Breaking down some of the Madden NFL 16 footage out of E3

Posted June 22nd, 2015 at 2:30 pm


Though limited, there was enough footage out of E3 to start and evaluate how Madden NFL 16 is shaping up. I’ve gone through one of the videos and pulled out the relevant segments to identify what’s new, what looks good, and what maybe still needs some work. 

Games appear to have the exact same openings as Madden 15, which I’m sure most regularly skipped past after spending any significant amount of time with it. There’s also no coin toss again, so lets hope selecting kick/receive beforehand actually works this time.

Quarterbacks enter the field on their first drive to stats and video like last year. The look is a little different this time around however.

It’s somewhat alarming to see this again, as the CPU takes a bad sack on a screen pass. There was no where to go with the ball, three offensive lineman who move out to block for the running back get their hands on absolutely no one, and the right tackle is completely lost on the play. Still Colin Kaepernick had an opportunity to throw the ball away and instead he eats the sack.

On this screen pass you can see the on-screen icons and feedback popping up that tell you what kind of pass was thrown and what type of catch is being made. There’s mixed reaction to all these things being thrown on-screen and at least they can be turned off. Last year the “tackle cone” was worthless and the indicators flashing on-screen made the D-Line controls seem gimmicky. The feedback these new ones provide though could be valuable. They appear distracting when watching the game but probably will fade into the background when actually playing like they did last year too.

A poor blocking scheme here allows Antoine Bethea to come off the edge unblocked and tackle the running back short of the line to gain on third down. The handoff animation probably should have been quicker for an inches-to-go situation. The replay is shot from an angle that provides no value to the viewer, and wouldn’t be seen on a television broadcast. Unfortunately that’s no change from the past few years in Madden.

This is a nice looking run from the CPU on a draw play. A huge lane is opened up between the center and right guard, and Carlos Hyde hits it strong. There’s no hesitation from him and he displays some burst there that the CPU rarely, if ever, has showcased in the past.

Colin Kaepernick throws an inaccurate pass on third down. Not only was inaccuracy in QBs promised last year and not really delivered upon, but the rare inaccuracy that was seen often felt completely random. Here though it’s on a slant, a timing route, where Kaepernick misses badly despite being settled in a clean pocket. That’s a good sign.

Hollalujah! One of the dumbest presentation elements in recent years of Madden has been the camera focusing in on the holder after a kick is made. You would never see that in a broadcast on television, unless the holder messed it up, which of course doesn’t happen in Madden. Here the camera follows the kicker on his way off the field instead!

It’s been seen from time to time in past Madden’s, and now even in limited footage already twice in Madden 16. Larry Fitzgerald makes the catch, hits the ground, and doesn’t appear to be touched yet the play is ruled dead at that point. Even if barely touched a real player would absolutely get up and try to gain more yards in that situation rather than give up on the play.

Eric Reid, the safety, reads this play perfectly. He starts to close on Michael Floyd before the ball is even thrown. He probably should have had a pick but instead stays behind the play and somehow manages to completely whiff on both Floyd and the ball with a bad looking one-handed swat animation. The “Aggressive” catch triggers an awkward one-handed catch animation also.

Though the GIFs don’t have audio, it’s also worth nothing the commentary is largely unchanged, and that’s a big disappointment. The original footage used in this piece comes from this video captured by Gator. Look for part two of the gameplay video breakdowns later this week!