Quick Thoughts From E3 2013 Day One

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Posted June 11th, 2013 at 6:15 pm

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Here are some basic impressions from the first day being on the show floor of E3 which featured prominently the upcoming EA Sports games. The company shut down any recording of the games at their booth so unlike past years the number of videos and images coming out will be limited. Included at the end of this piece are the short videos of Madden NFL 25 captured before that point as the taking of them had been approved to begin the day.

Thoughts on all the games will be expanded upon in future articles and upcoming Press Row Podcasts and Hangouts. 

EA Sports PS4 and Xbox One Titles

The behind-closed-door presentations for these games contained more substance than had been anticipated. Though limited, all of them had a playable element and presentations featured a good deal of information and display at actual in-game assets. It’s important to note though that there is no way to determine how well these games will come together for release from what was shown today.

Most impressive of the bunch was EA Sports UFC. The game isn’t set to release until next April but it was phenomenal graphically and in the tech that demonstrated. Focus was on areas such as the likenesses, emotion, exertion, movement, true and dynamic damage across the whole body, soft tissue contact, and a stage-based submission system. One very cool moment happened with Benson Henderson when he brushed back his hair after getting hit – just like he often does in real life throughout a fight.

Least impressive was Madden NFL 25 which didn’t stand out as a huge leap over the current generation version which had been played earlier in the day. Before jumping to judgment keep in mind this comes from early in development and featured all 22 players on field but in a practice environment with only running plays as Adrian Peterson. Enhancements to the blocking were the focus here but it seemed like the current gen version had already showed a lot of it and the physics and animations were somewhat familiar. Madden just didn’t “pop” the way the other next-gen games on display did.

FIFA 14 was steady and looked great just like the trailers would suggest. The mob surrounding the station though kept from any hands-on time. Confidence is high in the game and it looks to be on-track.

There is reason to be encouraged about the prospects for NBA Live 14. Certainly no one should commit in any way to the game at this stage but the vibe around it is distinctly different than was the case with Live 13 and Elite 11. A practice court with Kyrie Irving provided an opportunity to get a feel for the controls and the new dribbling “bounceTek” system that releases the ball to physics. The right stick controls dribble moves and a modifier allows for executing a player’s signature moves and Irving’s looked great.

Madden NFL 25 (360/PS3)

In the time spent with the current-gen version of Madden NFL 25 the game looked and felt great. There is a lot more to evaluating than can be accomplished with such limited exposure but what was immediately noticed was all positive. Unfortunately the lack of videos means everyone else won’t have as much of a chance to fully scrutinize what has been done for this year.

The gameplay feels slowed with player acceleration nowhere near as instantaneous as it had been but scaled to provide a feel of differentiation between players. Defensive backs play the ball more realistically and interceptions look far more natural. The physics system has been cleaned up and the awkward moments mostly removed. The defensive line collapsed the pocket a few times which was rare to see in past Madden iterations.

The running game is immensely fun now with offensive line blocking showing signs of advancement. At one point what looked like a wall of three offensive lineman drove back two defensive lineman several yards and I was able to cut through a big hole to the right of them. There probably will be head-scratching moments still with blocking but it appeared to be much more consistent and dynamic. The zone-read plays are really satisfying to use and effective if done properly. The running back (and any ball carrier) can be much more shifty and make effective cuts as player control is far more precise. There is no doubt the changes made to the run game will seriously alter the balance of my offense as it will shift back to being more run-oriented and that is a development that gets me excited.

These videos are from very first game we played at E3 when we were just trying to get a feel for things. Recording was shut down after about 15 minutes – so many of the cooler moments as we started to get things figured out don’t show up here (great offensive line blocking at times, running the read-option, more examples of shifty moves by running backs, a great looking interception, a few big plays down field, the game coming down to the wire). There is also an obvious bug with the Vikings unis that is going to be fixed.

  • tc

    nothing impressive there

  • tc

    when the defenders tackle the ball carrier or receiver they automatically get into awkward stance like they have a stiff back and cant bend, thats the same thing they have had for years

  • Shomari T. Kee

    Is it just me or do the Vikings jerseys look all sorts of bad? In some shots it looks like the front of the jerseys is darker than the back. And Christian Ponder’s jerseys looks all messed up. Maybe it’s the angle of the TV or my laptop, but it doesn’t look right.

    I can be wrong…but it’s really distracting me from seeing anything gameplay-wise.

    • SaintsFan122

      This is only an early version of the game and much will be tuned leading up to the final version. As bad as EA is I don’t think they would let this be any kind of issue in the final version.

