. Having their high profile competitive players complaining about it will expedite things though.
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Old 08-23-2017, 11:13 AM   #148
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Re: Madden NFL 18 Retail Impressions

Originally Posted by Armor and Sword
This is after 2 full games in CFM Default All-Pro on the first game and in the second game all I did was click up fatigue from 50 to 60.

1) Game is flat out gorgeous on 4K PS4 Pro. Just really smooth, menus are lighting fast and responsive and not that slog we had for a while (since 13 to be frank).

2) Physics feel a lot better. Player weight, momentum in the running game, dragging tacklers, tackles feel violent as well. Laid the wood a few times with the hit stick to jar some balls loose. And you can feel and hear the hits this year.

3) Running game is excellent and earned. I love it.

4) WR/DB interactions are much improved and drag routes are not always automatic

5) Ratings do matter more on match-ups. Coaching adjustments.....what took you so long? They make an impact and can change the tide of a game. I hope and pray the CPU really does use them as well....but we will never truly know will we......

6) QB inaccuracy feels good....can use a little tweak IMO to be more unforgiving though and balance completion %'s

7) New commentary about games around the league is a much needed feature and a nice touch to make the league feel a little more alive.

8) CPU off season free agency logic looks improved. I saw some very nice players changing teams and it was good to see big name free agents move to new teams. Draft logic looked improved as well.


1) CPU QB AI and play calling exactly like last year. This is a massive legacy issue now. If they don't commit to improving AI a lot, this is my last Madden purchase for the foreseeable future. Sliders can not nor will ever fix this. And CPU AI needs to be really looked at for us who do not play online!!! Otherwise the game will be dead to me after this cycle. I am really getting fed up with the lack of care into looking at playcalling and QB AI on the CPU level. We are the pioneer Madden gamers who enabled this game to become what it is today. And we continue to be the ones spending our money on it. Yet the AI is still......sub-par. It really is infuriating to me. I am probably one of the most positive sports gamers here on OS.....I know how to work with what I got and have fun with it. But two straight years of this type of QB AI is unacceptable. It is a fundamental flaw in that it is the most important position on the field and the AI is inept at it. I have to neuter myself with multiple house rules to play the AI.....and with games like The Show, NBA 2K hell even NHL......I don't. I can play the CPU and get a good challenge without compromising the way I play. I can't do that with Madden. And quite frankly it has been this way since the beginning. I figured hey they made 3 different playing settings....but all they did was call last years game simulation mode and made the real changes to the online players. I get it. MUT is huge. Online leagues are great. But the offline gamer has been left in the cold and this is to me.....a slap in the face. AI is critical to offline franchise gameplay on and off the field. Off the field they made some improvements. But if the on-field gameplay is meh.....who cares about off the field. It won't matter.

Really....that is the big con but it is a huge one.

If offline players don't have a good AI opponent.....the game looses it's luster fast. Somehow I managed to play two full cycles (16 and 17) and had a blast. But I am sitting here playing 18.....and this time I saying.....not this again. Can I really play this game for another cycle in this state with the AI? I actually pondered that after finishing my second game and was streaming (sorry to my audience but I was in vent mode this morning). I pondered returning this game today. Because although I love the improvements as stated above, the core soul of the game for me is the CPU AI and playing against them.....and they are exactly the same....no improvements were made. And yes......I have played hundreds of games between 16 and 17....so it was easy to spot this in 2 full games. I am not sugar coating this. The AI is exactly the same as 17 on the field.

2) Fatigue seems to be non existent right now even on 60 playing 9 minute no runoff. I will test higher values and even longer quarter lengths, but auto subs do not work....they simply don't. If I don't create my opponents coach and do formation subs with RB's their primary back will get 25-35 carries easy and the back/up or rotational RBBC guy will be left in the dust. So that is fixable.....but this year I have not seen WR's, LB's CB's subbed yet.....at all. So this is a new issue....fatigue is either not working for some reason and they know it and it needs a patch, or it was totally neutered.

3) On simulation mode in CFM.....penalties are non existent at default slider values. 2 full games and 0 flags on the CPU.....Zero.

4) Injuries - We pounded the sand on why we don't get timely and immersive injury updates since they removed the sideline reporter on 17. It is even worse now on 18 because while we have off-ball injuries (thank you EA.....finally), I have to pause the game after every injury time out banner that flashes, because 95% of the time you don't tell me in the broadcast who got hurt!!! It is a huge part of what you see on Sunday....but it is glossed over like nothing happened. So I have to pause and check the injury tab in the menu. Kills immersion during the game and the broadcast feel. Every now and then they show who was hurt and who replaced them if it is a QB or RB (all I have seen so far)......but 95% of the injuries are a mystery unless you pause and check for yourself. Come on guys. Huge oversight yet again.

