Madden 23 Devs promise to deliver ‘best polished version in a long time’ after years of buggy releases

The Madden NFL was undoubtedly caught in the rut of this generation. Since the release of Xbox Series X/S and PS5, EA’s long-running NFL sim has been hovering around 65 on Metacritic. The complaints were the same: uncut, monotonous presentation, and styles that failed to keep up with the competition.

Many fans trace Madden’s decline to Madden 13, which formed the basis for the current version of the series. Others go back even further. Wherever it begins, it’s hard to ignore the malaise that has taken root in reviews, social media, and elsewhere. EA has protested in previous years that it’s just an audio minority, and that the series actually works well for the average player who isn’t much online. This year they are embracing it.

“As a game developer, especially in annual sports titles, the skin is not as thick as [needing] For a great candidate, because there’s a reason these guys are going to say everything they’re going to say about the game, and you have to find out why,” senior producer Clint Oldenburg told IGN. And even if there are a hundred words that don’t tell you why, there may be a word or two that tell you why, and that’s what you have to focus on until you make sure you give the experience to the core, what these players are asking for.”

“A little animation”

Oldenburg and fellow producer Mike Maher say they’ve gone through reviews and social media posts “line by line,” piecing together bugs and other issues and trying to sort legitimate criticism from the usual hype around the annual sports. What EA Tiburon has come up with in response to all this criticism is to basically go back to basics. It’s not an exciting technique on the face of it, but ditch all the usual marketing hype words like “FieldSENSE” in confusing capital letters and you’ll find what appears to be a very basic – and much needed – rebalance of action in the field.

Madden NFL 23 شاشات Screens

In other words, EA may finally be moving away from what made Madden “Madden” for so long toward something more like actual football. At its core, the desire to move away from “somewhat cartoon-based” gameplay – that feeling that you’re constantly playing the Madden mechanic every time you pick a game or throw it in.

“Our players have told us very hard, their words, not ours, Madden has become a bit animated, which means they feel like they lose control at critical moments and watch fast action, for lack of a better word,” Oldenburg says.

In the parlance of the Madden NFL, that means moving away from the so-called financial plays and lineups that dominate YouTube every season with a “emerging, organic, and natural” system. Defense received the bulk of the improvements, with a greater focus on gang tackles, covering passes, and containing the middle.

“I think, on a high level, the changes we’ve made in the deep zone and over-peak this year are helping to combat the problem of playing with money, specifically those deep zones I’ve already talked about. We added the logic of zone drift which gives us depth in a pattern that was Devastatingly effective for several years now due to Madden’s various defences.Dodges AI.

As a game developer, especially in annual sports, it’s not so much about thick skin as having a great filter.

Oldenburg also talks about mounting formations like the Gun Bunch, which have been beat up for years due to how easily they can be modified to open up large portions of the playing field, as well as the frequently beaten QB throws used to extend plays.

“We think we scored well this year,” Oldenburg says.

Reviews from the beta version so far confirm the impact of these changes. If Madden 22 is like backyard soccer in how easy it is to get the ball out of a pocket and toss the ball into a wide open receiver into a corner or flats, then Madden 23 should be a rude wake-up for many players.

“I think it would, probably, be arrogant of us to think that some expert level players in our community wouldn’t find fault with the Matrix, so to speak, but we certainly went play for play, feedback- for comment, with all the things we’ve even heard This is the moment to try to address it.”

One way or another, it’s clear that most of Madden 23’s focus is on rebalancing the gameplay this year. Much needed – if instant gameplay isn’t fun, it doesn’t matter how much work goes into the franchise mode or Madden Ultimate Team.

The real test is whether EA Tiburon can roll out a polished game. Madden NFL has come under fire in recent years for its bugs and weird glitches, which are endless on social media. To this end, Oldenburg says polish is a “top priority” in Madden 23, “especially from a gameplay perspective.”

EA Tiburon hopes to catch bugs with something called “vision hooks,” which use a combination of bots and other technologies to quickly reproduce annoying issues. The Madden team also dedicates additional resources to fixing bugs during production.

“We are very confident that our game with Madden 23 will be the most polished version of Madden we have had in a long time,” Oldenburg says. “What I will not say is that it will be perfect, but I will say that the team still strives to reach perfection, although it is difficult to reach it. That is our goal. Polish is our top priority, and we know that we cannot reach our goals if our players think our game is Buggy experience.

Question marks still remain

Elsewhere, Madden remains a question mark. Face of the Franchise – Madden’s educational story mode – drops elements like the college football mode while arcade modes like The Yard receive only surface upgrades, with resources instead directed toward fixing the free agency in franchise mode.

Meanwhile, PC gamers continue to receive short neglect. When asked why the PC version hasn’t kept up with console versions, an EA spokesperson said, “We have a passionate group of players who enjoy Madden NFL on PC. It’s important to our team that the PC version of Madden becomes similar to the current generation versions, and we We are working on that in the future.”

When Madden 23 arrives later this month, it will be EA’s last attempt to establish a solid franchise for the current generation of consoles — and bring some shine back to its faded legacy, too. Fans will be able to see if it was a success for themselves when Madden 23 launches in Early Access on August 16.

Kat Bailey is IGN’s Senior News Editor as well as a co-host for Nintendo Voice Chat. Do you have a tip? Send her a direct message at the_katbot.

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