EA Sports Madden 15 Gameplay Improvements - What It All Means

Discussion in 'Madden NFL Football' started by Drifterbub, Jun 9, 2014.

  1. Drifterbub

    Drifterbub Help me hide a body?

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Messages:
    17,173
    Featured Threads:
    1
    Now that we are officially underway at E3 and are receiving first looks at tons of new games, including Madden 15, EA has given us the green light to talk about Gameplay in EA Sports Madden 15. Instead of giving you guys an overall write-up article, I'm going to do what I have done for the past few years and explain what these features mean to us as avid, hardcore sports gamers. If you want to read more about what EA revealed during E3, I'll link you to those articles here as they pop up on the web.

    Disclaimer: I can only talk about gameplay and presentation improvements at this time. This article will cover gameplay so tune in later for details on other areas of the game, including presentation. Also, I ask that you refrain from asking questions that do not pertain to gameplay and presentation.

    [​IMG]

    I should acknowledge a few things before we get into the gritty that should give you more of my perspective on the new information and Madden 15 in general.
    • I could not stand Madden 25. The run-free mechanic and locomotion issues were not a fun experience for me when I picked up the sticks. Passing and defense seemed gimmicky. I had way more fun playing NCAA 14, truthfully.
    • This is my first year as a EA Sports Gamechanger on the Madden series. So my perspective is pretty fresh.
    • I will explain the controls as layed out on the Xbox One. Translate them to PS4 if you wish. It's all the same.

    Gameplay Improvements

    New Tackling Mechanic
    What you will read about it: The introduction of a conservative tackle feature allows users options when defending in the open field. Pulling LT brings up a tackle cone visual that allows you to approximate where you need to position yourself in order to make a tackle by pressing A. Aggressive tackle (formerly known as hit stick) is moved to the X button. Strip tackling receives an overhaul with lots of new animations.
    What it all means: More control over your defender in space - This solves huge spacial problems in football games that have historically existed. Pulling the LT puts your defender into a hip-flush ready stance (similar to a shortstop getting ready for the pitch) which slows down your momentum. I found this feature useful in the running game when I wanted to come down into a hole and fill it with a LB as opposed to last year where you can wait off the LOS (moving laterally) or dive bomb in the hole and hope you collide with the ball carrier. I also found it useful in open space in screen plays and flats when I wanted to make sure the ball carrier wasn't going to go around me. The new strip tackle features basically adds some visual freshness to tackling by increasing the animation pool. I saw some new rips and a couple different punches that were pretty cool.

    [​IMG]

    Pass Rush Moves, Disengaging Off Blocks, Block Steering
    What you will read about it:
    The new pass rush mechanic moves away from right stick and to the X and A buttons (finesse and power moves respectively). Timing the snap moves to the RT ("turbo") button and also provides visual on-screen feedback if you were successful. Pass rush moves provide UI feedback for both successful and failed attempts to get around the blocker. Disengaging off blocks is a new mechanic and can be accomplished by pressing up on the sticks (away from the block). Block steering is also a new mechanic that allows you to engage with a blocker and steer him laterally.
    What it all means: Pass Rushing is fun... again - These new features with the additional feedback ultimately leave you with more control over your player. The visual and tactile feedback let you see and feel when you don't time your inputs correctly and allow you to get better. In order to be successful, you must pay attention to what kind of pass rusher you are using. Utilizing finesse moves on a power rusher will likely leave you out of the play... or on the ground. Disengaging is a huge improvement for people who user control defensive lineman as it allows you to quickly get off blocks and into your pursuit angle for chasing down running backs and quarterbacks who have escaped the pocket. Block steering isn't entirely useful, but combined with disengagement could potentially put you in better position to make plays. Honestly, it's just nice to see this as a possibility given the historical 'block in place' we are used to seeing. It does add for a nice overall visual while on offense as the pocket can take essentially unlimited forms.

    Coverage Improvements - Man and Zone
    What you will read about it:
    Improved coverage through better back-7 logic. Defensive backs actually do what they are supposed to. Player Sense Awareness really tightens everything up with improved interactions and coverage concepts. Combined with new pre-play adjustments (more on that later), the importance of defensive strategy is elevated significantly.
    What it all means: Coverage concepts shut down what they are supposed to - This is part of a new initiative to teach people the game by meshing offensive and defensive concepts with appropriate wins/losses. I saw several instances where defenders would come over the top or from behind to swat down bullet passes to a hook route, which in previous versions of every football game was impossible to accomplish.

