Earlier today brought the cover art and seven new screenshots for Madden 11 featuring cover athlete Drew Brees. Along with that announcement EA Sports has released some insight on the “simpler, quicker, deeper” mantra first mentioned in early March by breaking down each area with brief descriptions.
Simpler: Call plays like an NFL coach with ease using an all-new play-calling system, GameFlow, which executes an authentic, situational game plan for you.
So what this sounds like is the game will present you with a set of plays in some manner that would make sense dependent on the circumstances rather than just browsing through a general playbook from scratch. I could see this working well for casuals and possibly being bypassed by the more expert players. Personally I could see myself using this though. Something that has really frustrated me in the past is the game sending me into random areas of the playbook and having to spend time navigating to different formations and in and out of special teams.
Quicker: The new play-calling system will enable players to spend more time on the field and less in the playbook – completing games in half of the time.
I don’t think anyone would be against games being more brief. Understandably it is difficult to always commit an hour to a single game. The hope would be though that elements of the game are not sacrificed for this, such as making the standard quarter length shorter. There is also the thought that in-game saves should be added and that the ability to build custom playbooks should be provided. Whether there is more to this is unknown, but the new play-calling system looks to be the focus in this area.
Deeper: Madden NFL 11 is feature-rich, with improved animations and control options, enhanced online functionality, and new broadcast and audio presentation that delivers the NFL experience fans have come to expect.
This makes the conflict between simpler and quicker vs deeper make sense. The “simpler” and “quicker” related to the overall game experience, while the “deeper” has to do with ways they’ve enhanced or expanded game features. “New broadcast and audio presentation” could suggest an NFL Network or ESPN branded presentation package.
What do you think of the GameFlow play-calling system and its intended benefits as well as any other hints that may be included in the descriptions? As always leave your thoughts in the comments!