New Madden 08 hands-on previews and video interview

Posted June 16th, 2007 at 5:04 am

Both IGN and Gamespot have posted up extended impressions from first hand looks at Madden 08. IGN has also posted a video interview with producer David Ortiz which also shows off some gameplay footage. You can check out the video on IGN’s page or you can view it here by clicking through to the full article.

Highlights from the writeups:


the game just feels much more like pro football than it ever has on next-gen consoles. Players now respond to your every touch so there’s no more getting caught in catch animations on out-routes and jogging haplessly out of bounds. Running now feels much more natural as well thanks to some new foot planting technology. The days of sliding around the field are all but over.

different run animations for when your running back is trying to make his way through the offensive and defensive line. There’s no more running in place like the Wiley Coyote when you hit the back of your O-lineman.

In past years jumping catches over the middle granted your wideouts invincibility, but this year they can get popped like never before. Now you’ll get up-ended if the hit lands just right, knocking the ball out of your hands in the process.

there’s no more getting caught in a catch animation, so as soon as the ball hits your hands the receiver is in your control, and the added responsiveness of the controls really helps in this regard.

Defensive linemen now play more of a role than simply being a body on the field. You can execute a nice repertoire of moves to try and get past the opposition, or disengage and roam free.

The gang tackles were also in full effect, though it doesn’t seem that more than two or three players can get in on a tackle at one time, but it’s still cool to see the ball carrier realistically react to multiple impacts.

It was very clear what EA’s true emphasis is for this year’s Madden, and that is gameplay, gameplay, gameplay. The title harkens back to past Madden titles in that its gameplay is extremely fast, fluid, and responsive. User jukes are back in the sense that you don’t really need the highlight stick to make someone look stupid, just contort your player and create your very own juke move. While there are plenty of new bells and whistles that will please a lot of players, the real star of the show is finally the gameplay.

As an editor we’re never supposed to pass judgment on an unfinished game, but when it comes to Madden 08, we’re hard pressed not to chalk it up as a huge win for EA Sports.


player animations have improved–and not just in variety. Sure, this year’s game is going to have more tackle, juke, and catch animations than previous games in the series, but thanks to a new branching system that determines how one animation transition into another, the variety of animations from one play to the next should be more true to life than ever before.

Another bit of presentation fun we saw in our time with the game was the inclusion of Marshall Faulk providing pregame and postgame commentary on games. Faulk is the former St. Louis Rams running back, current NFL Network commentator, and surefire Hall of Famer who will have a big presence in the presentation. He’ll even go so far as to make pregame predictions on the winner in some cases.

With the tangible improvements made to the animation and gameplay, there’s a lot to be excited about with Madden NFL 08. This is considering we still haven’t had time with the updated NFL Superstar mode or the new franchise mode.

With the high praise these sites are giving the game (and that level of enthusiasm on IGN’s part is unprecedented) it sure looks like this might be the year that Madden recaptures the magic of old. Lets hope so, because people are craving it.