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EA Sports

Madden photo
Madden

Madden backed the Panthers to buck the Broncos (and was wrong)


Roaring back
Feb 07
// Brett Makedonski
[Update: Well, Madden was wrong. Contrary to EA's simulation, the Denver Broncos prevailed in Super Bowl 50, winning over the Carolina Panthers by a score of 24 to 10. Also, it seems EA has removed the video. Maybe the folks ...
Madden NFL 16 photo
Madden NFL 16

Madden NFL 16 is heading to EA Access on February 2


Handeggs! Get your handeggs right here!
Jan 31
// Joe Parlock
EA has announced that a new game to be added to their EA Access subscription service on Xbox One on February 2: Madden NFL 16. Please, control yourself. No need to get that excited. In his review, Steven wasn’t entirely...
UFC 2 photo
UFC 2

Mike Tyson probably needs money so he's in the new UFC game


The Baddest Man
Jan 20
// Brett Makedonski
It's well-known that Mike Tyson, once a highly paid athlete, has squandered almost all of the money he earned during his career. He's a monetary shell of what he once was. Iron Mike has taken to the likes of exhibition matche...
NCAA Football photo
NCAA Football

EA got NCAA Football fans' hopes up just to dash them


Someone's being a dick
Jan 11
// Brett Makedonski
Facebook fans of the EA NCAA Football franchise were treated to a seemingly ominous message this morning. The page, which has been inactive for 18 months, posted a three-second clip of a heart monitor beeping. Many took ...

UFC  photo
UFC

Will EA confirm EA Sports UFC 2 today?


All signs point to yes
Nov 10
// Vikki Blake
Looks like Electronic Arts will be confirming EA Sports UFC 2 later today. A post on the official EA Sports UFC Facebook page states: "The Wait is Finally Over! Tune in tomorrow".
NBA Live photo
NBA Live

Haha, holy shit, no one bought EA's basketball game


NBA Live? More like NBA DEAD
Oct 21
// Steven Hansen
Remember how NBA 2K16 was the best-selling US retail game in September, toppling even Madden and Metal Gear Solid V? Well, that one is made by 2K. Electronic Arts also makes a basketball game, NBA Live. NBA Live was so bad EA...

Review: NHL 16

Oct 06 // Brett Makedonski
NHL 16 (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: EA CanadaPublisher: EA SportsRelease: September 15, 2015MSRP: $59.99 In a genre plagued by incremental increases, this is NHL 16's greatest offering: An on-ice trainer that goes above and beyond. Hockey is a sport that's notorious for its inaccessibility to newcomers. Putting the biscuit in the basket is easy enough to understand, but where should my forwards be positioned when in the defensive zone? What kind of check should I execute when skating backward toward my goal? This training aid helps refine gameplay on-the-fly. It kind of teaches hockey, but more importantly, it teaches how to play NHL 16. For instance, when skating into the offensive zone, a cone will appear that indicates what part of the shooting lane is open and what part is blocked. A target may show up in the corner of the goal to tell you the smartest place to aim. Or, when playing defense, a box will cordon off part of the ice at your zone. Sticking to this area and covering the man in the box is what you're supposed to do. That's how hockey is played; NHL 16, simulation of hockey as it is, wants you to play it just like hockey. Those are two examples, but this on-ice trainer permeates every second of gameplay until you don't want it to anymore. It's a good thing too. I imagine EA had grown tired of players wildly out of position trying to line up huge hits. That's not how hockey looks, and it's not how a digital representation of the game should look. [embed]314010:60626:0[/embed] To its credit, the trainer doesn't stick to a low-level understanding of hockey. If it detects a seasoned player is at the helm, it'll start to adapt so as to offer more nuanced and advanced suggestions. Basically, everyone has something they can learn from this feature and it's incredibly unintrusive despite constantly being on the screen. It's the best part of NHL 16 because it actually enforces an understanding of doing what you're doing. The rest? Well, it's what NHL 15 should've been. Maybe it's unfair to hearken back to a previous game as a reference point, but fuck it. We make the rules around here. The on-ice product in NHL 16 is again solid and it includes the modes that last year's game should have shipped with. The actual hockey-playing in NHL 16 feels extremely similar to NHL 15. There are surely some physics and AI tweaks making ever-desired strides toward realism, but they feel mostly nominal. The game still plays well outside of the occasional rare physics bug. And this. Whatever the hell that was. With regard to the modes, they were mostly done right this time 'round. Be a Pro allows the simulation of shifts until it's your time to hit the ice again. (Curiously, the coach-assigned goals and ratings often seem off. Like, how do I have two goals and an assist, but a "C" ranking on offense for the game?) Likewise, the EA Sports Hockey League has been largely straightened out. Gone are the days of maxing out player skill through real-world currency. Now, everyone has to define their aptitude via a class of player that they pick. It's a smart design decision for the game's leading cooperative mode -- not to mention a surprisingly ungreedy one. Be a GM rounds out the most interesting modes that NHL 16 has to show. In it, you eschew the skates for a suit and tie. You're in control of an NHL franchise, and it's up to you to trade, manage, and motivate players. Games are simulated via a coach's drawing board where major events become markers like a "G" for a goal scored. The fascinating facet of Be a GM lies within the morale system. It's a bit paper-thin, but NHL 16 asks you to make unique speech decisions for different players. Over time, you learn what motivates your guys. Your star's ego might be too fragile for you to just outright yell at him; you may have to baby him instead. NHL 16 isn't perfect, but it's a substantial improvement over what released last year. Mind you, that's not some sheer brilliance; it's just because of general competence. The NHL franchise seems back on track, and it has even introduced the wonderful on-ice trainer. But, that trainer aside, it's tough to shake the feeling that NHL has just caught up instead of innovating. EA Sports spent this iteration making up ground. It was a necessary move, but not one that instills confidence that the developer has grown comfortable with the generational shift in consoles. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
NHL 16 review photo
Training wheels
In the mandatory initial matchup in NHL 16, I was forced to choose between last year's Stanley Cup Final contenders. I had to back either the Chicago Blackhawks who I very much dislike, or the Tampa Bay Lightning who I am ver...

