If you’re a football fan and you read a blog, you’ve probably played one of the Madden games before. Tonight, fans will get to see the newest version of the hit series when Madden NFL 2013 hits shelves. As with all new Maddens, some updates are meaningful and others are cosmetic, but the game has been extremely well-received thus far. If you do purchase the new game, here are some of the things you can expect to see:
Presentation: The first change a loyal Madden gamer will notice is the vastly different presentation style. EA Sports has changed the game introductions, on-screen graphics, and commentators to reflect what fans see on a CBS broadcast. Fans will recognize the voices of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms as they ramble about nothing, just like a real NFL game.
Physics engine: EA has incorporated a new physics engine called “Infinity” into the new version of Madden. While that sounds fancy, the end result is just that player’s run into one another in more realistic and various ways. If you’ve played Madden in the past, you know that there are usually a finite number of different ways that players hit one another. The idea behind the new Infinity Engine is to make it so that’s no longer true, meaning that the gameplay will look and feel more natural. There are also 25 new pass trajectories, giving the player-controlled quarterback more options for how to deliver a ball to his receiver.
Connected Career: This year’s Madden comes with a new type of game mode called “Connected Career.” Basically, this mode incorporates aspects of Franchise, Online Franchise, and create a player game modes into one. The user will choose to play offline or online, and from there will choose to be a coach (or created coach), or a player (or created player). You can even unlock legendary players and play as them. A coach will play both sides of the field, while a player will only play while his position is on the field, and if at any point you decide to change the player you’re controlling, you can do so within the league you’ve created, without having to start from scratch. Players can also hit the practice field to collect XP, which can later be spent on upgrades to improve your player’s performance. Otherwise, the mode operates like a normal 30 season franchise mode.
Madden Giants: The Super Bowl champs fared pretty well as a team in this version of Madden, but not well enough for the top spot in the game. The Giants’ miracle run earned them an overall rating of 84, which is tied with the Eagles for fourth-best after after the Patriots (86), Packers (86) and Steelers (85).
Eli Manning is rightfully the team’s best player, with an overall rating of 97. He was also rewarded for his durability with a 98 injury rating, which is good because the offensive line is sub-par. Behind him, David Carr is a 71 and Ryan Perrilloux is a 55. Yikes.
The Giants’ top two wide receivers can match up with anyone in the game. Hakeem Nicks is one of the best in the game with a 94 rating, while Victor Cruz isn’t far behind at 90. Perhaps most importantly, Cruz will salsa after every touchdown, if not quite as smoothly as he does so in real life.
Like the real Giants, the video version’s strength on defense comes from the defensive ends. The team’s second highest-rating goes to Jason Pierre-Paul, who earned a 96 overall. He’s followed by Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora, who were rated at 93 and 88, respectively.
Generally, I’d say the team’s ratings are pretty fair. Being tied with the Eagles after last year feels like a bit of a slight, but the Giants have never been known to win their battles on paper. As for the game, it’s a pretty solid improvement over the 2012 version, and the year after your favorite team wins the Super Bowl is a pretty good time to buy. Happy playing, and go Giants!