    Pre-play Adjustments - Offense and Defense
    What you will read about it:
    New implementation for common adjustments such as Max Protection, QB Contain, Defensive Assignments, Protect the Sticks, Shade Coverage (inside, outside, under, over), etc. Authentic Audible remaps leave coordinators with audible selections that make sense for the personnel on the field.
    What it all means: Get ready to kick the crutch out from under your opponent - Shade coverage is absolutely huge. Tired of giving up deep outs? Shade outside and wreak havoc. Tired of giving up quick slants? Shade inside. Using these adjustments to take away your opponents 'bread and butter' will be a huge strategic addition to playing defense. However, it's not without having consequences. If you shade inside to take away a slant and Wes Welker runs an arrow route, get ready to chase him down because he is going to receive tons of separate out of the route.

    War in the Trenches 2.0
    What you will read about it:
    New offensive blocking schemes and AI that further represents blocking in the NFL. Introduction of kick-out blocks on pulling linemen can devastate defenders and open up huge running lanes. Pull blocking in general is overhauled to allow for more realistic defender targeting and appropriate type of block.
    What it all means: Overall general polish from last year's blocking - Blocking wasn't too bad last year and Clint Oldenburg continues to build on the blocking AI utilizing his vast NFL knowledge and experience. From my hands-on experience, running up the middle was tough, but rewarding. The defensive disengagement feature should cut down on the outside run effectiveness we experienced in Madden 25 despite incorrect/bad blocking.

    Passing Concepts (w/ Real AI)
    What you will read about it:
    The game introduces several passing concepts and those familiar with NFL offenses should be plenty familiar with. For those who are not, the game makes a point to help teach you these concepts through tutorials/drills and further emphasizes the effectiveness against certain coverage concepts.
    What it all means: Emphasis on playcall - Former Florida Gators QB Larry Richart spent time in the lab with Real AI teaching the CPU AI on how to read defensive coverages and execute concepts (reads, etc). This means two things - 1) Advantages can be had by making the appropriate playcall. 2) There is still a huge emphasis on making the correct reads/adjustments instead of just concept match-ups between the offense and defense.

    Passing Inaccuracies / Effort Catches
    What you will read about it:
    New passing inaccuracies (bad throws) really opens up the passing game both visually and from a gameplay perspective. Effort catches brings in a new element of attempted catches for both WRs and DBs that ultimately lends itself to a virtually unlimited amount of WR/DB interactions (yes, even in the air).
    What it all means: Elite QBs are differentiated from the pond scum - The passing inaccuracies are obviously tied to ratings, but are also influenced by the QBs momentum in the pocket. Inaccurate throws are essentially defined as throws that can either be hard to catch (spectacular catch), just out of the WR/DBs reach (attempted catches) or simply impossible to catch (overthrows, etc). Peyton Manning rarely makes inaccurate throws, but losing him to injury and having to utilize Brock Osweiller is now a big deal and should bring about a strategic hurdle in your gameplan. Effort/Attempted catches are simply a bridge between the lack of animations for passes that are not within the catch radius. In Madden 25 (and previous Maddens before that), we often would see a ball sail over a WRs head only to have him stop and stare at the ball. In Madden 15, WRs and DBs will make efforts to catch balls that are close. This parlays into some interesting animations for jump balls and diving catches where the DB will simultaneously make a play on the ball even if the play results in a catch from the WR. Compounded with additional adjustments to the catch windows and DB swat, the passing game is definitely more polished than it has ever been and a far cry from last year's frustrating stencil and stamp results.

    [​IMG]

    Kicking Game Improvements
    What you will read about it:
    New meter is a big improvement over previous Madden kick meters. Wind direction is fixed and trajectories received some attention. Trajectories are mapped out for lower difficulty levels that give the user visual feedback of where they are aiming for punts, kickoffs and field goals.
    What it all means: Wind direction is fixed - The new UI for the kick meter is a welcome change. Wind direction is fixed. Not entirely sure how difficult the kicking game will be as they were still tuning it a lot during the last community event. Wind direction is fixed.

    New Playcall UI
    What you will read about it:
    Madden 15 has taken a big shift on the playcall concept by giving users several different ways to find the play they want. Traditional options like by play type or by formation are still in place, but new methods such as by play concept and favorites help users navigate to the appropriate call
    What it all means: New UI... - In my opinion I don't think this feature will change the way most of you call plays unless you are unfamiliar with passing concepts. I could be wrong.

    New Hot Route
    What you will read about it:
    New system gives more options to the user. Hot routes now take a realistic time to implement at the line.
    What it all means: No more spamming adjustments - gone are the days of breaking the huddle, punching in 23 hot routes and adjustments and then snapping the ball in 7 seconds. Hot routes are now delayed such that it gives the defense ample time to adjust. It takes some getting use to, but ultimately it's their to create a realistic timetable to setup the offense, which was needed.