NHL 16 photo
NHL 16

NHL 16 pegs Anaheim Ducks as Stanley Cup champs


Not worth winning if you can't win big
Oct 01
// Brett Makedonski
It's not exactly a leap of faith, but NHL 16 has used its magical season simulating video game powers to predict that the Anaheim Ducks will win the 2016 Stanley Cup. By most accounts, Anaheim enters the season as the W...
FIFA 16 photo
FIFA 16

13 female footballers removed from FIFA 16 following NCAA warning


EA disagrees
Sep 18
// Vikki Blake
Thirteen female football players have been removed from FIFA 16 following NCAA concerns that being in the game may jeopardise the athletes' eligibility for "collegiate athletics". North America’s National Collegiate Ath...
FIFA 16 photo
FIFA 16

Here's the full FIFA 16 soundtrack


Forty-two tracks
Sep 11
// Vikki Blake
EA has unveiled the full soundtrack that will accompany FIFA 16. This year's track listing features 42 artists from the likes of Bastille, Beck, Foals, and John Newman. Here's the full list:

Review: Madden 16

Aug 25 // Steven Hansen
Madden NFL 16 (PlayStation 4 [reviewed], Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)Developer: EA TiburonPublisher: EA SportsReleased: August 25, 2015MSRP: $59.99 Madden 16 makes an interesting opening gambit, once again going right into a game, this time a fabricated Super Bowl 50 starring the Cardinals and Steelers. No one wanted to watch that match up seven years ago (except me because of the Kurt Warner), but EA insists on framing this nostalgia-less, fake match up with Any Given Sunday editing, close ups on players, and even tepid, badly-acted football dialogue, the kind of jawing written by someone who has not played sport.  Fuck, is it boring. It introduces new (very simple) catching mechanics in painful slow motion setting up situations (oh, one of the teams is trailing!) we're supposed to have emotions in, like I have any stake in Fake Super Bowl 50, like I'm supposed to feel something when alleged rapist Ben Roethlisberger (who narrates later tutorials) tells his mates, "It's time to be the team we're supposed to be right now. Believe in the man to your left and to your right. It's our time right now" like he's reading commercial cue cards. At least the San Jose 49ers' digital Levi's Stadium field hasn't turned to pudding like the real one. This is what Madden is, though. In past years I have creatively ripped on the series for aggressive advertisements of real-world products, which this one seems to have toned down significantly (unless they're coming dynamically as updates post launch). But! Madden is a yearly advertisement for the NFL. From the start menu it encouraged me to share my information with the NFL, promising digital playing cards as a reward. This is what it means to have exclusivity rights to the only meaningful football league (because no one internationally gives a shit), the commodification of players. It is cool to see the increased likeness of Arizona's head coach whose fascinating neck folds and face-scanned pores have him looking like a corrugated version of Dana Carvey's turtliest member of the turtle club. [embed]307755:60128:0[/embed] In 2006 (that would make it Madden 07) I distinctly remember when I fell into the habit of abusing slot receivers instead of number one and number two wide receivers. This meant a lot of balls to the perfectly serviceable Kevin Curtis instead of two of the greats, Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt. The worst thing about those slot receiver posts, or crossing routes over the middle, has always been linebackers undercutting the passes for picks. Here is the scenario: a player looks reasonably open for a pass. It is a pass any NFL quarterback could make. It is a pass I, an idiot with bad knees, could make. You throw it with a nice arc over the front defensive layer and before the safeties. Madden has never wanted to give you that pass and it has taken near 10 years for the series to introduce "touch passing," a double tap that lets you drop balls into open zones. Ten years. Low and high throws are executed by holding L1 (high) or L2 (low) while passing. The passing game has seen the most new features added this year. Aside from the aforementioned quarterback stuff, there are three types of catches, done by holding one of three buttons while the