hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Madden NFL 13

Preview: Going deep in Madden NFL 13

11:30 AM on 05.01.2012 // Keith Swiader
  @keithswiader

With summer almost here, I'm sure die-hard football fans are already packing their coolers and mixing their magical sauces in preparation of pre-season football... which starts in late August. But before any real pigskins fly in the NFL, the true kickoff for football season starts with the annual release of Madden NFL, allowing armchair quarterbacks to test their might and wits against their chest-painted brethren as chunks of salsa fly in the midst of the action.

With this year's installment, Madden NFL 13, EA is looking to offer a much more realistic presentation to the game, harping on the visual style and camera angles one would find in an actual broadcast. On top of that, the passing game has been given a buff, and the GameFlow play-picking mechanic looks to be more useful this time around.  

Oh, and if you're a fan who always thought play-action plays were useless, this year may finally fix that.

Madden NFL 13 (Xbox 360 [previewed], PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Wii)
Developer: EA Tiburon
Publisher: EA Sports
Release: August 28, 2012

Let's start with the upgraded passing options, as that's the bulk of the build I was playing. Those canned, sluggish animations from the past have now been removed, which not only gives you more control with the play but also makes the game run at a faster pace. No more are you waiting precious seconds for, say, a fake handoff; instead, the action happens much more quickly. This proves especially helpful when trying to perform the aforementioned play-action passes, which, in past games, would often result in a sack. That's not the case now: in many cases, the running back you fake the handoff to will now hang back and block for you, as opposed to running straight toward the line of scrimmage.

Say you're running a play-action play in the single-back formation. Previously, once the fake handoff was completed, you as the quarterback would be left alone in the backfield, open for a sack on either side. Now, with the new blocking route, you'll be protected in the pocket for a few seconds as you scan the field. Even better, if you see a blitz coming, you can now abort the play-action pass after the snap by pulling the right trigger to send your halfback into pass protection.

Faking the pass with certain receiver routes will cause the defense to act now, such as during the out-and-up "sluggo" route, where faking at the right time -- just before the receiver cuts -- could leave him wide open downfield.

If you've played a few games of Madden, you without a doubt have the instinct to hold the left stick down as you snap the ball to get away from the D-line. But while ending up 15-20 yards behind the line of scrimmage before passing may work in NFL Blitz, it means poor results in Madden. EA is looking to amend that playstyle this year by implementing a wide variety of one-, three-, five-, and seven-step automatic dropbacks that are tied to specific plays. Tiburon is hoping to teach players to stay in the pocket. It's an aspect that's still being worked on at this point, but having more time in the pocket doesn't sound like a bad thing.

You'll need that extra time scanning the field as well, because you can no longer send the ball to any player at any time. As in real football, receivers only start to expect a pass at a certain point in their route, so realistically, they won't be looking toward the quarterback immediately unless that's what their route calls for. In Madden 13, the button icons for each receiver will be dim if they are not yet expecting a pass. That's not to say you can't pass to them, however -- you still can, but you would then have to manually switch to that receiver and attempt a user catch. Odds are, though, the pass will end up at the receiver's back instead of his hands.

There are now different pass trajectories added to the ball, too. Where past games had either bullet, touch, and lob throws, there are now subtle differences in speed depending on the route. With the slant route, for example, the quarterback will now perform a quick pass, sans the stepping forward animation, right as the ball is snapped. After all, real QBs want to get rid of the ball as quickly as possible on slants.

The GameFlow feature introduced a few years ago, which auto-picks plays for the user, has seen important improvements. Situational playcalling is much better in Madden 13. In two-minute drills, it will no longer suggest Four Verticals (a Hail Mary-type play) all the time. The defense has also lost its psychic ability to read plays even before they happen. They will now react to what they see the offense do after the snap, as opposed to sort of already knowing that you're trying to do that up-and-in route.

The presentation overhaul rounded out the build I played, which features new elements such as improved replay camera angles, including the hanging wire cam above the action; pre-game introductions and chit-chat introducing the matchup; and motion blur in replays. Perhaps the biggest addition to the presentation is the dynamic lighting. No longer will a game starting at 1 PM still look like 1 PM three hours later; progressive lighting now has the sun and shadows move between plays, and you can now see the skies an afternoon game that ends at 8 PM getting realistically darker as time elapses.

