Madden 25, EA Sports' upcoming football game, is a two-headed monster.
On the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, it's a promise to gamers who stuck with the series and begged for more gameplay options and features. On the Xbox One and Playstation 4, it's a glimpse into the future. With a new gameplay and visual engines and a brand-new step-based locomotion system, Electronic Arts believes the pigskin action will never be the same.
"There's that wow factor when you pick up the controller," said Electronic Arts Football General Manager Cam Weber. "It feels amazing."
A celebration of 25 years of the franchise, EA Sports spent significant time developing a next generation football game they felt would change the genre. On the PS4 and Xbox One, the IGNITE gameplay engine will have approximately 300 "live" characters on both sidelines, reacting to the action, as well as a crowd that looks more "real" than the cardboard cut-outs and static virtual fans gamers of all ages have become accustomed to over the years.
The new True Step Locomotion system also promises a better rushing game. Madden 2013 focused heavily on passing and True Step, combined with the enhanced A.I., makes offensive linemen, as well as defensive players, more aware of the on-field developments. The end result, Weber says, is a more authentic and instinctual game of football, with authentic route running, more realistic downfield blocking and better moving player models.
"Every individual step in our game is calculated," Weber said. "In previous games, there were a lot of looping and repeating running animations, without a lot of fidelity in terms of what each individual step would do. Now, with the power of the new consoles, we can make a lot of calculations with every single frame. There will be a precision to every footstep."
But what about the current consoles? Regardless of the effort the company has put into the next generation version of Madden, EA Sports said all the work on the PS4/Xbox One edition actually helped refine what may be the last hurrah for the series on the PS3 and 360.
Weber said that the run-blocking and locomotion system on the PS3 and 360 will be markedly improved because EA was able to transfer over "tidbits" of the new technology to the current generation version. With those improvements and the new and developed gameplay modes such as the "Connected Franchise" and "Owner Mode," EA Sports is confident they haven't left PS3 and 360 owners out to pasture.
"We wanted to deliver on the promises," said Weber. "We wanted to add all the depth and polish. 25 years of innovation-make Madden 25 the most polished experience we could."
Check out this gameplay video of Madden 25 below:
Madden 25 is scheduled for an August 27 release on the PS3 and 360. No release date has been confirmed for the PS4 and Xbox One versions.