Football is officially back, for better or for worse. The NFL had their season opener last night and, all things considered, it was a pretty exciting game. Despite my worries about a potential NFL season, it was comforting to watch an NFL game. There’s some stuff to celebrate here. EA Sports is getting in on the celebration as well. Madden NFL 21 is getting an update, new content, and a free weekend to help herald in the 2020 NFL season.
Madden 21 SZN 1: HI-DEF
The first Season of Madden 21 content, now stylized SZN, is HI-DEF. A neon-infused gear drop with a bright new field to match.
Madden Seasons are EA’s flow of new content into the Madden games. In Madden 21, that means weekly gear drops, new locations to play in The Yard, and specials events for Madden Ultimate Team. The HI-DEF launch trailer, which inexplicably runs at 12 frames per second, gives us a look at the gear we’ll be seeing during SZN 1. We got Nike x 99 Club, a set of gold gear fit for royalty. These include digital versions of the gold cleats designed for real 99 Club members Aaron Donald, Stephon Gilmore, Christian McCaffrey and Michael Thomas.
Nike and @EASPORTS unveil special edition Madden 99 Club cleats that will be available tomorrow for download in The Yard game-play mode for @AaronDonald97 @BumpNrunGilm0re @CMC_22 and @Cantguardmike. The @BoJackson field at Nike HQ will also be available in The Yard. pic.twitter.com/RNnCFHVLm4
— Josh Benedek (@The_real_Jobby) September 9, 2020
HI-DEF also comes with the Nike x The Brotherhood Collection, which the website describes as celebrating camaraderie and the power of sport. They’ve got a long way to go, but you gotta respect the message Madden 21 is trying to send here. The Brotherhood Collection is dropping the same week that it finally added famously blacklisted Quarterback and activist Colin Kaepernick back into the Madden series.
Fans of The Yard will be able to play on Bo Field at Nike HQ this weekend. Bo Field is designated to NFL legend Bo Jackson, and it’s orange and black color scheme is based on The Brotherhood Collection. We’re also gonna see the MUT Ultimate Kickoff, the soft launch of this year’s Madden Ultimate Team.
Madden 21 Title Update
Yesterday’s title update was pretty small, and mostly just gets Madden 21 set-up for this big weekend. Here is the full change log.
- Fixed some issues related to MUT squads role selection
- Fixed a case where usernames didn’t appear during 2v2 gameplay
- Season 1 (aka Hi-Def) begins, and runs until 11/5
- New App Icon & Main Menu art representing the Season start
- Nike HQ yard Location & Challenges are released
- Season-specific Vanity Content is available for a limited time
- New Legends available in the SSKO Draft
- JUFU song “Just Do It” featured in the Madden Trax rotation
Madden 21 Free to Play Weekend
If you’ve seen the fuss about Madden 21, but want to try the game with the lowest User Score in Metacritic history, EA has your back. You’ll be able to download and try Madden 21 on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or on PC through Steam through Sunday, September 13. If you’ve been dying to play some football, but Madden 21’s poor reviews have turned you away, now’s your chance to see for yourself. Honestly, the free weekend is probably worth it just to play The Yard, which stood out in our review. Managing Editor Mike Straw had this to say:
If you still need some convincing, you can watch our video review below.