Madden NFL 13 Complete Player Connected Career Impressions

Posted August 29th, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Going through Madden NFL 13’s Connected Careers mode as a “Coach” may be intimidating to some – but in doing so as a “Player” it will not be nearly as overwhelming. The trade-off then comes in what is a somewhat less engaging experience. A career can be progressed through in much quicker fashion by skipping a good portion of games and not having to micromanage the weekly tasks that befall a “Coach” while the emphasis on XP to improve attributes and skills adds some investment to the player’s development. 

Beginning a career as a “Player” again offers the opportunity to create someone new either from scratch or using the “Game Face” feature, take over a current player in the league, or use one of the legends being offered. This comes after deciding whether to do an “Offline” or “Online” career. There are several advantages to being online, even if playing solo, but it does require a constant connection to the EA Servers.

If a created player is chosen the process to craft their skills and appearance heading into the league arises. The first thing to choose is the position and type of player. That will end up determining effectiveness within a team’s system (based on fit) while also shaping initial skills. Then comes picking from three backstories: High Draft, Low Draft, and Undrafted. The path chosen will play into ratings levels, probably overalls of low-80s to mid-70s to upper 60s, as well as expectations and ability to earn XP.

At one point created players were being made the starter at every position regardless of ratings. That since has been fixed so those players will be down on the depth chart and have to work towards increasing ratings (primarily or solely through practices) for a chance at more playing time and an eventual role as a starter.

Game Face again deserves praise for how well the feature works now. As mentioned though in the “Coach” impressions my Game Face broke everything in which it was attempted to be used within Madden 13. Based on discussion elsewhere this seems to have been an isolated issue as others are using theirs just fine. It’s pretty cool to see what truly really looks like you, or whoever was created, up on screen.

Online leagues can include up to 32 users – each one controlling either a team as a “Coach” or a single “Player”. The career settings allows the commish to decide on whether only Coaches, only Players, or both are allowed in a league. Legends can be allowed or excluded as well.

The rate at which XP is earned is even more critical as a Player. Unfortunately, as usual, the positions that can generate consistent stats are the ones who have the best ability to progress. XP can be generated by contributing to team goals but in the end it’s the personal goals and making plays that show up in the stats column that matter the most. That means positions like QB, RB, and WR will have a distinct advantage over any position on defense. Safety can be fun (thanks to the “Ball Hawk” feature in particular) but otherwise it’s a slog through practices and the season where contributions aren’t always recognized.

In a run through as an outside linebacker, as a late round draftee, my player was buried on the depth chart. That meant the only opportunity to earn XP and begin to raise the ratings to a point where the player would get some time on the field came solely through practice. Sadly barely 1200 in XP was earned over the course of 17 regular season practices. After spending that (could buy a single trait with that which wasn’t even enough to up speed a single point) the player went from a 76 overall at the start of the season to a 76 overall at the end. Progressing players who can’t put up big numbers solely through practice appears extremely difficult if not impossible.

Practices are largely predicated on winning a certain scenario in which a certain XP will be awarded – plus there is the opportunity to gain individual XP based on performance within the practices. Again this will favor skill positions. While I like being in a spot where practices are actually valuable and necessary – simming them doesn’t result in any XP – there has to be a better way to earn the XP in other positions. Losing a scenario means being awarded only a fraction of XP (100-250) and that makes those attempts basically complete wastes of time. There should be more reward for the actual process of a practice rather than just being centered on winning when on the “Player” side of Connected Careers.

The games are played from the standard camera angle rather than a position-specific one. Some will like that – it’s certainly a more comfortable way to play – but it also means receivers and corners are sometimes off-screen making those positions tougher to handle. The side of the ball not being played on is displayed through SuperSim. Even though only the one player is handled on the field there is complete control over team actions.

Play-calling and adjustments are handled for the entire team rather than just the single player in question. Even the snap when playing on offense at a position other than QB is made by the user – as is the actual kick or punt when on the field as a special teamer – and for some reason the user gets stuck watching punts and kicks when an offensive player in a spectator type view.

QBs will always have the ball in their hands while the user can even force CPU-controlled QBs to pass the ball their way. Controlling the play calling completely means less frustration out of the CPU making those calls but also leaves it in the hands of the user to slant the action their way. As a QB, WR, or TE they can pass the ball every down and as a RB can run the ball more than typical. As a receiver in one game on All-Pro I found it very easy to rack up the stats and in turn earned over half of the XP that my outside linebacker made the entire season in practices with just that single game.

