To be perfectly blunt, Maddenís next-gen debut wasnít nearly the success it was pegged to be. Sure it looked great, but when you got right down to it, the game was a bare-bones model of the game that millions of players around the US go nuts for every August. With that in mind, EA is going back and retooling the next-gen version of the game while also adding the series' yearly number of enhancements to current generation versions.
One of the yearís major additions is enhanced ball control when running. Rather than rely on the shoulder and face buttons, moves are now mapped to the analog stick. Because of this, performing moves like jukes and spins will be much easier to pull off and have a smooth feel. How the stick works will differ depending on who is carrying the ball. Smaller backs, like Reggie Bush, will have quicker moves and the ability to dodge tackles. On the opposite end, bigger backs will be able to lower their shoulders and take guys out.
Another addition is lead blocking. Before the snap, you can switch to a player and use him as a blocker for your running back. As with the new running moves, blocks are also mapped to the right analog stick and allow you to throw all of your playerís weight into the block. Youíll only be able to throw one block before switching over to your running back, so you wonít be able to stay on the player and try for other blocks downfield.
Mini-camp drills return and will play a larger role in the Franchise mode. Rather than acting as simple time-passers, mini-games will let you improve your players Ė giving you more options when game time rolls around. These games will also play a role in getting your players back to health after an injury.
Visually, Madden 07 looks about the same as last year, but with a few minor tweaks. Players donít look quite as plastic and feature more realistic proportions for their position. One addition is that weather plays a role in how the field plays. During a heavy downpour, the field will become slicker and show damage. Obviously the 360 (and PS3) version of the game will look better than current-gen versions, but all look good for their respective systems.
Madden 07 is slated for release this August.