Madden NFL 13 drops in less than a month, and you know what that means.
It's almost time for you to take that annual sick day from work. You know the day you call in to work with a mysterious illness, but your boss can hear the clicking of your game controller in the background.
I would be willing to bet that few—if any—other games inspire as many release day call-ins as Madden.
We love football and video games, and there isn't another game available that delivers them both to us like Madden.
Information about the newest version of the ultra-popular series has been rolling in, and I'll have the latest for you right here. You can consider this the one-stop shop for the newest information leading up to release.
The pre-release coverage will culminate in a demo impression, and then the post-release coverage will kick off with a full review.
The newest update will always be after this introduction, so bookmark this article.
Here is the vital information about the release:
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Formats: Xbox 360, PS3 and Nintendo Wii
Publisher: EA Sports
Here is what we know so far.
Update: August 20, 2012 - By: Brian Mazique
Top Rated Defensive Players and Madden Monday Video
The top 10 defensive players in Madden 13 have been revealed. This was the most debatable top 10 released thus far, in my opinion. I'm not saying the 10 players included didn't deserve high rankings, but I felt their the list needs to be rearranged a bit.
You can see for yourself here:
The sixth Madden Mondays dropped as well, and this shows that Madden Moments will be back in full this year. The four different playable angles, many of the throwback and alternate uniforms, plus details on Jim Nantz and Phil Simms on-screen integration.
They actually change camera angles based on the stadium, and Nantz and Simms actually change suits.
Check out the video here:
Update: August 19, 2012 - By: Brian Mazique
Complete Connected Careers Website Walkthrough and NFL Draft Live With Trey Wingo
Here are two recently released videos that highlight Connected Careers, and the draft in Madden 13:
Update: August 17, 2012 - By: Brian Mazique
Complete Receiver and Tight End Ratings
EA Sports released the complete player ratings for the WR/TE in Madden 13. The top 10 has already been released, and you can see the video if you scroll down.
This list is a more verbose list that includes every player in the game at the positions.
Click here to have your mind explode.
Update: August 15, 2012 - By: Brian Mazique
Game Manuals and Connected Careers Manual
The game manual has been released for Madden 13 by EA Sports. It's your standard manual with all the expected pieces of instructions.
But what isn't a standard piece of video game reading is the massive, 175-page, Connected Careers manual. This thing is huge, and it is filled with awesomeness. Any question you have about the mode can be answered in these pages.
Here is link to both, have fun, there's only 13 days until the retail release.
Update: August 15, 2012 - By: Brian Mazique
PastaPadre revealed screenshots of Madden 13 that show all of the Kinect voice commands available in the game.
It's a pretty large list. Here's one screenshot, but click here to see them all.
Update: August 14, 2012 - By: Brian Mazique
The demo has been released for Xbox 360, and i've got some gameplay videos for you. This is the 49ers vs. Giants matchup, and the game is looking quite nice. Check it out:
Stay tuned for Redskins vs. Seahawks gameplay. Here is a link to my demo impression.
Update: August 13, 2012 - By: Brian Mazique
Top 10 Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
EA Sports released this video counting down the top 10 WR/TE in Madden 13. It shouldn't take you a second to guess which player is the top-rated pass-catcher.
Check out the video below, click here to vote for the fastest receiver, best route-runner and spectacular catch.
Full WR/TE ratings coming soon,
Update: August 10, 2012 - By: Brian Mazique
The details on the Madden 13 demo has been released. It drops on August 14 for Xbox 360, PS3 and PS Vita. EA Sports has delivered some of the details, and it sounds as if this will be one of the biggest demos in a while.
There will be multiple uniforms available, and pre-game introductions followed by Jim Nantz and Phil Simms setting up the story lines for the matchup you're playing.
The information roll-out doesn't say full commentary, so I'm assuming that may not be included, as it genuinely isn't for most demos.
You'll be able to create yourself using the GameFace technology as a player or coach for use in the full release. Click here to read all the details from EA Sports.
Here are two videos showing the available games in the demo:
The RB Ratings
(per EA Sports)
EA also released the full ratings for the NFL's RBs. Here is a list of the top runners with their ratings in the most valid categories. Click here to see the full ratings matrix for all RBs.
The Cover Athlete
Calvin Johnson is the cover athlete after his surprising defeat of Cam Newton in the cover vote. I must admit, I was shocked. But Detroit, stand up, you got your guy on the cover.
It's hard to criticize Megatron on the cover, as he's arguably the best player in the NFL.
EA Sports has been releasing the player ratings by position, and of course they started with the quarterbacks. This video was released to countdown the top 10 signal-callers.
But here are the vital ratings for more of the top QBs in the game:
(You can see this entire list at EA Sports website.
If you are a complete vidiot like myself, click here to see the full ratings for every QB in every category.
EA is also allowing fans to vote on specific ratings categories. Fans voted on fastest QB, QB with highest awareness and strongest arm.