Once in a game there is no “Sim to End” or even “Quit Game” option. You’re stuck in the game through its entirety unless you want to turn the console off completely. Both options really need to be added next year. There is also no way to go back and watch a replay once the game hits that SuperSim screen or create a highlight and that includes after the game is over. Having the ability to tweet or post to Facebook the results remains a nice new option.

The presentation in-game is again lacking and that damages the ties to the rest of the league that the player resides in. There are no graphics to inform of season stats, team standings, results around the league, or developments around the career of that player. The same goes for the commentary team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms who call the games the exact same as they would a “Coach” game. There are no special references to the player in question. While the news hub within the menus is fantastic – and the Twitter mentions are especially awesome – all ties to the league are lost when a game is actually started up.

Commentary also struggles because the flow of the game is completely disregarded when going through them as “Players”. There are so many stops to the action as a transition is made to the SuperSim for example – that Nantz and Simms rarely can make it through a story or line without being cut off.

Players can request a release from the team with the hopes that another will snag them off free agency. That isn’t guaranteed to happen though in which case a player would then be forced to retire. One missing element is the ability to request a trade. It is surprising that one didn’t make it in since the player could then have just been added to a “Trade Block” which seems to generate offers immediately on the “Coach” side of things.

In a real head-scratcher of a design decision Kinect for Xbox 360 functionality is not available within Connected Careers as a “Player”. This is really disappointing – not just because it would make sense to make voice calls for an individual player, but everything else about the games are essentially the same (pre-snap adjustments, play calling, controlling timeouts) with the exception of supersimming when not on the field.

There are several “love it or hate it” elements of Connected Careers as a “Player”. Those include having control over the decision making for the entire team on that side of the ball, being able to direct the action towards the player being controlled when on offense, and utilizing the standard camera angle regardless of position. There is an odd sense of imbalance when it comes to realism with players having to work their way up as they should but those who get on the field as an offensive player being easily able to pad stats and increase XP. The mode is also not always very user-friendly particularly within games which can’t be simmed ahead or exited early.

There is no question that being a “Player” in Connected Careers is a far more compelling and rich experience than Superstar mode of old. Offensive positions are really fun – in part because they can remain involved in the action as much as desired – while defensive positions (and those in particular that don’t rely on stats as the primary measure of success) find themselves at a big disadvantage. In the future there needs to be more ties to the league and player developments through presentation to build that emotional investment in their development and place within the NFL. Despite possessing several areas with substantial room for improvement tying all the features of Connected Careers together and then being able to branch out as either a “Coach” or “Player” has proven to be an exceptionally beneficial idea.

  • Crimson

    Can’t believe this happened. EA can’t even put the right picture of the right players in Madden NFL 13. You won’t hear this from Pasta though.

    • NoFro904

      Because no one cares.

      • Crimson

        Bitch, you obviously cared. But then again, you speak for no one.

      • Crimson

        Bitch, you obviously cared. But then again, you speak for no one.

        • NoFro904

          It’s a picture… for a 3rd string DT… that no one other than Giants and Maybe Broncos fans have heard of.
          So again i’m letting you know, No one cares.

          • Crimson

            So its alright if they do that for every 3rd string player, right? Probably just a mistake from the research team. Nothing unethical about it all. Just the way things are. The game is so fun that nobody should care. You’re an idiot.

          • NoFro904

            No its ONE guy, Maybe you should go write another Amazon review about it. Let people know not to buy Madden because they forgot the picture of some DT

          • Crimson

            If I had bought it on Amazon, I would’ve wrote a review to make your EA head spin. But I don’t need to do that, do I. I’ll leave that up to all the other people that bought it, to tell everybody else not to buy it.

            Kinda stings a little, huh? LOL

            Oh, can I post another link to those Amazon reviews? LOL.


          • Dont you have anything better to do with your time?

          • Crimson

            Actually i do. Go ahead, enjoy the Madden discussion.

          • 49ersfan1

            omg im gonna throw my game away cuz they made a mistake with that guy no one knows. if that was manning or rodgers or even… hahaha…. CALVIN JOHNSON THE COVER GUY, this would be news…

          • Crimson
          • Hunter

            I would just like to ask you, what exactly is stuck up you’re ass? If you hate the game why are you so concerned? Perhaps you should take some deep breaths and grow the fuck up. You’re entitled to have an opinion, but show a little respect.

          • beermn76

            Crimson just hates his life. He comes on this site to try to make everyone else here miserable.

