As they do every year, the team at EA Tiburon promises something special with each release of Madden NFL. After a year dedicated to The Coach, John Madden, the game that bears his name arrives with much to learn from the implementation of FieldSense and player feedback. We traveled to the Electronic Arts offices in Redwood Shores, California last week for a briefing where we got a first-hand look at the next installment in the franchise, Madden NFL 24.
A new cover athlete
The Madden NFL cover has been a tradition for a little over 20 years, featuring the most important or significant players of the season. With the exception of last year, when John Madden was honored after his death, we once again have an athlete on the cover. This time, Josh Allen, quarterback of the Buffalo Bills, was chosen to appear on the cover. Although the development team mentioned that the Bills didn’t make it very far in the playoffs, the progress they made last season was “as good as it gets”.
More Realism, More Immersion, More Authenticity
These are the pillars of the Madden NFL gameplay experience:
More realism with FieldSENSE
Building on the technology implemented in Madden NFL 23, the studio has developed what they call Hit Everything 2.0, which is dedicated to tweaking the tackling and collision systems of the players on the field. This includes aspects such as a new system of contested catches between receivers and defenders, new types of tackles where traditional tackles are left behind in favor of tackles to the legs or even mismatched tackles. This system also improves the tackling system, where receivers maintain their momentum when catching the ball, improving their cadence and the realism in which they do it. This is achieved through 3 regions that help determine where the ball will land and better predict where it will be caught.
As part of the immersion, aspects of the sport’s fundamentals have been adjusted through artificial intelligence to make players react more realistically. In general, these tweaks have been made to improve player reaction times on both offense and defense. This will make the AI more challenging, but at the same time your team will be able to support you better.
In terms of blocking, the defensive players’ reaction will improve both at the line of scrimmage and in the open field. In the former, defensive players will use the AI to better track runners in case one escapes, while in the latter, defensive players will be able to keep their eyes on the players they are covering and not lose them so easily.
For quarterbacks, AI improves their perception on the field, helping them decide the best place to throw the ball to their receivers and try to avoid pressure from the opposing team. At the same time, it now detects when the defense is using the same coverage to change its instructions and make a better play.
The ball and the reaction to it has also been improved. Things like a fumble will make players react better. On the other hand, changes have been made to the onside kick, the formation, and the way the ball bounces. The development team recognizes that while this is not a widely used play, it is part of the fundamentals of the game.
Finally, “Gameplay Emotion” has been implemented, where players on the field recognize moments where big plays have been made and react to either successful or unsuccessful plays. Whether it’s a first down or a sack on the QB, players will have different reactions and teammates will be able to respond to that emotion. Over 100 new animations have been added to show the excitement of what just happened on the field.
Tras muchos años, los estudios de EA Sports han trabajado en conjunto para hacer una reconstrucción desde cero de cómo los atletas aparecen dentro de sus juegos y la cual debutará en Madden NFL 24. Con el nuevo sistema de esqueleto llamado Sapiens, ahora los juegos de esta divisiòn contarán con un nuevo sistema que les permite la construcción de mejores atletas, tanto hombres como mujeres, con mejores proporciones y detalles, haciendo que haya un mejor realismo en las poses y movimientos, solucionando problemas que habían surgido en años anteriores.
After many years, EA Sports studios have worked together to rebuild from the ground up how athletes appear in their games and this new technology will make its debut in Madden NFL 24. With the new skeleton system called Sapiens, the games of this division will now have a new technology that allows the construction of better athletes, both men and women, with better proportions and details, allowing more realistic poses and movements, solving problems that had arisen in previous years.
Something that was mentioned was that all the weird aspects that appeared in the game before will no longer be there. Many of the new animations that are coming to the game are thanks to Sapiens, because this new skeleton removes the previous limitations to make real changes. This is not only true for the players, but also for the other characters on the field, such as the referees.
Another part that has been renewed is the game’s visuals, where more attention has been paid to several details, and likewise, Sapiens’ improvements will be used for various aspects of the game.
Within the franchise mode, there will be more customization options for our teams when we decide to send them to other cities. On the other hand, and thanks to Sapiens, aspects such as the draft rookies (whose new generation has already been completely scanned), coaches and even the crowd models will receive an upgrade thanks to Sapiens. In terms of effects, the environmental occlusion with line scratching will allow the brightness in the stadium to look better than in previous years.
Franchise is renewed
Franchise has remained an important part of Madden NFL, and after 3 years of working with the community, EA Tiburon brings important changes to this mode.
Mini-games are back
With more than 25 games created as part of the introduction to training camp, the classic mini-games are back. These will be played every week during the season, allowing players to train activities and better understand the controls in the different positions of the game. If you want to skip them (or simulate them), no problem, but you will not receive the same bonuses as if you played them.
The Franchise mode includes improvements requested by the community. These include adjustments to trade and negotiation issues, using improved logic and artificial intelligence to create better contracts and options when making trades.
Customization has also been improved as mentioned above. In coach mode we will be able to have more options to modify our team with uniforms and logos and even more options of cities to decide to move the franchise.
Finally, the Commissioner’s tools provide a more customizable player experience where we can change the order of the draft, give more home-field advantage, or make trades easier or harder.
Superstar is back
For those who want to tell their own story, Superstar Mode is back. In addition to a cinematic narrative experience, the game will feature interactive moments and mini-games within our training. As expected, our performance on the field will affect our progression, and we will have rewards for completing missions that will help us build our personal best. Throughout our career and as we progress, we will unlock custom animations that we can use not only in Superstar mode, but also in the new game mode...
Finally, we come to the new game mode, Superstar Showdown. In this mode we will play with friends or strangers in quick 3-on-3 matches on a small and very colorful court, where the first team to reach a certain score wins. These games can be ranked or unranked, and it is expected that new game modes will be added later to allow more players to participate.
Finally, the CrossPlay aspect was mentioned. On this occasion, PC enters the options for players on PlayStation 5 and Xbox series. Through EA Social it will be possible to have VoIP chat between platforms.
Madden NFL 24 arrives August 18 on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.