Community Blog - Gameplay Pt. II: Infinity Engine

Hello Madden NFL fans! My name is Shopmaster and I am an EA SPORTS Game Changer, owner of MyMaddenPad.com, and a true Madden Addict.  In my Gameplay Part 1 Community blog back in April, I talked about all the new gameplay features for Madden NFL 13 like QB trajectory, Read and React defense, the ability abort play-action and many others.  There was, however, one important addition I did not mention and it is the ‘Infinity Engine,’ or, as I like to call it, ‘The Game Changer’.

The ‘Infinity Engine’ is a new physics-driven animation system that influences the outcome of ALL plays by giving users more accurate physics so that the weight, mass, height and speed of players can all determine the outcome of a play. 

When I got my first look at the ‘Infinity Engine’ from designer Victor Lugo I could not believe my eyes.   Bodies twisted with every hit, wide receivers were spun around in mid-air, QBs getting laid out by blitzing linebackers from the blindside, it all looked great!  As great as the presentation was it still could not prepare me for how this new engine would deeply affect the way I play Madden NFL 13.  Everything you thought about Madden NFL 13 before has now changed.

The first notable effect of this new engine is the collision detection.  There are no more canned animations where you know how a player is going to tackle and how the ball carrier is going to fall.  Heads jerk back, legs are turned and bodies are more flexible than ever before.  The players will not look like crash dummies, but they will bend and twist in a realistic fashion.  If a RB wants to try to hurdle, that is fine; just take his legs out and watch him flip and land upside-down.  A WR goes up for a fade catch in the back of the endzone, jump up with him and try to rake the ball out of his hands before he comes down.  The collision not only looks more authentic, but it feels authentic as well. Add in the genuine NFL sound effects that they talked about in the Audio blog and enjoy the result every time Patrick Willis delivers a big hit.

Because weight and mass influence the outcome of a play, playing with a two-back system will mean something in Madden NFL 13.  The Kansas City Chiefs’ two-back system of Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis are a perfect example of two backs that will feel different when you use them.  Charles is a more shifty back whereas Peyton Hillis is more focused on power. In fact, I’ve seen Hillis turn the corner and truck the little DB waiting for him on toss plays several times.  Also in the running game, players will now trip, stumble, and fall when it’s appropriate.  Run with a guy with no agility and watch him fall trying to get through a hole with people around him. Also, no longer will you be able to walk over people lying on the ground, you will trip up.

Players are also now tuned with unique muscle strengths and tensions, thus making users consider their physical attributes as well as their rating.  Your player’s physical attributes will determine if that back stays on his feet, stumbles, or falls flat on his face.  Smaller backs can trip over legs, hands, and arms that may be grabbing for them where as bigger backs will run through those same arm tackles.  How’s that for physics!  You’ll have to hit holes cleanly instead of running into the back of your lineman, because that will cause you to lose momentum and speed. The end result is the running game feels so dynamically different and fresh.

Everyone who has played Madden NFL for any length of time has probably felt one time or another like there was a pre-determined outcome to a play; a pre-determined collision, a pre-determined catch, a pre-determined pass; well no more.  Plays are never over until the whistle blows and pre-determined outcomes are history.  Let me try to give you some examples of what I am talking about and some of the things I saw when I played.  A receiver catches a curl route, and the defender reaches in between his arm and the body to poke the ball out, it’s not just delivering the big hit anymore.  A QB is dropping back to pass, and I have seen defensive ends reach out and hit the QBs arm causing the ball to float or be off target.  I’ve seen ball carriers roll on top of other players and you think they were down only to see that player get up and run 10 more yards because he never touched the ground.  Not to mention shoestring tackles where defenders just get a piece of the ball carrier’s foot to trip him up. 

Like I said, everything about the Madden NFL franchise changes with the ‘Infinity Engine’.  Pileups look real, hits look harder, one-handed catches are more exciting and even something as ordinary as a scrum for the ball on a fumble will cause you to press pause and rewind.  I can’t wait for you guys to get your hands on the game and see for yourself.  Make sure you check out all of the EA SPORTS E3  videos, follow me on Twitter @Shopmaster, and tune into Game Changers Radio every Tuesday at 9pm est . as we dive deeper into the ‘Infinite Engine’ and everything that is Madden NFL 13.  See you on the sticks!