Madden NFL 25: Barry Sanders Graces Cover and Latest Buzz on New Features

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2013

DETROIT - DECEMBER 23:  Barry Sanders #20 former Detroit Lions running back looks on from the tunnel prior to being honored at half time during a game against the Kansas City Chiefs on December 23, 2007 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo By Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

During a live reveal show on ESPN’s SportsNation Wednesday night, it was announced that the fans had determined via voting that former Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders deserved the honor of gracing the cover of the 25th edition of the Madden NFL 25 video game franchise.

The Detroit Lions’ official Twitter account revealed the new cover featuring Sanders:

Detroit Lions @Lions

Here is the cover! Congratulations, @BarrySanders! http://t.co/b9dJn2drUo

The game is not due for release until late August, but the excitement surrounding the live fan interaction and the major upgrades to the actual game play has made this one of the most anticipated editions of the franchise in its 25-year history.

Madden has once again successfully brought video game and football fans together.

Release Date: Tuesday, Aug. 27

Players: 1-4, Online Multiplayer 2-6

Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3

Game Details: Official Madden Site

Breaking Down Barry Sanders’ Road to Glory

While Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson deserves immense credit for being the "new school" representative in the cover vote finals—beat the likes of Rob Gronkowski, Robert Griffin III and Arian Foster—the Madden NFL 25 cover is Barry Sanders’ alone.

As great as Sanders was on the field, his run to the finals of the Madden cover vote was almost as impressive. While Peterson was forced to beat modern players, Sanders had to face off against the "old-school" bracket made up of NFL legends and Hall of Famers.

In order for Sanders to win the cover athlete honor, the NFL Hall of Famer had to beat each of the following stars in the voting and did just that by varying results—Ron Rivera (95-5), Marcus Allen (92-8), Ray Lewis (67-33), Joe Montana (57-43), Jerry Rice (52-48) and Adrian Peterson (58-42).

There are bona fide legends on that list, and the fact that not only did Sanders make it past the likes of Jerry Rice and Joe Montana, but also beat the NFL’s reigning MVP shows exactly how much fans truly love the former Lions' running back.

Peterson deserves credit for a dream run, but Sanders deserves the honor of being on the cover.

New Features

Run Free

While the NFL has become a pass-happy league and Madden NFL 13 was very heavy on the passing mechanics, one of the main focuses of Madden NFL 25 is putting more control of the ball carrier in the hands of the player.

Not only will the juke be drastically upgraded—no longer a clunky one-directional move that inhibits running at times—the stiff-arm feature will now include a precision technique that allows the player to aim the evasive move to an opponent’s head or shoulders.

Add in the fact that you can combine moves to avoid multiple tacklers with a new visual stamina meter to show you how much energy a player has left, and this is an edition of Madden football fans won’t want to miss.

Infinity Engine 2

While the introduction of the Infinity Engine last year was a huge step in the right direction for sports video games, there were major fundamental flaws. The Madden NFL 25 development team understood this and came up with the Infinity Engine 2.

Now, when you have a bruising running back and a smaller defender tries to tackle him, the power and size of both men will be instantly calculated to determine the outcome of the collision. The bigger man will win.

The most drastic improvement is on the defensive side of the ball with the Hit Stick. This has become a favorite of Madden players who love to smash their opponents with devastating hits, and the Infinity Engine 2 makes each hit even more devastating.

Add in all of the other aspects of both offense and defense that the huge Infinity Engine 2 upgrade will play into and there is little doubt that this year’s edition of the game will be the most realistic to date.

I can’t wait to get my hands on this game.


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