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Loads of New Features in Madden 11

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EA Sports has released a number of new game play features to appear in the upcoming Madden 11.

From precision control to simplistic play-calling, Madden 11 has been making a big effort to live up to their new motto this year: “Simpler, Quicker and Deeper.”

Rather than restating what I’ve found from multiple sources, I’ll simply quote some main points.

GameFlow is particularly one of the bigger features.

A GameSpot review described this feature as  “a new system that, when activated, lets the game take over the play calling for you, both on offense and defense… Your next play will be automatically called for you and you’ll hear audio of a coach explaining the finer points on the play that has been chosen.”

“According to Madden producers, the play chosen is based on such factors as the playbook being used, as well as the down and distance. Thanks to some in-depth research on the part of the Madden dev team, when using gameflow play calling, you’ll be getting the same plays that a team’s real life head coach or offensive/defensive coordinator would call in that same situation.”

This could be a great tool for beginners, or even casual players who don’t want to waste time scrolling through the playbook.

Kicking Controls have also been changed to a more simpler approach.  GameSpot talks about this “new kicking meter and increased use of the D pad. Instead of using the right stick to kick, you’ll have a horizontal meter that appears onscreen. After aiming your direction arrow, you press a button to set a cursor in motion on the meter, hit the button once the cursor is on the right side of the meter to gauge power, and hit the button a final time once the cursor returns to gauge accuracy.”

For players who aren’t so great with stick controls, this might help with your kicking game.

And speaking of stick controls…

Dual Stick Controls have been revamped to allow for more precision controlling.

Here’s what Jason Danahy, the gameplay Animation Director, had to say about the reinvented feature:

“We spent some time this year studying game film and trying to identify any disconnects between our controls for the ball carrier and what the real guys do on Sunday. We quickly came to the conclusion that we needed more of an analog, or 1-to-1 connection, of what you are doing on the stick and what a player (in-game) was doing on the field.

For example, instead of flicking up on the right stick to truck like previous years (which then played an animation that you didn’t control), we wanted the amount of lean to be tied to how far forward the right stick is pushed, without losing control of how fast a player is moving or the direction they are heading…

In Madden NFL 11 with Dual Stick Control, you can now perform cut moves which are the foundation of the new juke and spin moves we’ve added.”

Read more about dual stick controls at EA’s official blog post, where you can also see video demonstrations.

The Locomotion Engine is another huge aspect of the game to be renovated.

Ryan Burnsides, the Lead Gameplay Designer, describes this one:

“At the start of the Madden NFL 11 cycle our goals were to integrate acceleration, momentum, and direction changes into the game in a way that felt responsive; was easy to tune; and looked more like what you see in an actual NFL game. With those targets in mind, we have completely ripped out our old locomotion engine and replaced it with a brand new system. We collaborated closely with the FIFA team and are combining the best parts of their locomotion system (called RailTracks) with a brand new tech we created specifically for Madden NFL 11. This new system has allowed us to meet our goals, and I’ll discuss how the tech affects the way the game looks and feels – focusing on momentum, acceleration, and the look on the field.”

For more information on momentum, acceleration, and the look on the field, click here.

Conclusion? Very promising. But I would still like to see some improvements in other areas, such as game modes. Improvements in Online Franchise and Superstar Mode would surely impress me.