For RBs, fans can vote on fastest RB, highest truck rating and most elusive. The voting takes place on Facebook, and here's the link to get involved. Relax, you can only pick from serious nominees. You can't vote Peyton Manning as the fastest QB.
The video for the top 10 RBs has also been released and you can see it here.
Stay tuned as more positional ratings become available.
EA decided to reveal a bulk of the information about Madden 13 via a video package called Playbooks.
Here are those videos and some tidbits that have been released since:
I've always wanted EA Sports to up the ante in regard to presentation. I've always felt that NBA 2K really nailed that aspect of gaming, and that there were tons of opportunities for the Madden series to knock it out of the park in this area.
From the looks of things, I'd say steps have been taking in that direction.
The video below focuses on the enhanced TV-style broadcast, camera usage that highlights motion-blur, uniform upgrades and the first time Madden has ever shown its commentators on-screen.
Check it out:
Gameplay Part 1
This is always a huge deal for the newest version of any sports video game series. In this, the first part of Madden's gameplay reveal, the video focuses on several things. The different pass trajectories is a key focal point.
If you've played NCAA Football 13, you're familiar with how this will impact the passing game. They've also attempted to better the play-action system.
Hopefully this won't result in the high percentage of sacks that play-action used to lead to. This is also something that made an appearance in NCAA Football 13.
On defense, EA Sports will also employ the Read and React system that NCAA Football 13 boasts.
To experienced Madden players, this means eliminating the psychic DB. There are other gameplay features discussed, so check out the video here:
Audio and Commentary
EA Sports released information during a Madden podcast that a select group of NFL QBs would have signature cadences in the game.
Here are the signal-callers who you'll hear call the signals:
While this is not a major deal, it is an addition that adds to the realism of the game. Click the link above to hear some of the QB cadences.
Beyond the QB cadences, EA Sports has also replaced Gus Johnson and Cris Collinsworth with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms. The best thing about this is that Nantz and Simms were together when the audio was recorded.
It may not seem like a big deal, but that can be the difference between dull misplaced commentary and comments that are relevant to the action.
EA Sports has added some different enhancements with crowd and sound effects. Check out the video for all the details:
Gameplay Part 2
For me, this was one of the most exciting playbooks released. This video talks about the use of the Infinity Engine. This engine was not used in NCAA Football 13, and to me it betters what was a good idea in the Backbreaker football game from 505 Games.
It is designed to create limitless possibilities with every tackle and collision. This could be the difference between this Madden and every other Madden in the past.
Check out some visuals in the video.
This mode is so big, it was given two playbooks to cover. In Playbooks 5 and 6, the newest and biggest addition to Madden 13 is covered.
Basically, Connected Careers allows you to play through a season as a player, coach (traditional play) or as a coach that only calls the plays. It sounds similar right?
Well here's how it gets different and revolutionary: The mode combines Be A Superstar mode with traditional franchise mode, and takes it online so you can compete against people all over the world.
If you're not good at controlling a whole team, or you just want to control a created player, you can simply be that one guy throughout his entire career. You'll sign contracts, possibly get traded, get injured, etc.
If you want to play in the traditional way, you can do that as well. You take over in a coach role with the ability to control all aspects of your team.
Best of all, you're competing against others who may be playing the game in different ways.
Check out the video for more information:
Madden 13 has used legends before, but never as in-depth as they are here.
Not only will Madden 13 feature a team called the Canton Greats—decked out in era-specific equipment—but the legends will also appear in your Connected Careers, if you choose to enable that option.
What aspect of the game are you most excited about?
Periodically you'll see the likes of Kurt Warner, Michael Irvin, etc. rekindling their careers. That, to me, is brimming with awesomeness, and I'm putting in my sick-time as we speak.
Motion-controlled gamers and traditional sports gamers are not the same. Finally, someone has realized that and employed sensible Kinect functions in a sports game.
No, you won't be making a throwing motion at your screen, just begging to appear on America's Funniest Home Videos. Instead, you can use Kinect's voice capabilities to call plays, audibles and other adjustments at the line of scrimmage.
Is it necessary?
Probably not, but I can totally see how it could add to that cyber-jock experience. Here's a video detailing the functionality:
DLC and Pre-Order Bonuses
No major release is complete without DLC and pre-order bonuses nowadays. Pre-ordering with Gamestop gets gamers John Madden and Barry Sanders for Connected Careers and offline play. Dropping the dough early with Amazon gets gamers Joe Gibbs, Lawrence Taylor and a $15 promotional credit.
Here are the other retail outlets offering pre-order bonuses:
- Origin (EA Store): Dick Vermeil and Marshall Faulk
- Best Buy: Bill Walsh and Jerry Rice
- Walmart: Tom Landry and John Elway
Each outlet has its benefits, and you can bet that all of the players and coaches will be available at a later date through DLC.
That's all for now, but remember to check back to this article for the latest on Madden 13, and follow me and Facebook for updates.
Follow Brian Mazique and Franchiseplay on Youtube and Twitter for reactions, analysis and news from the world of sports and sports video games