ball is in the air en route to the receiver. The Aggressive catch (triangle) is for leaping catches and bodying cornerbacks. RAC (square) encourages the player to make a catch in motion and continue running up field, provided they're not about to be clocked. Possession catches (x) are for keeping feet in-bounds or making sure the receiver hangs on to a first down. These useful buttons encourage more user interaction during catches and also speak to a refined interplay between defensive backs and receivers. On the other side of the ball, you can have defenders play the ball (hold triangle) to go for an interception or deflection, or more conservatively play the receiver (hold x) to ensure you make a tackle and possibly knock the ball from them. There is much more realistic jockeying for body position and faithful physics so long as you don't stare too closely at the instant replays. Eventually you'll notice some similar, more dramatic catch animations (a particular one-handed one stuck out), but it is a plus on the whole for verisimilitude, for giving weight and feeling to awesome athletes interacting in a confined space. That's about it, though. There are some neat presentation additions (statistic graphics overlaid on players) and the menus are well laid out, though they are also pretty slow. Load times, too, are still a bit of a problem (and intrusive presentation elements are bothersome when running a hurry up offense). The insistence towards microtransaction-laden Ultimate Team and the new fantasy football-cribbed Draft Champions modes is useless. Throwing, catching, and defending throws have seen some welcomed, long-ignored additions that get a couple yards closer to faithful simulation. You can decide if that's enough. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Madden reviewed photo
Mildly deflated
I do feel, some, for Electronic Arts and the people responsible for making Madden every year. This is only my 4th year (out of  27 releases) covering it and I fear I may have peaked with last year's review. But like a fr...

Madden 16 photo
Madden 16

EA goes way over the top to promote Madden


We didn't see this coming
Aug 21
// Brett Makedonski
EA Sports' promotion of Madden has largely been the same for years now. Gameplay trailers, new features, interviews with developers -- we've been there and done that. This is different. This is...weird. And, kind of amazing....
NHL 16 photo
NHL 16

Patrick Kane taken off NHL 16 cover during sexual assault investigations


No new cover announced
Aug 12
// Brett Makedonski
Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane has legal troubles, as he's the subject of a recent rape allegation. The incident allegedly took place at Kane's lakefront home in Hamburg, New York last week, though he has not yet been c...
FIFA 2016 photo
FIFA 2016

FIFA 2016's FUT Draft mode gets a trailer


Oh that banter what cheeky legends
Aug 05
// Joe Parlock
Want to see two footballers have some incredibly forced “top quality bants”? Want to have your soul ripped out of your eye sockets and fed to a swarming flurry of crows? Well don’t worry, EA has you covered...
gamescom photo
gamescom

'Xbox players love their fut' and crappy FIFA deals


Xbox One bundle, week early access
Aug 04
// Steven Hansen
That is FIFA Ultimate Team, the thing EA uses to somehow make more money than just releasing a new FIFA every year (two when it's a World Cup year). "FUT fans this is a deal for you." Xbox One folks get FIFA 16 one week early...
NHL 16 photo
NHL 16

NHL 16 goalie trailer shows none of the best things Patrick Roy ever did


Home of the Roypper
Jul 24
// Brett Makedonski
Goaltenders have exactly one job: tend to the goal. Don't let the puck hit the twine. Accomplish that through whatever means necessary. Force them to the glove side where you make web gems like Willie Mays. Flash the five-ho...
Madden tricks photo
Madden tricks

Madden 16 screenshots lie about Marshawn Lynch dick-grabbing mechanic


I'm just here so I don't get fined
Jul 23
// Steven Hansen
Madden 16 used the above photo for Marshawn Lynch in its running backs player rating reveal. He is, naturally, number one at 96 overall. He cannot, however, grab his dick in defiance, as he is wont to do in real life. Seriously, watch this.
Alongside Messi photo
Alongside Messi

