Madden NFL 11: Five Features Not in the New Game
For gamers and football fans alike, the Madden franchise has provided a ground for fans to go deeper into their NFL fandom by controlling their favorite teams and players.
Ever since Madden 2003, I have bought the game every year. However, until they decide to fix certain features, I will no longer invest my money into this game series.
These following five items are just the start of what needs to be fixed in the Madden games.
Since the launch of the game on platforms like Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, the Madden Franchise Mode has lacked substance, and tends to be very redundant.
The features that need to be fixed in Franchise Mode alone is enough to keep the game off the shelves.
There needs to be a Training Camp option where you are given a roster of 75+ players and you are forced to cut the team down to 53. This would also allow diamonds in the rough to be found.
The game could automatically fill your roster with lower caliber players, and with an updated progression system, they could possibly fight for a roster spot by the end of Training Camp.
The offseason mode also needs a ton of work. Whether it be free agency, the draft, adding OTA's, coaching changes, specifying and perfecting a defensive scheme, etc.
This game feature has turned into a complete bore.
Like Franchise Mode, this mode needs to be completely revamped.
You should be able to control your player through the Senior Bowl, pro day, the NFL combine, draft day, training camp, etc.
They need to make it more realistic, while letting your player progress. In Madden the past few years, there has been an uneven balance of results on the field and results off the field.
A new progression system would also improve Superstar mode drastically.
Players in all game modes are not compensated enough with the progression of their players and their team.
They need to really make you feel like you are the player, not just living the life of an animated figure with a mundane and boring life. EA took the potential from Superstar mode and dumbed it down to create quantity over quality.
Digital Molecular Matter (Animation and Physics Engine)
Before you get confused, I will explain. Digital Molecular Matter (DMM) is a software developed by Pixelux.
It is a software revolution that, in layman's terms, allows no two simulations to be the same.
What makes Madden good doesn't necessarily make it great. Madden has featured specific player characteristics since its early days.
That being said, Madden features the same basic types of movements. Whether it is a catching motion, the drop back of a quarterback, or a shoe-string tackle, if you are familiar with the game then you are used to seeing the same motions.
However, Madden has done a good job personalizing movements for certain players. (Running style of TO, the short and quick strides of Maurice Jones-Drew, etc.)
A software engine like DMM would revolutionize Madden gameplay. It would smooth out the rough edges, and it would minimize the redundancies.
To learn more about Pixelux and DMM, visit their website here: http://www.pixelux.com/index.html
Weather and Stadium Ratings
Players do perform differently in certain weather conditions, but that is simply not enough.
Teams and players should be given weather ratings.
For example, the Miami Dolphins would have a terrible cold weather rating, because they play at home in sunny South Florida. They would perform worse in December in New England than the New York Jets.
However, teams like the Buffalo Bills, who are used to playing in cold weather, would have a terrible hot weather rating. They would fatigue easier playing in hot weather.
Quarterbacks that play indoors would have a tougher time throwing in the wind in places like New York and Chicago.
Stadiums should also have ratings based on volume, loyalty of fans, historical significance, etc. Teams would get flustered more easily playing at Lambeau Field than playing at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.
Historical stadiums like Lambeau would also give the Packers a slight statistical boost when they were playing at home, and even more-so if they were playing a rival at home.
Cast of Announcers
Madden needs more than just the two announcers that call the games. While they have been better at using a larger variety of scenarios and phrases, you will still hear every line a billion times if you play the game regularly.
Just like the NFL today, there should be two different networks, with two different sets of announcers. AFC games are usually seen on CBS, while NFC games are televised on Fox.
There also needs to be a set of secondary announcers for each network. Higher caliber games (Ex. Packers versus Vikings) will get the main set of announcers, while lower caliber games (Ex. Jaguars versus Bills) would get the secondary set of announcers.
The teams that played on Monday Night Football were graced by the calling of John Madden and Al Michaels, while normal Sunday games featured less known announcers.
This would also give a feel for the type of game it is. The secondary announcers would possess characteristics that would suggest a more fun, relaxed atmosphere. The primary announcers would be enthralled with the action of the high caliber game, hinting serious implications in their tone and language.
While this is very detailed coding for the makers of the game, it is about time that Madden pushed itself to the next level.
All of these features will take an incredible time dedication to fulfill. While most of these features likely won't be considered, I really hope EA decides to fix the game modes like Franchise and Superstar. It would really take the game to the next level.
As far as the latter three, those are the details that would make Madden the most revolutionized sports franchise in the history of the gaming industry.
Games are constantly crossing the line to push the borders between animation and reality even closer. Once Madden takes these steps, the line between animation and reality will be nearly erased.