So out of the box......with 1.01 patch installed (auto installed for digital copies, I have a physical disc)

6.5 out of 10

Huge letdown with AI, almost no penalties on simulation mode on default. Lack of injury news in game to showcase your newest feature with off ball injuries.

2 steps forward......yet still we are stuck in the mud with CPU AI on the field. The game made zero progress in that department.....and that is the biggest thing it needs to improve and fix to keep me around. Unless it truly happens?

My last Madden for the foreseeable future.

Well......I am going to test things all week.....turn some knobs, and hopefully get the game in my wheelhouse with some minor slider adjustments.

Default All-Pro on simulation mode......pure lipstick and semantics IMO. It is a huge letdown.

I am calling it like I see it.
Amazingly and perfectly said Armor

This post along, with one deu22ces had, really stand out to me. About the state of the game. And EA.

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Old 08-23-2017, 11:24 AM   #149
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Re: Madden NFL 18 Retail Impressions

I have to make the case that I feel that Arcade mode is the way to go.

If we go WAY back to past Madden's like the good ones
Madden 2005 and Madden 12 those share a lot with madden 18's arcade mode and to be honest make the game pretty decent
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Old 08-23-2017, 11:32 AM   #150
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Re: Madden NFL 18 Retail Impressions

Originally Posted by Tomba
I have to make the case that I feel that Arcade mode is the way to go.

If we go WAY back to past Madden's like the good ones
Madden 2005 and Madden 12 those share a lot with madden 18's arcade mode and to be honest make the game pretty decent
Can you do arcade mode in franchise mode?

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Old 08-23-2017, 11:41 AM   #151
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Re: Madden NFL 18 Retail Impressions

Amazing what 24 hours can do.

So let's talk about M18 some more now that I have had some serious playing time in CFM (offline).

15 minute quarters
20 second Accelerated Clock

Adjusted some sliders (will not talk about that here in impressions) as well as penalty sliders.

So.....yeah the game is playing a very solid game of football. Which if you read between the lines in my first impression I said. I still say this is an upgraded/better tuned version of 17 at it's heart and that is not a bad thing at all. But I am seeing the Frostbite engine providing us with some awesome things.

1) Player weight/physics - The more I play the more I appreciate this. Big backs feel like big backs. Gronk is really Gronk. The physicality of the NFL can be seen, heard and felt with the frostbite engine. Which leads to my next point

2) Tackling - Wow. I looooooove tackling this year. When you lay the wood with the hit stick this year....my goodness. It is NFL brutality at it's finest. Please leave this alone. The hits are amazing this year. Also the animations are lights out. Some sick tackle animations. Ball carriers dragging tacklers....wrap up tackles are great. Really great job on this EA Tiburon.

3) The Running game is the best it has ever been - Blocking as well as downfield blocking has been greatly improved. Patience and good stick skills will lead to great results. I am finding however that run blocking on default is slightly OP and am working on this. Jukes and spins are amazing and work. Last year you were stuck in the mud. Again a tuned area of the game that greatly is improved over 17.

4) Defense - So I play a strict no switch from the defensive cam style of play. So whomever I choose pre-play I remain with that player throughout the play till the whistle blows. This add's a huge layer of difficulty and strategy. This year you can't let the player just go to their assignment (except DL) and then take control. You need to control him from the moment the ball is snapped. I love that they did this. It makes execution of your assignment critical. I use to get lulled into allowing the CPU move my player then just press a button to swat, pick off or tackle. Now I need to strafe and move the sticks....I feel more involved and I love the new challenge. Great little thing that was added. WR/DB interactions have been tuned better and look great. Crossing routes with high level CB's are not automatic completions anymore. Playing as a CB is really tough, but highly rewarding.

5) Coaching Adjustments - Game changer!!! The pros and cons do play out, and staying on top of your adjustments is another layer of simulation that I am eating up. And they are not OP....nope. They work well and reward or hurt you. So happy they finally added this from the NCAA series and also expanded on them more.

6) QB AI - I was very critical about this. But now supposedly Fridays day 0 patch addressed this as well as zones. Now....I had a viewer of mine make a very astute observation that the statue standing QB happens only on 4 verticals and RB screen passes...and after playing a bunch of games....I noticed the same exact thing. Hopefully this was what they addressed. I still feel passionately that this needs to be upgraded though for Madden 19. In fact I think we all can agree CPU AI in terms of play calling and QB play needs a true overhaul moving forward for the sim head offline solo franchise player.

