Despite concerns that lack of innovation will result from the exclusive NFL contract EA was able to secure a few years back, Madden NFL 13
proves otherwise in huge fashion. The new physics-based animation systems that EA dubs the "Infinity Engine" brings big hits and realistic tackling to videogames like never before. In fact, this system is certainly the start of a revolution for sports titles, and it wouldnít surprise me if it branches out beyond the confines of a stadium.
Every time players contact each other with the Infinity Engine, they interact in a way that mirrors real life. While not perfected yet, this new animation system delivers some great tackles where players actually wrap the ball carrier and drive them to the ground. Aside from a few ridiculous tripping/stumbling problems and the occasional cranked neck, the Infinity Engine improves both the gameplay and presentation in dramatic ways.
Madden NFL 13 goes beyond presentation, however, with its advancements and achievements. The new Connected Careers feature allows you and your friends to jump into an online Franchise like never before. Connected Careers allows you and up to 31 additional friends to play what ends up essentially being a semi-persistent career where you can play as a coach or an individual player. Should you get tired of your choice and want to start over, there is no need to start from scratch. You can actually retire your player or coach and begin from that point in the season with another choice.
Another addition to the franchise is with Total Control Passing. The ability to lead the receiver or throw to his back shoulder helps you take over the field even more. Whether related or not, however, is the fact that receivers seem to drop the ball more than anticipated. With some practice, you can also take control over the catch to improve your chances of a completion. In addition, EA has allowed Kinect-enabled voice commands. If you can call it on the screen with a controller, you can also vocally call a play or change the play with a verbal audible.
Of course, youíll also be able to jump into your typical online and offline modes of play, including the Ultimate Team, where you build your team based on earning coins. These coins, in turn, can be spent on trading cards and the cards are used to populate your team. Youíll also be able to trade or sell cards to build your legacy any way you want.
The gameplay itself of Madden NFL 13 still retains the basics that have driven the most popular football franchise. Aside from the occasional unintentional player collision with the Infinity Engine, running and passing control remains in the userís hands. Play calling has two options, the usual three-play Conventional screen or the GameFlow play-calling method, which essentially is a new way to Ask Madden based on the present situation. The difference is that you can quickly choose between a few automatically-determined plays whether you want to run, pass, or stick with the game plan.