          • its a shame that our greatest player in detroit got screwed i really think that calvin didnt have any idea that josh the screw hard core madden gamers was going to pull this crap.

    • Game breaker!!! Real news worthy item there…

      • Crimson

        This game was broken before this story even popped up.

      • Crimson

        This game was broken before this story even popped up.

        • guest

          dude i think im with everyone who enjoys pastas site here in saying that you need to get a f*cking life. all you do is trash the site and madden constantly. if you don’t like the game fine, you don’t need to post paragraphs on every single article about madden. believe it or not people actually like the game alot (including myself) and that is evident by the millions of copies sold. just because you dont like it doesnt make it a bad game, thats why your not a f*cking video game critic. you reach to trash madden so far to point out a players picture being switched around with another guy with the same name who used to be in the league.

          and yea, you post so much that i only come on this site to look at madden news and i see your stupid *ss comments under every single article, and this is my first time ever commenting on this site. honestly is your life that bad that you spend literally ALL of you time talking about something you hate? i feel bad for you…

          • guest2

            let it go, just ignore him.

          • Crimson

            He really should. LOL…you obviously knew better.

          • Crimson

            This is your first time commenting because you’re fucking illiterate. I did read through your comments though. Didn’t give a fuck, but I read them. You feel better? Does that give you hope?

          • Riposte

            His literacy is more valid than like half of your comments that begin and end with lol, so this is like meeting a talking pot whose found a nice kettle to start a life with.

  • Erick

    I LOVE this as a coach. I haven’t been this invested in Madden outside online play in some time. I’m a Browns fan so I have to play pretty much every game to get wins and progress and even then it’s sometimes tough. For example, playing against Peyton Manning is VASTLY different than playing against Flacco. I swear Peyton knew every single play I called and adjusted. It was frustrating and fun at the same time.

    The Coaches XP is slow imo but I understand why. In a season I think I earned about 12k but skipped a few practices. I like the after game “tweets” and headlines. They are well written although a few are repetitive. Skip for example comes off as the tool he is.

    The CC is by far my favorite feature and is the ONLY reason I will be playing all season aside from the new physics system which is great.

    • Crimson

      Wow Erick.The way this was written, I don’t even believe that you really meant ANY of it. Pretty good try though. You would burn a whole village down, if you were hooked up to a lie detector in that particular village.

      “Give it at least 14 calender days, and if the check still hasn’t arrived by that time, please feel free to give us a call at the number we’ve previously provided. If the recorded message tells you that the number has been changed, keep trying until you get through. We appreciate your enthusiasm for the game. We really do.”

      • Erick

        do you really think anyone gives a fuck about you? If you EVER had anything constructive to say then maybe you wouldn’t be such a joke but your a troll. Plain and simple. No idea why Pasta doesn’t ban you and Keith. You contribute NOTHING positive to this site at all.

        • Irony

          ha, and you do?

    • Peter Moore

      Josh Looman is that you?

      • Crimson

        Considering the damage control that needs to be done with this game, one would actually wonder if it really was him.

      • Christopher5

        i breezed through the post and saw the word tool…has to be looman.

  • Crimson

    Wow, Pasta. That’s a whole lot of explanations and afterthought, after your glowing review, to just come back and say in essence…I’ve now spent more time with this game, and truthfully, this game is some dark peanutty shit…but let’s all just wait until the first patch before we admit we were initially wrong in our first assessment.

    • CSaintSwag]

      I HATE U SIR.

      • Crimson

        Good. Then my work here is almost done.

      • Crimson

        Good. Then my work here is almost done.

  • 49ersfan1

    sucks that u cant be a kicker, punter, or FB… can u be a KR or PR tho?

  • CSaintSwag]

    This game is the best ever nuff said…EA RULES!!!!!

  • tc

    so i just have one question, i played madden 13 today but i am just curious can i only play with one player? or can i control a whole team?

    • Crimson

      no one cares.

      • tc

        i can see where you are coming from for sure, i havent gotten madden since madden 10, but just asking nicely to see if anyone out there can give me just a small detail if you can or cannot control a full team rather than 1 player.

        • Christopher5

          whole team.

  • Crimson
    • Christopher5

      damn if this were college football that would resemble penn states recruiting classes for the next ten years lol. 61 (1) star ratings and only 10 (5) star ratings…community is speaking.

  • wolf onatshirt

    Google Madden 13 Amazon. Scroll down to user reviews. Look to the right hand side. Bask in reality.