7) Commentary/Color - they built upon last years new team and they sound even better this year. Lot's of new lines, and I love the around the league nuggets that Brandon Gaudin chimes in with. A great immersion touch.

8) Off season logic - absolutely improved in various sims I ran. Free agency was far more robust than previous versions of the game, drafting logic much tighter as well. I am pleased with this!!!

9) Pre-Season sub logic and draft board - Very welcome additions this year.

10) Penalties - on default with 9 minute or higher quarters....it is not going to cut it. But some minor slider tweaking with penalty values and you will get a realistic game and have some game changing, turning point moments. A perfect example was a fantastic game I played yesterday (and for me a watershed moment playing with Madden 18 that had me relieved I had a solid game here in my hands) where I was down 24-7 at halftime Dolphins (Me) at Chargers (CPU). I cut the lead to 24-21, but the Chargers were driving and in the red zone. Rivers hit Melvin Gordon with a swing pass and he raced down the sideline for what was an apparent TD in the 4th quarter to put them up 31-21. But......yellow laundry was on the field. Holding offense, repeat 2nd down. The very next play Rivers drops back...feels the pressure and rolls to his right but Cam Wake then whipped his RT (Chargers RT was overwhelmed by him all game more on that) and crushed him jarring the ball loose!!! Dolphins recover!! We then go down the field and score to take a 28-24 lead!!!

Those are the moments I love. That is simulation football!!! That is what some slider adjustments can do.

I had a mindset to play default this year.....and I was distraught at what I saw...and was in a pissy mood...so my apologies about my scathing post (Impression) yesterday. I still feel though the game can and should have been better out of the box because of all the feedback we give....but I was pretty harsh. More than normal.

11) Ratings matter - Ok....so I am not putting a punter at QB to test this. I don't need to do that. I can tell you back up QB's mis-fire a lot more than starters, I can tell you that OL ratings matter BIG TIME!!!!!! It is so obvious. If you have a stud pass rusher up against a low rated tackle....it is going to be a long day for that guy and their QB (or yours for that matter). Besides me tuning CPU pass protection as well as human pass protection (sacks are a little OP here out of the box but it can be fixed as I already have seen great results in my slider testing) you must ADJUST!!!! Use your coaching adjustments to hold blocks longer (but you risk holding calls!!! AND I LOVE THIS!!!) make slide adjustments, IDENTIFY THE MIKE LB!!!! I love this new feature!!!!!

12) Kicking - I wish they got it back to out of the box on 17.....they did not. So we will slider this and see what we come up with to make FG's and punts tougher and reward ratings that are higher.

13) CPU AI with 55 plus yard FG's - So I am seeing an issue with bad AI trying ridiculously long FG's. So I am house ruling (I hope this is addressed via patch) that anytime the CPU attempts a 57 yard or longer FG and it is not to tie or win a game....I will not attempt to block it. Because IMO it is easy to get in there and get a cheap block. I can't stomach bad AI....and that is bad AI IMO.

14) QB Inaacuracy - It really is good this year with some slider tweaking. I love it. But if you are not using the passing controls at your disposal (I am not talking about target passing which is not ratings based at all) then you are missing out on potential mis-fired throws from the human QB. I am seeing CPU QB's mis passes. Legit over throws, wide passes etc. Better QB's obviously will be better. But I am seeing on average between 65-68% completion percentages per game. Some guys are worse, some are better. But it works really nice with the right slider adjustments.

15) Off ball injuries and injury tuning - spot on great this year!!! I am so happy about off ball injuries. Now if they would just get injury notification up to snuff and get a sideline reporter back down there to tell us about them!!!! DANIELLE BELLINI I MISS YOUR FINE ***!!!!

So after two full days and some labbing I can give you a far less "emotional" review.

7.5/10 is a very fair score for this game if you are primarily an offline franchise player. I felt 17 made more impactful strides but 18 cleaned up/tuned a lot of things. Legacy AI issues still fester though. And I hope this supposed patch Friday cleans some of that up.

I have not even touched Longshot, but I will embark on that this weekend as a break from slider testing and getting the game tuned to my taste.

But sliders are very responsive and tuned really well folks. Use them!!!!
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Last edited by Armor and Sword; 08-23-2017 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 08-23-2017, 11:49 AM   #152
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Re: Madden NFL 18 Retail Impressions

Originally Posted by GrayDawg
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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This is me exactly!!!

Cmon, EA step it up a notch!!

I've heard just enough to be excited about getting hands on it Friday. Plus as usual, my awesome fellow OS'rs, will all help each other to get this game running even better than 17!

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