New details on Madden NFL 08 revealed

Posted May 18th, 2007 at 2:58 pm

Madden Cover

IGN has posted up their Five things to know about Madden 08 article, and in it several new things were revealed and detailed. You can also check out the first gameplay trailer on their video page. Taking a look at the features:

In Madden, the term is Smart Quarterback and it’s 1 of 24 superstar abilities in the game. Here’s how it works: There is an icon under Manning as he lines up (in fact, anyone who has a special weapon ability has an icon that looks similar to NBA Live’s Superstar icons). When you start the game, Manning’s icon is gray. The more the defense calls the same plays throughout the game, the more Manning’s icon turns to gold. When the icon is completely gold, the guy controlling the offense can hold down the right trigger + LB to reveal the play art of the defense.

The initial response to hearing about icons for players and revealing the play of the opposition may be that of concern, however when you think it out this makes perfect sense and could really improve the experience and realism.

How many years has Michael Vick been one of the most valuable QBs in the game, while Peyton Manning felt like just another pocket QB? The reasoning is that awareness is a useless rating when the player is user-controlled. That isn’t the case now. Manning will be able to read defenses better as Vick will not have that capability.

For those who get upset at their opponents choosing the same players over and over, now that form of “cheese” will be countered. It will force more diversity in play calling.

Randy Moss Patriots 2

And the cool thing is, for every weapon, there is a counter. For power backs who use the Truck Stick, defenders can use Hit Stick 2.0 to tap down on the right stick and take out their legs. For players like Brett Favre who have a “Cannon Arm”, sure he can throw the farthest and with the most velocity, but he is also more likely to overthrow his receivers. Guys like Laurence Maroney carry a wicked “Stiff Arm” as their weapon, but are prone to the defensive strip at the same time.

And I believe this is really the key to any sports game, especially when playing head-to-head. No the game will never be perfect, but if there are counters to everything than it can become more of a strategical battle. A player like Randy Moss, who has the great leaping ability and special animations, now isn’t unstoppable as you can hit the receiver in mid-air.

Owner mode is back in Madden! According to producer David Ortiz, not only will Owner mode be in Madden for the 360 and PS3, it will include everything that was in the PS2 version and more.

This is another in a long line of returning features from past versions of Madden. Consumers have been disappointed that these did not make were missing from the next-gen versions. So EA has responded this year. Owner mode joins others such as player editing, fantasy drafts, defensive hot-routes, and co-op. Welcome back!

Timmons #15 screen

The guys at EA Sports also guaranteed that the camera angles for all positions have been improved to make the mode more playable (Superstar)

And last year the camera angles single-handedly killed Superstar mode. In addition to other annoyances such as non-customizable controls, having to watch all the other plays (even the FF mode wasn’t good enough), the unnecessary influence points and intrusive pop-up screens, and watching the poor AI (both in play calling and watching the play on the field).

It was possibly the most frustrating mode I had ever played, because I really wanted to get into it but because of those factors and others it just wasn’t worth it. Since it appears that many of those earlier factors have been addressed this year, the excitement for Superstar mode is back.

The more I played Madden yesterday, the more I was blown away, not just by the flashing eye candy of graphics and animations and gang tackles and 60 frames-per-second, but by the amazing responsiveness of the controls.

This is very nice to hear (as Madden 07 and even more so 06) felt sluggish control wise. Personally I changed from controlling a safety to linebackers because the players just didn’t react well enough and it cost me too many times. It may not be a good thing to go completely back to the current gen style where you could cut and turn unrealistically fast, and hopefully that isn’t what is being hinted towards. However it would be great to get that instant response when trying to make a move or a play or when having switched onto a new player. Just keep it more realistic in what can be accomplished by an individual.