Playbook 1: Run Free

Posted April 24th at 12:00am.

There are few things more exciting than watching the grace and power of NFL ball carriers. Sure, everyone loves a 60-yard touchdown bomb, but there’s something special about watching Adrian Peterson lower his shoulder to bowl through a defender, or seeing Larry Fitzgerald catch the ball in space, make a quick cut and then race untouched into the end zone. The one constant in all elite players is control, and this year Madden NFL 25 is putting all that control right at your fingertips.

The Excellence of Execution

Leading off the list of Madden NFL 25's new features is the precision modifier, which allows for both the execution of new moves, as well as some important refinements to old favorites. Tapping the precision modifier button (LT/L2) causes a quick stutter step, which is sometimes all you need to move a defender out of position and blow right by. Holding the button slows your player down, allowing for more precise moves that will leave the defense flailing at empty space.

How does it work? Let’s look at a few examples. First off, the trusty juke. For years, Madden NFL players have been leading a defender in one direction then — WHOOP! —  after a quick change of direction, they cut back across the field. While that technique sometimes works, speedy defenders can quickly recover and make plays. The new precision modifier adds nuance to the juke, changing the move from a simple change of direction to a stutter step with a hard cut, a jump cut to find the hole, and more. While the old-fashioned juke is still a great weapon against linemen and linebackers, you now have an additional arrow in your quiver for those pesky defensive backs.

If you prefer brute strength to quickness, the precision modifier also makes the stiff-arm more formidable than ever. Tapping A/X without the precision modifier leads to a quick thrust of the arm aimed at the opponent’s chest or shoulder. This is a viable option against smaller players, but a big, bruising linebacker will likely still wrap you up and make a tackle. However, adding the precision modifier can give you the additional force and accuracy to pop the defender and provide the extra step you need.

Run Free and the precision modifiers reach into all elements of running the ball, even offering variations on dives and hurdles. Furthermore, players with high attribute ratings (over 90) will be able to unleash even more nuanced moves, making them even more difficult to bring down.

But don’t think that all the advancements are on offense. The dev team has added more powerful defensive pursuit and tackling behaviors that will be revealed in future articles. You’ll need all these new tools to get by the smarter, more aggressive defenders.

In order to really capture the feel of what it’s like to run in the NFL, combo moves have been created to escape sticky defensive situations. For instance, say a linebacker is coming in from the side of a ballcarrier and a safety is coming down hard. Utilizing the new combos, you could make a back cut to make the linebacker miss, then spin away from the safety and into the open field. In many ways, the precision modifier and the new combo system create a game within the game, letting you see the defense in a whole new way.

Running Out of Gas

With all these new weapons at your disposal, it’s easy to consider abusing them. For that reason, Madden NFL 25 will feature a new visual stamina meter that will drain as you execute moves. Juking, spinning and trucking will get you out of trouble, but they will also makes you tired. Consequently, if you run out of stamina during a play, you’ll see your player slow down. Once you’re out of gas, any additional moves you try will be much less effective.Stamina refills after each play, but there is a cumulative effect over the course of the game. So if you’re running the ball a lot, don’t expect your running back to be as fresh when you're trying to pound the rock in the fourth. In fact, he might be down to half-stamina or less depending on how hard you’ve been pushing him. You see a lot of NFL teams going to a two-back look for this exact reason, so it may be something you want to keep in mind for your Madden NFL team as well…

The team is extremely excited about what the precision modifiers bring to the table this year in Madden NFL, and we can’t wait for you to get your hands on it and learn what it means to Run Free. Keep checking back for more insight on what the precision modifiers can do, as well as info on all the great new features including Infinity Engine 2 coming to Madden NFL 25!

Madden NFL 25 will be available on Tuesday, August 27, for Xbox 360 and PS3, and fans can learn more at the Madden website. Fans are also invited to become a Madden Insider for exclusive information on Facebook including the latest news, original content and more for Madden NFL 25.

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