Over the past few years, EA Tiburon dominated with the Madden NFL series, capping off its progress with the debut of Madden NFL 25 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 last year. However, as you might guess from teams that work consistently on sports franchises, Tiburon isn’t content resting on its laurels. It went out of the way to improve the formula with Madden NFL 15, which is set to tackle the newer systems – along with Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 – August 26.
One key ingredient that made Madden click with fans over the years is gameplay. Whether you prefer to beef up your defensive line or let a hot-shot quarterback like Tom Brady or Peyton Manning do the work, you’ll find plenty of authenticity in this series. With the newest addition, EA Sports packed the game with enough football action to leave you yearning for season tickets.
One of the biggest areas where improvements will be made is with defense. Not only will you attempt to find new sacks to effectively lock in on the quarterback, but you’ll also be able to work on your pass rush techniques, possibly opening up the opportunity for an interception, or if someone has a bad case of butterfingers, a fumble. Intuitive tackling mechanics were put in place, as you’ll be able to adjust within the redesigned zone and man coverage logic, watching out for ball carriers and defending against someone trying to get open down field. If you’re a defensive kind of player, this year’s game has a lot to offer.
The new defensive player lock camera will let you keep an eye on a primary target, rather than surveying the entire field to see who might end up with the ball. We’ve yet to see this feature in action, but if it provides more opportunity to strip the ball, we’re all for it.
When it comes to getting into the mindset of your player – and knowing what kind of emotions need to be conveyed on the field – EA Tiburon developed a unique understanding with Player Sense 2.0. Crossing over the goal line with a surprise touchdown? You can expect a heavy amount of euphoria. Let a ball slip away when the defense strips it? Expect lots of frustration. The game also goes into heavy detail with contextual awareness, head tracking and reach tackles, so you feel every heart-pumping moment like never before.
Heavy analysis of how other players work with each other in Madden games will play a huge factor in Madden NFL 15. EA Tiburon heavily researched data from millions of online games played by devoted fans and casual players alike. With this, you’ll be able to enter The Gauntlet, a series of challenges that task you to score with unpredictable conditions. If you’re a hardcore Madden player, you’ll want to check this out first, just to see if your quarterback skills – and entire offensive line, for that matter – are up for the job.
Of course, this new mode goes hand in hand with the other features from the series. Whether it’s guiding a player to victory in the training camps and NFL, steering a franchise to a Super Bowl championship or hopping online to see what the Madden leagues have to offer, there’s no shortage of things to do.
Finally, true NFL devotees will be pleased with the changes made to the presentation. Along with improvements to last year’s next-gen model, EA Sports implemented an NFL Films-like presentation to the package, complete with slo-mo replays, inspired in-game camera angles and other options that can be toggled when you see how your latest plays transpired. Some players love showing off, so this will suit them just fine.
Throw in the kind of offensive and defensive super plays we’ve come to expect from the series and you have another great contender for football fans everywhere. While Madden NFL 15’s changes are quite technical, the end goal – making the best football simulation around – appears to be within reach.
We’ll find out how this champion fares when Madden NFL 15 arrives for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 on August 26th. Hike!