If you know football, then you know Madden is what your controller-itching fingers are waiting for. Installment #15 continues the tradition of great visuals and great play and ups the game too. For more details we turn to Seann Graddy, Madden NFL 15‘s Senior Producer. Man Cave Daily: What can you do in 15 that you couldn’t before?
Sean Graddy: What makes a great game are the new mechanics of Madden 15. As we discussed in the press conference, Defense is important — it’s half the plays that you play. And we’ve heard from our fans that the defensive side of the ball needed to be more fun. So we have added new pass rush mechanics, where at the line of scrimmage we give you a window where you can pull the trigger and jump the snap. There’s a little indicator that tells you when the window’s open, and you can do a finesse or aggressive move, with the X button or the square button on the PS4 to beat the alignment, get the backfield and basically be disruptive to the quarterback.
And it’s very rewarding when you pull that off — when you pull the mechanic off you feel like you did it, you tackled the quarterback. Also there’s the immersive element — you get that reaction on that player, when the camera is focused on your guy — it feels really good.
MCD: Tackling has also undergone some changes?
SG: Let’s talk about the tackling mechanics — you’ll see when a guy’s on defense, he has this little white wedge following him around in front of him. That white wedge is something that we call a proximity cone. It essentially means that when you get a ball carrier within that proximity cone a button will come up above you player’s head that will tell you that the tackle window is open. So what we’re doing is giving you more feedback on both the defensive line and the tackle that we never had before. And for a new user to Madden or a returning user to Madden, we think it’s going to make you a better Madden player.
MCD: We hear the game operates more in a “live” than scripted fashion?
SG: That’s true — we hired an NFL Films Cinematographer who’s had many years of experience (NFL show, etc.) to come in and really change the way we present our game so it would come off as being more like broadcast. But to do this while not ignoring the fact that we are a video game, so making sure to show cool stuff when it’s happening. So as you watch the game, you’re going to see the emotions, the reactions on the field framed in a way that’s just stronger than we’ve ever done it in the past.
MCD: Does the game take into account that different sized TVs, even smaller ones, will be used?
SG: You do have to consider this because the next-gen consoles are all 1080p, even though they will down-rez, what’s being seen is mostly coming from HDMI connections with HD screens. And even if it’s a smaller TV, we scale down the visuals in a way that helps the text to hold up. Previous generations wasn’t the case, but now the TV size, especially on a high resolution coming through HDMI, is going to hold up well regardless of how big or not the TV is.
MCD: Are there more ways to play than singly?
SG: Certainly it’s a single multiplayer game, you can play against each other on the same console, so two can go head to head against each other on the console. You can play on the same team together if you want. Head to head online of course as we’ve had that for a number of years, one difference is that if you are playing head to head, we lock you into one standard camera, and the reason for that is it would be unfair for a player to have the options to change the camera when going against another. So yes there’s all that cooperative head to head and online play.
MCD: Any “Easter Eggs” in the game?
SG: We did update our generic head library — we have a new camera rig with 20 or so cameras on it that we use to scan real players and coaches. We actually used that to scan some random people from our team — so you might see an assistant coach on the sideline that might look like somebody from the Madden team.
MCD: What’s the first thing that a gamer is going to notice when Madden 15 starts up?
SG: From what we’ve seen from those seeing Madden 15 here (at E3), everybody is seeing a leap in the visuals — being captured by the visuals and saying “Wow” and “That’s what I expected Madden to be like on next gen.” So I think that when the gamer first sees the game up close and person on the new default zoom camera, hopefully it’s going to hit them over the head that the game looks visually stunning and different this year. And then as the game is presented with those new cameras mentioned earlier, I think gamers will get excited about how the focus becomes on the players that they care about. EA will make Madden NFL 15 available in August 2014 on the PlayStation 3/4 and Xbox 360/One
Marshal Rosenthal is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer specializing in technology, consumer electronics and pop culture. Visit his website. Marshal interviewed a goddess in Why We Love Jaimie Alexander (and Lady Sif).