E3 Game Changers Blog: Madden NFL 13 Feature Releases

Hey Madden fans; Brian Parker here for a “fan’s perspective” on the recent announcements of features for Madden NFL 13.  As a member of the EA SPORTS Game Changers program, I’ve been extremely fortunate to have an insider’s view of many of the games that come out each year, often before any news gets out to any members of the general public.  With this in mind, however, I knew absolutely nothing about “Gameplay Part 2” or “Connected Careers” in Madden NFL 13, which put me in a place I hadn’t been in a long time: anxiously awaiting news about features I had literally no idea about.

For me—and for many people in the sports video gaming community, I’m sure—gameplay has to be paramount for all of the EA SPORTS titles; after all, a game can get everything right but still be thoroughly unenjoyable if the gameplay isn’t where it needs to be.  That’s what makes the introduction of the “Infinity Engine” so enticing for fans of Madden NFL 13 and, indeed, of football video games in general.  The potential of an engine which allows for such organic interactions between players in the game cannot be overstated, and the commitment to a brand-new engine for gameplay and animations will have a significant impact on the game for years to come.  Though I have yet to get my hands on the game to see this engine in action, the snippets of gameplay footage that have been making their way around the internet from E3 already have me chomping at the bit to try it out for myself.  With EA SPORTS planning to capture in-game footage to share with the community from the E3 floor—along with a number of EA SPORTS Game Changers at the event in Los Angeles ready to record video of their own and share first-hand impressions—this will surely be an exciting week as we all get to learn more about how the on-field action will be brand-new when Madden NFL 13 is released at the end of August.  Be sure to watch the EA SPORTS website and the new EA SPORTS Game Changers website (http://www.easports.com/gamechangers) for more media and impressions as the week continues.

As far as “Connected Careers” is concerned, this multi-year project from designer Josh Looman is obviously one of the most significant changes coming to this year’s game; after all, it’s big enough to completely replace Franchise, Online Franchise, and Superstar within a single mode!  As great as it will be to be able to play online with friends who are playing as players or coaches—depending on how they want to experience the game—one of my favorite new additions, with my background as a creative writer, is the backstory that you will select if you decide to play as a specific player or coach in “Connected Careers.”  Each backstory will have an impact on how your player is rated to begin the mode and what the expectations will be in terms of goals to be completed, and the backstory will come into play with how the 13 included media personalities react to your progression in the game’s virtual Twitter feed.  As a big fan of the radio show which was a focal point of the Franchise mode in previous iterations of the Madden NFL franchise, it brings a big smile to my face to see the ways in which “Connected Careers” is drawing inspiration from the best parts of Franchise in the past to help build a new career mode for the present and future.  And I haven’t even gotten into the part where you can choose to play as legendary players and coaches in “Connected Careers,” allowing you to assume the place of the game’s greatest to see if you can lead them to the same career that got them into the upper echelon of NFL history!

It may have taken a few years of design and implementation to build up to the excitement surrounding Madden NFL 13 at E3 this year, but I think you’d agree with me in saying that it has been completely worth it based on the information we’ve received so far.  Now all we need to do is work on developing a way to get the end of August here more quickly so that everyone can get their hands on this year’s game!