    • Crimson

      LOL….too funny. Reality is that ugly bitch in the next room asking “why they’re on some damn website cursing at people they ain’t never met, and not playing that damn stupid ass football game they just wasted $65 on!?”.

  • Who cares about the people who don’t like the game? Why are you shocked by the changes? Do you not look up whats new in a game before you purchase it? If the game stays the same you complain, if something changes you complain. Just don’t buy it if you don’t like what they added, move on.

    • Riposte

      Thread-winner, bread-winner.

    • you’d love reading the amazon reviews for this game (ps3 at least), seems the ‘community’ didn’t want change after all. amazing.

      actually have a look:

      these f**k’s have the nerve to complain about the ‘lack’ of franchise, seems like some morons didn’t get the memo that superstar and franchise are all rolled into one. god forbid we get something new after 6 stale years, shame on EA tiburon for at least trying. shame on them.

      • wolf onatshirt

        Hey oblivious dumbfuck, it’s not the same.

        • hahahaha

      • Keith.

        LoL at the EA Game Changers.

        After word got out that Amazon had a TON of one star reviews posted, sure enough at least 2 of the Game Changers (RynoAid and Casey DLG) posted long 5 star reviews on Amazon this morning. Just waiting to see when jpdavis will get his 5 star review posted next…LoL.

        EA damage control at its finest.

        • Christopher5

          hes not high enough in the ranks to do that just yet, he has to prove himself.

          • Keith.

            Lol…you’re probably right.

            Just saw a third Game Changer (JBHuskers) get his glowing review up on Amazon. Seems like Pasta and the Game Changers are the only people who have been posting positive reviews on Amazon…lol.

          • Christopher5

            yea JBhuskers is a big NCAA guy…ive seen a bunch of his stuff about custom playbooks etc. Dosn’t suprise me that he is pushing this game either. If i see a JPdavis post it will make me LOL tho.

      • skimydia

        and you’ve probaby lost 85% of all madden games you’ve ever played. the game sucks, you suck, you both suck.

    • wolf onatshirt

      Funny how you bitch about people bitchin but here you are bitchin. Contradiction is a bitch.

  • Breezy

    I hate not having a multiplayer franchise anymore!

  • ty

    Crimson has a vaginal deformity

  • CASH

    Every person on Amazon is upset because they can’t do the fantasy drafts anymore, how about everybody critique what’s actually in the game instead of giving it a one star simply because fantasy drafts are not there anymore. I could see if its gameplay that’s busted but their only gripe is no fantasy draft. I’m actually having fun playing the things that the game does have, and GO SAINTS!!!

    • wolf onatshirt

      Um no dumbfuck, they’re mad because you can only play with one camera on ccm, there’s no edit player/roster for ccm, ai is fucked, no assist tackles as a matter of fact the whole tackling stats is fucked, need I say more dipshit?

      • Zoltan

        Why you so angry?!

  • wells

    I am in the uk waiting for the release of madden 13 and have a couple of questions. The ratings for this game are quite sporadic as obviously some people did not read what had changed before it came out, or did but the loss of some features meant that even if it was otherwise a perfect game it would get a 1 star rating.
    So my question is, is this game worth getting if I am someone who only plays offline franchise, does not care about the fantasy draft and does not play with friends. The only real issue for me is the no editing of numbers or positions.

    • skimydia

      game sucks but its the only football game available. the new motion engine thing really isnt that cool either. quite annoying actually. the slightest touch of another player (even my own on a run play) has him falling all over the place. franchise without the fantasy draft is eh. trade are a bitch, FA signings only 1 year, scouting blows plus you cant upload ncaa rosters, browns always sign mcnabb for some reason?? no point he sucks anyway, reminds me of ncaa more than anything. stick this new motion engine in 2012 and youve got a better game. save your money and buy NHL13 or the new black ops or fif. just horrendous.

    • Skopin

      It is an improvement over previous iterations in the gameplay department, definitely. The modes have been stripped a little bit, but since you don’t even use the fantasy draft, it won’t affect you. Some of the players look off (Brandon Weeden). But overall it’s better where it counts: on the field. If you have 12 and like it, you may want to wait until next year or when the price drops. But it is fun and a much better game.

    • NoFro904

      If you like Offline Franchise then you will Love the Connected Careers Coach mode.
      The mode is great . Actually makes you feel like its Your team and the story lines are nice to. Only bad thing IMO is that yea you cant edit the rosters. The Ratings change based on which Scheme you have set up for your Team.