Madden has had the reputation for some time now that each year's installment is the same as years past. While that may have been the case before, it seems like EA is attempting to make changes and adjustments to the game of pigskin that will provide a huge impact this year. The new passing options and abilities are major improvements, and we are inching closer to having a game on-par with a real broadcast thanks to the new presentation options.

August is a ways off, but it seems like the wait will be worth it.

Photo Gallery: (10 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys



Keith Swiader, Former Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure keithswiader Tips
Although Keith considers himself 'Destructoid's Man on the Streets of New York City,' it's actually a lie, as he lives closer to Long Island than anything. more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

extatix avatarextatix
Seems rather excessive for a 3ds game. (3ds xl for scale) [img]http://i.imgur.com/DwOtP0s.jpg?1[/img]
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
Tried the stealth approach for awhile, time to switch things up. *plants C4 everywhere* I'll probably toss one on the poor schmuck that delivers my copy of MGS V. For taking so long.
WryGuy avatarWryGuy
Just a quick update for folks. Phil/Mike Martin is off the streets and safe for the next month. Thanks to everyone who helped out. You can keep up to on the forums: http://www.outerheavenforums.com/showthread.php?41974-The-Save-a-Phil-Foundation
Script avatarScript
Watching Twin Peaks for the first time. Just yooou... aaaand IIII...
Perro avatarPerro
So the 3DS Dragon Quest VII remake is coming to mobile in Japan, so there's a chance that version will get ported over here. Not ideal but if we get it at all I'll be happy!
The Travisionist avatarThe Travisionist
I'm just waiting for "Mad Max: U Mad, Bro?"
gajknight avatargajknight
Put down the deposit for my new car, will probably be able to pick it up on the weekend. Insurance is pretty good too, sub £1000 which is excellent. Kinda. My mum tried to reverse in 5th gear. She drives an automatic. What a noob. :P
Bardley avatarBardley
We are Diamond Dogs.
IDrawOnTape avatarIDrawOnTape
I get to work to stock and STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS STREET DATE SEPT 4 OMG STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS STREET DATE SEPT 4 STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS WHY ISN'T IT SEPT 4?
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
Still waiting by the mailbox. Tranq'd a jogger and stuffed them into a locker just for fun. I keep throwing rocks to get the attention of the neighbors and then hiding in tall grass. They look noticeably upset. Probably because I kept them up all night.
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
Metal Gear or Mad Max? The choice is obvious. [IMG]http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b321/Felth/obvious%20choice.jpg~original[/IMG]
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Quickpostmortem My wife´s dog died yesterday . Rest in peace Diamond Dog . [img]http://i.imgur.com/uVT3HlF.jpg[/img] Here's to you, Malu Rest forever here in our hearts The last and final moment is yours That agony is your triumph
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Xbone journey continues! I thought I would like Dead Rising 3 well enough as a huge fan of 1/2, but I must say I find it's emphasis on hard drama laughable and the game fundamentally disingenuine. Guess I'm moving on to Forza Horizon 2.
TheDefenestrator avatarTheDefenestrator
I dig the feature in Until Dawn where, if you have the Playstation camera, it will record you briefly during jump scares for you to watch later. It's a really neat use of an underused peripheral. Too bad I'm dead inside and never react to them.
Shinta avatarShinta
[img]http://i.imgur.com/oZ7CQJa.jpg[/img]
nanashi avatarnanashi
Fallout Shelter: Impossible to Learn, Easy to Master.
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Not saying this is the case, but Kojima has gone on record as being a huge Mad Max: Fury Road fan. Konami decided to release MGSV on the same day as Mad Max TVG. They're trying piss on Kojima's lawn, man.
ooktar avatarooktar
Downloading Phantom Pain. ETA, 16 hours. Just in time for lunch tomorrow.
Mr Knives avatarMr Knives
OH WOW. Talk about a complete about face. After slogging through the horrid beginning and slow ass swap sequence this game picked up exponentially. So far, I'm enjoying the hell out of it now. All if forgiven. Thank you based Kojima.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
Oh, joyful night. [youtube]https://youtu.be/6EfhAFA2yFE[/youtube]
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
Madden NFL 13


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -