E3 Preview: Madden 13 and Kinect Integration

Every single year, I tell myself I’m not going to buy the new Madden game. Every single year, they add minor upgrades that make the game a little better. Every singly year, I buy it. Then, every single year, I can’t wait for the ‘newer and better’ one to come out.

That’s the life story of many Madden fans. This year, EA once again promises to bring the most authentic version of Madden to the table. What will they improve on to follow through?

Madden 13 was first showed off months ago with little teasers and screenshots getting released week by week. After E3, everything you wanted to know about is out in the open. I’ve seen many demos from the event, but they are still the unfinished version of the game and I will spare you the pain of watching it (many bugs). Anyways, let’s get into the core of Madden 13.

With Calvin Johnson on the cover this year, Madden 13 also wants to use Kinect Integration. During the Microsoft conference, EA Developers had Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana on stage to demonstrate the new capabilities. Much like what they are doing with FIFA, Kinect will be your command center with voice control. Now, instead of pausing and going through depth charts or pressing buttons to audible or switch things up, you can now simply speak what you want to be done. You can even say HIKE to snap the ball. The demo was average and I wasn’t all too impressed, yet. Saying everything you want to be done takes just as much time as manually doing it yourself, but now you’re doing it in-game. That means the clock will be running, and I don’t like that. Also, I noticed a slight delay from when Montana would yell hike and the action would be completed. Granted this is all early versions and demos of the game, it has to be said. With the upcoming Xbox SmartGlass, they showed off some pretty cool things for Madden use. Hopefully, that actually happens and then Madden will become a little more interesting.

Next is the gameplay. From what I have seen so far, there is an obvious change from the appearance of Madden 12 to 13. Player animations are much more realistic and smooth, and that’s a plus. With over 500+ new player animations (so they say), Madden can finally look fresh and not clunky like before. You better make sure your wide receiver is open, because the defensive player will now have his eyes on the ball and will be trying to make a play. Yup, that means no more stupid interceptions that are completely impossible. One thing EA Sports strived to improve was the balance system, called the Infinity Engine. The Infinity Engine is an all-new physics engine that gives the players an actual sense of balance and weight. If you’re running over a fallen teammate, you better jump or you’ll trip. Tackling and breaking tackles feels way more realistic, much as it should be. With the new animations and Infinity Engine comes new commentary! Finally. Now, Jim Nantz and Phill Simms from NBC will be bringing you all new dialogue to listen to. It’s about time, because I hated Gus Johnson. Anyways, like I said before, all of the demos from E3 were unfinished versions. After watching most of them, I truly hope that statement is true because yet again, the commentary was horrible. It sounded very clunky and broken with barely any name use and tons of awkward silence. You’ll be welcoming them either way during your game, because now you will actually be seeing them at the beginning of each matchup.

Here is one little video I found that was recorded off a screen of the Philadelphia Eagles vs the Dallas Cowboys. It doesn’t show too much, but it shows some of the new animations and gameplay that I felt wasn’t too unbearable to watch.

Lastly, for now at least, is the new Connected Careers. “Live the NFL dream—whenever you want, wherever you want in a fully interactive, social, and connected online experience. Create your personal legacy or relive an all-time legend’s as you build the ultimate franchise as a coach, an NFL superstar, or yourself. Manage your team from your console, the web, or mobile phone in a 24/7 world as NFL insiders and experts analyze, praise, and criticize every move along the way.” That is directly from EA Sports, and gives a candy-coated explanation of what this new feature is. Now, you’re franchise, Be A Pro, online and offline dynasties will all be thrown away and grouped to one big feature-C0nnected Careers.

Do not worry though, they will all still be included in the game. If you want to play a season or two, you still can. However, now you’ll be doing it in a Coach mode. Want to be a player? You sure can! Pick from either a rookie, Hall of Famer, or put yourself in the game with the new Gameface addition. If you do choose to go that path, you must also chose your draft status- high, low, or undrafted- and your story unfolds from there. That means if you’re a top 5 pick, you will be good, but a lot will be expected of you. If you chose undrafted, your rating will be lower, but you have no expectations and can improve greatly to shock the league. So basically, everything from the past is still included, just bundled together. Trust me, you are not the only one in the world confused about this. EA has done a poor job explaining it, so here is a very friendly interview with an apparent pothead that answers a ton of questions.

Well, that’s it for now. There is still a ton of info to be said and released about Madden 13, but a full preview will released in the upcoming weeks as additional news is unfolded. Madden 13 will drop on August 28 on PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii.

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