With each year comes a new Madden title to add to EA’s ever expanding sports collection. Bar the obvious roster changes and if needed uniform updates, not a great deal is changed in terms of gameplay.
EA’s mantra is obviously if it’s not broken, no need to fix it. I guess it’s not even that as they have sold millions of copies of games that don’t deserve to be sold to the general public so I guess you could say EA’s thought process is in fact if our loyal fans buy it, why change it.
Well us fans want a change, something new, something exciting. Madden has always lacked in that injection of adrenaline like you get with FIFA and even NHL. Yes Madden is no doubt the more complicated of the gaming franchises to transfer onto a console, but it doesn’t mean that the game can’t be more exciting, gripping and generally immersive for us the gamers.
So here’s what we think Madden 13 needs if it wants to become one of the all time great EA sporting titles:
Firstly the Franchise mode, no doubt the area which could use the biggest overhaul of all. Franchise mode in 2012 is dull, you play, you win, you progress, jobs a good ‘un. Where’s the excitement, it’s hard enough staying interested enough to make it through to the playoffs without simming a couple of weeks, but when you do eventually lift the Lombardi you never feel like you’ve done anything or earned this title.
What can EA change? Create some storylines, almost like Mass Effect and Knights of the Old Republic. Get the Head Coach (you) involved in some interviews where you’ll be able to choose various answers to an array of questions thrown your way. Maybe you’ll be the smart and silent HC, answering every question with a question;
Media - “So Coach what needs to be done to win?”
You - “It’s more a case of what do the players need to do, to win?”
Perhaps you’ll opt to be the cocky and arrogant coach not caring for the medias or General Managers views on how your Coaching your Franchise;
Media - “So Coach what needs to be done to win?”
You - “Nothing, we are perfect in every way and the Giants will be ground into the dust by my Eagles D and there Defense will be nothing more than statues as Vick and Djax light them up.”
Further to that, every question you answer should change your relationship with your General Manager. Piss him off and find yourself out of a job if you lose another match, keep him sweet and go 0-16 with little risk of being sacked.
Battles For Position
There needs to be battles for position, not just in Franchise, Superstar mode, but we’ll touch in that in a moment. As a Head Coach why not have e-mail alerts when 2nd or even 3rd stringers have shown outstanding performances in pre-season or training giving you a message saying:
‘Brett Brackett has outperformed Celek and Harbor in training for the last three weeks what do you want to do coach?’
Press A To Stick to your original line-up, press X to move Brackett to 1st String Tight End.
The media circus shouldn’t stop there, why not have post-game team talks and half-time team talks. Say the right thing and your team gains a morale boost and go into the next game stronger than the previous week. Say the wrong thing and you’ll have an adverse effect on players and fans alike. Even find yourself sorting out locker room brawls and fixing poor player relationships. I maybe shooting for the moon a bit but why not find yourself commenting on your star players DUI or rape charges?
Earn Our Places
Moving on to the Superstar mode, the biggest gripe anyone’s going to have is that you never have to earn your spot at 1st string. You start life as a Halfback, low rating, haven’t started a single game, boom, you’re a starter ahead of LeSean McCoy an absolute behemoth in the backfield. Yes it would be frustrating to sit out each game or only be called upon for the odd goal-line and 3rd & inches situation, but why can’t we actually earn our places as starters. EA could even add a setting to turn ‘Earning Your Spot’ on or off for those that don’t have the patience to get off the sidelines.
Pump Up Divisional Rival Games
Divisional Rival games need to be pumped up a lot more. When you go into a game, be it on or offline, EA should throw some neat stats at you like ‘Michael Vick has a career High rating of 104.2 against the Cowboys with his first start against them coming in 2001’. Also why can’t EA inject some real-time highlights like the Miracle at the Meadowlands II being played before an Eagles vs. Giants game.
EA would also do well sorting out the Interceptions in Madden 2013. Currently you can have a rather large Linebacker jump as if he was a 8 foot monster with 20 yards between him and the intended receiver. Amazingly DB’s can also reel in Interceptions when they aren’t even looking at the pigskin. Perhaps EA is making Cornerbacks more like members of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen than actual football players.
Fumbles and Injuries
Fumbles and Injuries could also do with being tweaked online, it’s like a circus watching every drive end in a turnover. I can’t remember a time when I saw a zero next to the ‘Fumbles’ stat in a game of Madden online.
There’s a fair bit more that EA could do with Madden 2013, but why not start with the above EA. Your loyal fans will always buy your Maddens, FIFAs, NBAs and NHLs. For once, instead of making a game to fill your pockets, give us gamers something that excites us, has us on the edge of our seat biting our nails until they are nothing but mere nubs. Is it really so much to ask?