      • wells

        cheers, I have pre-ordered it. now just looking forward to playing with my lions. Pretty much have every game since 96 but madden 12 was far too similar for my liking. The only annoying bit for me is not being able to swap positions for players

        • Matt Vincent

          I am the same way. I really only like to play franchise mode, and the new connected careers coach mode is exactly what I’ve been waiting for. Also the infinity engine is really amazing.

  • pasta im suprised at you really like this head coach bull crap? bring back 2k nfl 15 in 2014 cant wait . i dont under stand some of you guys at all ? how in the hell can you you say this crap is great. if they had took the time to put this in madden 12 then it would have been great. i was die hard madden lover untill this josh looman production. called screw you madden13.

  • Being a person that plays mostly online ranked games on madden I believe the game sucks in that department (NO DEFENSE). But how can you guys say CC sucks? you can’t honestly tell me you had fun playing Madden 12 franchise it was boring right after you finished the first season at least now you can control your guy’s rating instead of 2,000 rushing yards later no increase. And oh my tackles aren’t registering right.Seriously? shut the fuck up that’s what your bitching about? Oh and no fantasy draft who gives a fuck go play fantasy football on ESPN if that’s the case. The CC is actually enjoyable to me, and player mode online with friend’s is a great feature so if it mean’s loosing the ability to stack your team in a fantasy draft so be it. If you don’t like the game quit bitching and return it. Or wait a week for a patch Jesus Fucking Christ.

  • Jesus

    Lmao, its amazing that EA can make great Hockey, Soccer, Boxing, and fuck even made some great Baseball games, but when it comes to their two biggest sports titles, NBA Live and Madden, they put out complete shit every year.

  • Big burrito

    This is by far the best madden so far. Haven’t had this much fun withal den ever and I’ve owned everyone since 04. I’ll admit 11 and 12 were weak but this year is amazing. I don’t get why people care about editing players so much and connected careers is far superior to franchise mode, but people love bitching.

  • Bitchy mcbitcherson

    Boo hoo they don’t have fantasy drafts and I can’t change players gear and jersey numbers! 🙁

  • Timbo Slice

    Does anybody know if you ever even reach Free Agency in CC Player? Last year in Superstar Mode you literally just resigned with your old team but it was super easy to get traded. I would love to experience a free agency period with my created QB.

  • oweih

    nfl head coach 13! and they i thought they would never make another one… thank you ea now bring back the player editing, connected career player supersim and turn the coach mode into more of a gm mode so the position coachs can give advice like in nfl head coach, the nfl draft sucks as well as scouting

  • skimydia

    madden blowwwwsssssssssssssssssss 8====D~~~~~~~~~~

  • WOW! They couldn’t just leave franchise mode alone? The best madden in years? Umm…. well I guess they have one more game left (madden 14) before everyone one is pissed off at them when Nxt Gen comes. I can see it now madden 15 with zero modes and zero anything.

  • WOW! They couldn’t just leave franchise mode alone? The best madden in years? Umm…. well I guess they have one more game left (madden 14) before everyone one is pissed off at them when Nxt Gen comes. I can see it now madden 15 with zero modes and zero anything.

  • Matt

    I’ve always said that “Superstar” mode should progress from high school through college and into the pros – that would help create an attachment to the player as you play through the mode.

  • CCM hater

    The wanted changes were on the gameplay side(which were done well) not the franchise. This rpg crap is weak. With this years gameplay and last years franchise this madden would have been epic.

  • FRank

    Good… but needs a patch for recent transactions history how was this not added

  • Guest

    I found the player mode in CC to be incredibly boring. I found myself sitting there and watching 75% of the game being simmed. As a RB I could have called every offensive play to be a run play but I wanted to have some realism to it. I was bored after 2 games. I can’t imagine anyone finding this entertaining.

  • I found the player mode in CC to be incredibly boring. I found myself
    sitting there and watching 75% of the game being simmed. As a RB I could
    have called every offensive play to be a run play but I wanted to have
    some realism to it. I was bored after 2 games. I can’t imagine anyone
    finding this entertaining.

  • fff


    My fantasy draft for my online franchise is tonight, but I
    wont have access to my console. Is
    there a way for me to do the draft on my computer?

    I know this was possible in past Madden games. Please write

  • MM Gamer21

    Is it possible to change your college in the middle of the season?

  • jonathan

    hey man you really don’yt know nothing. First there’s four areas in the career menu, in the las one (more…) you can’t stats and this kind of stuff. You can use a low draft and playing in all-pro, you should be able to sack a QB or tackle a RB with ease… NOOB