With Madden 17 approaching we wanted to list features that we want to see introduced or make a return in Madden 17. Of course we want everything that Madden 16 currently offers to return, but this article is going to focus mainly on the gameplay side of madden and what we would like to be improved upon. Although CFM is the driving force behind the sim community, it’s really nothing without quality gameplay.
Physics Engine Improvements
When the physics engine was announced in Madden, we were ecstatic as it was long awaited. The loss of the canned animations was something needed for a long time. But the physics system is not perfect and has some issues. One of these is weight detection. Why is it that a 230 lb HB running at full speed can be knocked back by a much smaller DB? The system needs to be improved so not only attributes matter but the weight of the players as well.
In Madden 16 the WR/DB interactions was a great addition but they must build upon this to account for ANY interaction that a WR makes with the corner, underneath linebackers or defenders over the top. Too often a WR or TE runs downfield and runs into or gets “stuck” on a defender as he is running causing it to throw him off his route. If the QB throws it when this occurs it leads it as if he was running the route normally. Anyone who has played madden extensively knows exactly what it is we are talking about. The receiver should run into or bump into the defender and get thrown off, or run around the defender he sees standing in front of him.
This is a feature we have always been super excited for and anticipating. The physics engine was a milestone step in the right direction, but now imagine that physics engine truly being put to use to allow realistic injuries! It would move Madden to a new level. You see some nasty hits in madden, some hits that would no matter who it was leave them at the very least shaken up and sidelined for a few plays. We have all seen some dirty hits that take out players knees. These should cause realistic injuries. How awesome would it be in madden to see these big hits have consequences? It would make players really think more about when to run out of bounds or when to have these skimpy little 5’8 backs of pure speed running head on into a 250lb Middle Linebacker.
Permanent Formation Subs
Although there are packages and subs in the game we would like to bring back the old Formation Subs to add more strategy to the game by being able to use certain players in a specific set. Want you best run blocking linemen in a big set? Your 3rd down back in ALL shotgun formations? Cornerbacks at safety in a set you blitz out of frequently. Formations subs would allow users the flexibility to do this. To have the right D-lineman and Linebackers in when you switch out of a 4-3 into a 3-4, or have your tallest and best spectacular catch WRs in during a Hail Mary. This level of specialization would make the game more realistic, as well as add an additional layer of depth to roster-building.
Now we all know this is a thing in NFL. You have heard it many times. Josh Norman guards the offensives best WR all game. Aqib Talib was assigned Rob Gronkowski all game long to limit his big plays. This is a real NFL strategy. It is too easy to offensively manually switch your #1 WR to go inside and play the slot. Now he is facing off against a #3 CB or sometimes even a LB! This would never happen in the NFL. Quite a while ago in madden we could do this, but no longer is this an option at the hands of madden gamers. It needs to come back. All those issues would be gone with assigned coverages. Let us choose to assign our top CB to the top WR all game long, regardless of where he moves on the field. And if that WR is not on the field, then it simply defaults back to normal.
Player Ratings Improvements
There needs to be a better distinction between players who are great, good, average,
and bad. Time and time again you see people start players who are a low overall with high physical attributes, but absolutely no awareness or play recognition. These players rarely see a real an NFL field, so there needs to be some type of distinction between these players and more well rounded starters. Someone like Aaron Rodgers is on a completely different level than Eli Manning or Matt Ryan, but nothing other than a missed pass every once in awhile shows that. You rarely see the elite QBs drop an absolute dime on a pass that the just good QBs could not make as well.
The frequency and variation of penalties were improved in Madden 16 but it still fall short of a realistic NFL game. Basically the only penalties we consistently see are offensive holding, false start, encroachment, and holding on defense, but only in man defense. We have yet to see a holding on the defense in zone and we rarely see offensive or defensive pass interference. As stated earlier, the receiver too often is “stuck” while running a route past the 5 yards downfield and should result in a Pass interference or defensive holding penalty, but it is never called. Penalties are a delicate balancing act for developers so we are not saying increase the frequency per se but the variety in situations in which they are called.
We were so happy when the days of every QB throwing passes right on the money were gone. But now are the days of QBs making some of the worst passes you have ever seen in your life. Now don’t get us wrong, we WANT bad passes. But some passes aren’t even within 20 yards of the guy you throw to. We want to see a greater variety of pass types. Balls thrown to the shoelaces of WRs, thrown literally a step in front of him on a crossing route where it hits his fingertips, thrown a step behind him where he only can get a hand on it. Not only would this make the QB passing more realistic, but it also would add much more variety to the way that WRs are able to interact with the ball.
Madden 17 has the potential to be one of the best games in the series as Madden 16 has some greating building blocks to set up what could be amazing features. If EA can capitalize on this Madden 17 can truly go down as one of the best Madden games to date.