EA PLAY, Electronic Arts’ own version of E3, wrapped up this past weekend in Los Angeles. Anyone who attended was able to get a chance to play Madden NFL 20 early. In addition, attendees were able to get a code for the game’s upcoming closed beta. The beta will start Friday, June 14 at noon and end Sunday, June 16 at midnight. After testing the game out this weekend, SGO’s The Natural has a laundry list of first impressions.
MADDEN 20 FIRST IMPRESSIONS – THE GOOD
Right away, an emphasis on player movement is noticeable. RPM 2.0 (real player motion) definitely has an imprint on Madden NFL 20. Over the past two months, EA developers mentioned that they want to give gamers total control of their players, specifically ball carriers. Early indications show they’ve done just that.
The pass rush is improved in Madden 20. Interior lineman get a better push, and good edge rushers are powerful. The quarterback now has less time to release the ball in general. Additionally, it’s now harder to complete “high-ball” passes, so it’s a general nerfing of those types of unrealistic animations.
Good quarterback ratings are even more imperative in Madden NFL 20. Backup and mediocre quarterbacks are rated much lower than previous years, and the differences are more noticeable than ever. The release of quarterbacks even matters more this year. Players like Aaron Rodgers have a quick release that impacts the game.
One concern with the new x-factor and superstar abilities is that they’ll be overpowered and possibly unrealistic, perhaps breaking the game. While the abilities can change the game, they don’t break it, and there are counters to an opposing player’s abilities.
Luke Kuechly and Bobby Wagner are the only linebackers with the ability to sky for the ball and make acrobatic interceptions in this year’s game. Gone are the days of 65 overall linebackers soaring to intercept a pass 30 yards down the field.
Playbooks and general coaching are vastly improved in Madden 20. Playbooks have more variation than ever before, and truly reflect the corresponding coach’s philosophies. Also, coaching adjustments now allow players to automatically base align or man align (or default alignment).
MADDEN 20 FIRST IMPRESSIONS – THE BAD
In Madden 20, quarterbacks can pull down the ball and remove passing icons, run around and turn the icons back on. It’s a good idea to try and buy time to make a throw, but players like Lamar Jackson and Mike Vick could make this a cheesy experience.
Franchise mode largely seems the same. There’s a new interface and the look is certainly different, but the features don’t appear to be improved or altered much.
Wide receivers are still dropping wide open passes. With the improved pass rush, it’s harder to get the ball out. Open passes just can’t be dropped in a video game.
RPO’s are a great addition to the game, but need to be polished. Quarterback throwing animations on RPO plays seem off. The plays run smoothly, but it doesn’t quite look like the defense has much of a chance against them.
When attempting to jam a receiver at the line of scrimmage, it seems that defensive backs lose the battle and stumble far too often, leading to huge chunk plays.
You can read more about the Madden NFL 20 beta here.
What do you think about our first impressions of Madden NFL 20 gameplay? Do you have any additional gameplay questions or concerns? Let us know in the comment section below, and don’t forget to subscribe to SGO on YouTube.
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