Women's national team players grace FIFA 16 cover


Alongside Messi
Jul 20
// Steven Hansen
FIFA 16 marks a first for the series with its inclusion of women footballers in the form of 12 playable women's international teams from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Swede...
NHL 16 photo
NHL 16

NHL 16 video shows off the literal small steps the game's taking


On Frozen Pond
Jul 15
// Brett Makedonski
Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon isn't always going to zoom up ice, spin around Blackhawk blue-liners, and leave Corey Crawford looking for his jock in the rafters. I mean, that'll happen a good chunk of the time, but not ...
PGA Tour photo
PGA Tour

I didn't know a golf trailer could be so annoying


Making me LMFAO TBH
Jul 06
// Brett Makedonski
Even with its new Battlefield infusion and nighttime mini-games, golf is mostly a low-key and quiet affair. Everyone stays really quiet and still; when something good happens, we'll all golf clap -- a really quiet and s...
EA Sports Trainwreck photo
EA Sports Trainwreck

EA Sports was the most cringeworthy thing at E3 thus far


But it's still early in the week
Jun 15
// Jed Whitaker
This is an actual tweet from an actor hired to be "Tha Hoop Gawd" by EA to pretend to be a celebrity during its conference. This was approved by someone at EA. Tha Hoop Gawd came on the stage to demo the GameFace app for NBA...

Battlefield found a way to infiltrate EA Sports' PGA Tour

Jun 15 // Brett Makedonski
Speaking with a PGA Tour representative, the publisher has plans to tie more EA franchises into the game. Coyly, the spokesperson said that the Battlefield course will be the only one that's available at launch. It's a fair bet that more courses themed after EA series will make their way into PGA Tour via paid DLC. For the time being, Battlefield is the only addition players will initially see. It might not be what we expected, but maybe EA needed to add a bit of irreverence to liven up its leading golf title. And, when you want to get back traditional golf, PGA Tour certainly has that in spades -- it's just sans explosions.  
PGA Tour photo
Well, that was unexpected
Golf has a reputation for being a stuffy game played by uptight, proper folks. After spending some time with Rory McIlroy's PGA Tour, we can safely say that the majority of it lives up to those expectations. However, there's ...

These are EA Sports' big focuses for Madden, FIFA, and NHL in 2015

Jun 15 // Brett Makedonski
Without a doubt, Madden is the EA Sports franchise that's been given the most attention over the years. It'd have been easy for the publisher to ask for some more subtle changes like even slicker presentation. To EA's credit, it's working out a new take on a gameplay staple -- a risky venture in an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" culture of gaming. EA Sports has coined the term "Air Supremacy" for its Madden focus, and it begins at the position everyone starts with: Quarterback. There's greater control over the passing game now when helming a football team. Touch passes have been implemented to offer some variation in between lobs and bullets. The developers have altered how passers move on the run by using different animations for rolling out (yet looking for a receiver), and a full-on scramble. Maybe the biggest change to the quarterback position comes in the form of body positional passes. As an example, the presenter brought up the Seahawks' last offensive play in the Super Bowl this year. Russell Wilson threw a mid-body pass, and it was picked off. If he had thrown a low one (as he should have), the worst case scenario would've likely been an incompletion. With this installment of Madden, the player will have that sort of pinpoint control over every pass. However, passing is a two-way street, and no quarterback will put up Hall of Fame numbers without an apt receiving corps. Madden 16 also focuses on wideouts, as they can implement different styles to make catches. Maybe an ill-thrown pass calls for them to go up and challenge a defender for a ball. They likely won't gain many yards after the reception, but they might actually catch it (and more importantly, the chances of an interception go way down.) Or, maybe the situation is optimal for them to rack up some yards after catch. Do that, and pick up a first down. Those are just a few of the circumstances where Madden 16 lets you choose how to catch the ball after it lets you choose how to throw it. Lastly, ever eager to capitalize on the growing fantasy football trend, Madden 16 has a new fantasy mode. Draft Champions is a 15-round fantasy draft that allows you to build a team from all NFL players and play a full season. The publisher described this as the type of mode you might play if you had a couple hours to kill before you went to bed. The seasons are designed to go quickly, allowing you to draft an entirely new team relatively quickly after finishing one campaign. While Madden's focuses are easy to identify, FIFA 16's are a little more nebulous (apart from the women's national teams that were added.) They're centered around the player as the playmaker, but mostly in how all the surrounding pieces move. In a nutshell, EA Sports is upping the competency of FIFA's AI. It's improving positional defensive sense and how they defend as a unit. The goal (GOLAZO!!!) here is players have to be more strategic with their attack. Passing better be done with a purpose, or the opposition will just take the ball from you at midfield. But, working down the pitch and clinically finishing should feel like an actual accomplishment, one that sends you running and shouting toward a section of fevered supporters. This is the most difficult enhancement in the three games to recognize at a preview event. These are changes that define the very core of the sport. For instance, with Madden it's easy to play and realize "oh yeah, the quarterback is doing those things they said he would." It's not as simple with FIFA this year. If it's as improved as EA says, hardcore fans might recognize it, but more casual players might just think "Yeah, this is a good soccer game." As subtle as FIFA's intentions are, NHL's are far more brazen. It's eschewing the likes of physics and presentation for something else this year. Basically, EA's looking to add in a lot of the stuff that was inexplicably absent in NHL 15. Those who are dedicated to the series should be content, as long as they weren't too put off by last year's game. The most notable (re)addition to NHL 16 is EA Sports Hockey League -- an online competitive team mode that was quite popular. It was cut from NHL 15 due to "quality control," but it's back this year. Actually, EA's inclusion of several modes and features is a testament to the fact that it's listening to the fans (or to how awry the last game went). Also present are offline, single player Hockey Ultimate Team; simulating to the next shift in Be a Pro, along with playing a career beginning in the minors; and the ability to manage individual players in Be a GM. As it's moving beyond the growing pains of developing for new consoles, EA Sports is making strides with its hockey franchise. It sounds like NHL 16 will end up being the game NHL 15 should've been. It's just a shame it took an extra year. So, that's where EA Sports' intentions lie for Madden 16, FIFA 16, and NHL 16. They're all different in the varying degrees of change that needed to be made. Some, like NHL are more apparent, while Madden just moves a bit closer to that sim experience. But, they all look to be on track to be an improvement thanks to their one big focus.
EA Sports preview photo
EA Sports round-up!
Another year, another collection of EA Sports titles. EA's in a fortuitous position in that it has the video game rights to three of the five most popular athletics wrapped up. Demand for these games seemingly never wanes bec...

