Madden NFL 19 is due to release on August 10 and it was announced last week that Pittsburgh Steelers Wide Receiver Antonio Brown will be on the cover of the standard edition of the game. Electronic Arts recently invited us out to its EA Sports Summer Showcase to get our hands on what Madden NFL 19 has to offer. While there have been changes in-game this year thanks to Real Player Motion technology, Franchise Mode is getting some much-needed love to help things feel more intuitive. This is thanks to the introduction of Player Archetypes.
The Real Player Motion tech on the field allows for a much more fun and less serious approach to each game. Celebrations can be initialized after a touchdown, sack or turnover and this is done using the right stick. There are team celebrations, player specific celebrations and signature celebrations. Players will also recognize drops when they happen and the team has introduced mid-air collisions. Every Quarterback will also have their signature style implemented into the game, so gestures and how they act pre-snap will mimic what you see on Sundays. A lot of time was spent watching film on each QB to properly implement this into Madden NFL 19.
Running the ball is also getting an increase in efficiency thanks to the Real Player Motion. Known as Hit the Hole, running backs will no longer get hung up behind lineman. Following your lead blocker to find a seam in the line and explode through it adds a bit more strategy to your gameplan. No, holes aren’t going to constantly open up but your average per carry will improve. The ability to explode off a cut with the ball carrier is gratifying if you break loose. Having this with all the ball carriers this year feels like a great improvement especially with open field matchups. Players will feel weighty and allowing them to shift their weight adds a different perspective on navigating the field.
The introduction of the Player Archetypes in Franchise Mode will change how you build your team. Gone are the days of upgrading individual statistics for players as it has been grouped together. This all goes into team and coach-specific scheme fits. Each player will have a specific path to take on what type of player they want to be. In the grand scheme of things, that path needs to fit the scheme of the team to get the most out of their ratings. XP is still earned in each game and practice to go towards upgrading your player, but it will be implemented with a goal in mind rather than just upping one’s numbers. For instance, upgrading your QBs will allow choices between West Coast, Field General, Scrambler and Strong Arm. If your QB has a scheme fit for that particular Archetype, allocating a Skill Point that is earned from XP to it will boost their overall rating. Otherwise, each Archetype has a particular rating for that player. This can also allow you to groom certain players to become different types of players over time. This new metric is strategic but not overbearing.
Coaching schemes will mean more this year as it adds to your draft strategy in Franchise Mode. Schemes can be adjusted at any time and a roster chart advises on how much of your roster is capable of that scheme. Do you want to draft a QB that is too good to pass up but doesn’t fit your scheme? You can change your scheme and start retooling your team to fit it both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
Speaking of draft, players will now have the ability to customize and share custom draft classes. Gone are the days of importing NCAA Football draft classes to Madden because, well, NCAA is dead. So the next best thing is putting this tool into the players’ hands and allowing the ability to share across the board. Players will be prompted in week three of the regular season to either use a generated class or to download or import a saved class. Literally every aspect of the player can be edited and this is up to 450 players per class.
Part of what EA Tiburon wanted to do was bring some aesthetic life to Franchise Mode for Madden NFL 19. Players will now find interactive 3D backgrounds featuring their coaches and office to the menu screen. The game will also automatically take snapshots from your games you played and put them in pictures on the wall. This can also include specific pictures taken during highlights. Speaking of highlights, the Halftime Show looks to be the best Madden has offered to date. Featuring Jonathan Coachman as the Halftime Reporter, the Halftime Show will now take you around the league for scores and stats of what is going on around the league with a focus in games that matter to you. This year it seems that EA Tiburon wants to make you feel like you’re a part of your league rather than just grinding all season to the playoffs. Coachman brings some life to the pre-show and halftime this year.
EA Tiburon seems to be focused more on what fans have been asking for with Madden NFL 19. Addressing complaints and modernizing the Franchise experience seems to be the goal. With our time with the game, the RPM tech was noticeable on the field while the core of Madden gameplay is still apparent. The second year of the Frostbite Engine also looks to bring the best visuals the game has ever seen, especially if you have a capable PC setup for that version. Madden Ultimate Team will also bring a three player PvE mode as this was something else that fans asked for.