    • dhall

      Did you not read the information above, dude? It explains all of that…Read before you open your mouth to bitch and complain.

      • Duuuduus

        wow so harsh

    • July 4 1776

      The Vikings jersey numbers are wrong. The first number is supposed to be pointed. EA Messes up again on Vikings jerseys. Man I love madden but just once I want my Vikings to have the right jerseys, is it really that hard?

  • BCrock2314

    looks great! Running game much better presented

  • Thomas O’Connell

    Holy crap I’m nervous… Is this current or next gen?!?!?! It looked like M25 for X360 on there. If this is current gen then it looks great, otherwise it looks like crap

  • Keith.

    Many thanks for the videos, Pasta. I only watched the first one but I can see why EA doesn’t want video of this game all over youtube.

    On the very first long TD run, I saw that the entire defense still chases AP all the way down the field single-file style. Can you ask the Tiburon guys what happened to improved pursuit angles?

    And while you’re at it, can you ask them why the ball still bounces like a brick when it hits the ground on punts and incomplete passes? And what happened to replays from cameras we actually see on TV?

    On a separate note, are there any new playable camera angles this year? Any changes to broadcast cam? And is Defensive Lock cam in the game? I know a lot of guys over at OS have been petitioning for that cam for at least 3 years now.

    Thanks again for the videos — much appreciated!

  • Joey I

    Looking at the next-gen and current Madden, I’m extremely saddened…are we doomed for another 5-10 years? 2K where are you?

  • kbomb1upc

    Thanks Pasta. Great write up and thanks for the videos.

  • real talk

    not impresssed at all wth man !!!! i look like 13

    • fantasyboi

      u look like 13?

  • Dave3979

    I haven’t bothered with Madden for years and there is nothing ( I know it’s early) that I see here that makes me think this year will be any different.
    I keep wanting to be impressed by Madden but it just never seems quite right.

  • derrn

    Even just in those few minutes I can see its much improved. More looking forward to current gen now than I had been.

  • ukilledkenny7

    Looks awesome.

  • July 4 1776

    Fix the Vikings jerseys numbers are all wrong EA, its supposed to look like this

    http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2013-04-25/minnesota-vikings-new-uniforms-nike-jersey-photos-design-helmets

  • Satisfied

    Played the next gen version, ran the ball with AP over and over.
    It feels like a cleaned up 2k version, slightly larger characters, slower gameplay, but better 4 me

  • Boo

    Looks the same as Madden 13. EA, fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, fuck off!

  • tyler

    I wouldn’t call the vikings uniform a bug. It just doent look finished at all. The helmets shouldn’t be shiny, the sleeve pattern is completely wrong(ponder didn’t have one), the numbers are completely wrong, and its the wrong purple. Pretty sure all of that isn’t a bug.

  • tyler

    how was passing? did receivers react to the ball better? i know with last years game they liked to keep running instead of coming back to the ball. also noticed they would rarely jump for the ball.

  • Khaleel Ward

    Were you impressed by Live 14?

    • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

      Impressed isn’t the word I’d use. Reason to have some hope though in that game from what I saw – but it was only one component of what when it becomes 5-on-5 will tell the whole story.

  • Tiddy28

    I skipped over Madden 13, and quite frankly, I’ll be skipping this year too. As many others have pointed out, it looks exactly the same as previous entries in the franchise. I don’t want any part of that.

  • BeRealistic

    Y would anyone expect the last build on the old console, in this case really old, to be any different? Hope for some ai improvement, but to look different, when all the effort is on next gen?

  • Vike Fan

    If they don’t fix the Vikings uniforms I am not buying this game. The number font is wrong (should be serifs on the front number) and players with longer sleeves like Ponder’s don’t have the sleeve stripes at all.

    This would be two years in a row they messed up the Vikes unis. Last year they made the collar on the away jerseys yellow instead of purple.

  • HeatFan93

    I am skipping Madden 13 on the 360. This game looks worse than Madden 13. At least you had the in the booth talk between Nantz and Simms at the beginning. Now, it just bleak stuff.

  • Iown You

    Why does Russell Wilson have the look and skintone of Tarvaris Jackson?

    Anyway, I saw a number of good things in those videos. I see a lot of foot-planting and cutting which is huge, but so damn late. I can’t understand why it took them 10 years to do that.

    It looks like they completely got rid of the post-play sequence instead of improving it. Not a shocker since that’s been Tiburon’s MO for years “If we can’t make it better, we just quit on it.”

    Nothing to write home about. Just another Madden.

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