Get your sleep in now, and say goodbye to your loved ones. August 30th is almost here, and Madden is about to take over your life again.
This year looks like it could be the best edition ever. With game-play upgrades, huge player-trait changes and the most realistic franchise mode ever, there isn't a shortage of game topics to discuss.
Here are five things to know about the game before you get your hands on it.
A player having an off game is subject to seeing his attributes take a hit. A player who is making plays will see his ratings rise.
In older versions, player ratings were stationary. Regardless of the performance a player had during the course of the game, his abilities would go unchanged.
In the Madden '12 edition, such is not the case. Traits are dynamic.
Franchise mode just got better. The days of bidding on players in free agency and "advancing X days" and hoping your player signs with you are over.
Madden '12 allows you to duke it out with other GMs around the league, simulating the free agency flurry that occurs in real life. Cool? You better believe it.
No longer will you be taking a 53-man roster into the preseason. 75 players get the training camp invite. Every week they remain with the team, new traits are revealed.
It's your job to determine which players to cut loose and which players you want to see more of. No more simulating mindlessly through the preseason. You've got serious decisions to make now!
Every scouting system Madden has devised has been too simple or too difficult. They have now found a middle ground, as the '12 version puts an entirely new spin on the scouting process.
You get to scout players during the combine, individual workouts, pro days and the regular season. Attributes are revealed every time you scout a player, but the number of players you can scout at each stage is limited.
This is perhaps the biggest upgrade from last year.
Ever think certain players might deserve the right to be considered a "100" overall in a certain trait category? So did Madden. Rather than decide who would be given the honors themselves, they left it up for voting.
Clearly the most talked-about trait is Hit Power. Who is the hardest hitter in the league? Is it Ray Lewis, James Harrison, Patrick Willis or someone else?
Players can finally wear this designation as a badge of honor. I can see it now: "In case you didn't know, I'm the hardest hitter in the league. The people have spoken."
Think players don't take notice of Madden accolades? Think again. This is just another brilliant way Madden has upgraded their game and, like the cover, allowed the public to interact with the making of the game.