FIFA 16 photo
FIFA 16

FIFA 16 includes women's national teams (finally)


Four top players did motion capture
May 28
// Brett Makedonski
The FIFA video game series has been around for two decades, and in that time, it's been a boys only club. There's been outside pressure to reform, notably in 2013 when Spanish player Vero Boquete started a petition to u...
Madden 16 trailer photo
Madden 16 trailer

That Odell Beckham catch looks way less impressive in Madden 16


Another year another Madden
May 14
// Steven Hansen
In case you were concerned, yes, there will be a Madden this year. Madden 16, so expect it to feature a lot of One Direction and complain about how it wanted the 7 series BMW, not that poverty-lined 4 series. It seems the on...
Gawlful photo
Gawlful

EA's PGA Tour gameplay trailer is just as boring as watching real golf


Look at that grass, though!
Apr 24
// Brett Makedonski
Golfing is fantastic. Reckless cart driving, endless jokes about "ball washers," and your friend puking in the rough on the 14th hole because he's somehow on, like, his 14th beer. Swat a tiny sphere a few hundred feet every ...
Rory McIlroy PGA Tour photo
Rory McIlroy PGA Tour

Rory McIlroy replaces Tiger Woods on EA's PGA Tour


Rory McIlroy PGA Tour
Mar 17
// Steven Hansen
Tiger Woods' name has gone from being synonymous with golf to being a different kind of pop culture reference. I'm not even sure if he golfs anymore. I just know he shows up to places missing teeth. Of course, EA's PGA Tour ...
EA Vault photo
EA Vault

Madden NFL 15 latest EA Vault addition


Boom!
Mar 04
// Robert Summa
EA Access continues to prove itself worthy as Madden NFL 2015 has just been added to the current lineup of available games in the The Vault. It's a shame Sony turned down this service. Despite their concerns, it appears to be providing plenty of value -- at least it would for me.
NBA Live 15 photo
NBA Live 15

NBA Live 15 added to EA Vault


Kind of like when gramps gets shipped to a nursing home
Feb 24
// Robert Summa
Times have never been so low for those of us who love basketball and the games the sport inspires. While the NBA2K series may appear to be good enough for the majority, there is a growing minority that has become fed up with ...
EA Sports UFC photo
EA Sports UFC

It's now easier to unlock Bruce Lee in EA Sports UFC


Old-school cool via free download
Dec 23
// Jordan Devore
Martial artist Bruce Lee is in EA Sports UFC, somehow. You can play as him after besting Career Mode on Pro difficulty or higher, or instantly if you pre-ordered the game. Because money. That's how it was, anyway. Electronic ...

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