    Skill Trainer / Gauntlet
    What you will read about it: New Skills Trainer designed to help in teaching people the game. Tons of UI feedback while conducting tutorials and drills will have you up and running in no-time. Step into the Gauntlet to play random Skill Trainer drills that increase in difficulty as you complete them. Every 5 levels produce a 'boss' level that requires additional skill to complete.
    What it all means: People will be using the Gauntlet to prove their manhood - In all seriousness, The Gauntlet is one of the more fun game modes I have played in Madden. At the last community event we had a leaderboard going within the group on who could reach certain levels. The 'boss' levels will break you.

    Other Notable Gameplay Improvements:
    Chew Clock
    - The NCAA chew clock makes it's way to Madden. No more sitting at the end of blowouts for several minutes while your opponent or you run the clock down to the buzzer. Huge improvement and long overdue!
    Camera Toggles - Cameras can now be toggled pre-snap. You have your choice of four varying in heights from the zoom camera to coordinator cam. The zoom camera really gets into the details and shows you how beautiful the game is at close range. While other cameras give the user various options for field of vision depending on what they want to see that play.
    HB Draws - The ineffectiveness of HB draws was a huge talking point at the last community event. We received several comments from the dev team in that they were working on solutions to fix HB Draws (mostly from a blocking standpoint), but it was not implemented in the builds we played. So stay tuned.

    Follow me on twitter! http://www.twitter.com/Drifterbub
     

    Attached Files:

    • slide.jpg
      slide.jpg
      File size:
      173.8 KB
      Views:
      13,643
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2014
    • Like Like x 18
  2. Kidofcrash23

    Kidofcrash23 Walk On

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,597
    tackling cone? jesus.

    should just change the tackling system to m12/m13, it was fine
     
  3. BobJr

    BobJr To each their own

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    Messages:
    7,123
    Featured Threads:
    2
    Actually you will be surprised. It is not an eyesore. Seems like it is rarely even noticeable.
     
  4. Danthraxxx

    Danthraxxx Walk On

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2011
    Messages:
    8,531

    Hopefully it will stop the super dive shoestring tackle crap from M25 , if it keeps impossible tackles from working they could add fireworks and sound effects from super high impact , I would still be happy.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  5. Drifterbub

    Drifterbub Help me hide a body?

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Messages:
    17,173
    Featured Threads:
    1
    Conservative tackle is different. A lot different. It's essentially the same mechanic that FIFA puts on the LT to break down and make a good tackle.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Danthraxxx

    Danthraxxx Walk On

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2011
    Messages:
    8,531
    according to SimFBCritic that cone can be removed
     
  7. Drifterbub

    Drifterbub Help me hide a body?

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Messages:
    17,173
    Featured Threads:
    1
    It has a toggle.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Papa Perry

    Papa Perry Leeroy Jenkins!!!

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Messages:
    6,562
    Really like what you had to say Drifter. Can't wait to see some videos of this stuff. Did you happen to see any d-linemen get knocked down while trying to disengage? I'll have more questions this evening.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Kidofcrash23

    Kidofcrash23 Walk On

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,597
    turn off? thank god, is there gang tackling ? not sure if you can answer. Improving pursuit and grabbing slowing down runners with other tacklings able to participate in the tackling would clean up a lot of the big plays in this game.
     
  10. BobJr

    BobJr To each their own

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    Messages:
    7,123
    Featured Threads:
    2
    Did not see many knockdowns, but I can confirm you will have to use the right move with the right defensive lineman. IE DL that are finesse can't bull rush.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Drifterbub

    Drifterbub Help me hide a body?

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Messages:
    17,173
    Featured Threads:
    1
    The cone isn't as bad as it sounds. Don't worry too much about it.
     
  12. BobJr

    BobJr To each their own

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    Messages:
    7,123
    Featured Threads:
    2
    you can Turn off the cone, but thats just the visual part. If i remember right it's still there.
     
  13. Papa Perry

    Papa Perry Leeroy Jenkins!!!

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Messages:
    6,562
    Until you get that "rugby scrum where the ball carrier shoots out of the pile like a cannon and sprints toward the endzone" animation. That was always frustrating haha. I get what you're saying though. Just had a flashback when you mentioned gang tackling.
     
  14. Papa Perry

    Papa Perry Leeroy Jenkins!!!

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Messages:
    6,562
    1. Do you see many passes batted down by defensive linemen? Is there a button to press to do this while engaged?

    2. Has the fullback blocking and interaction been implemented as well as with offensive linemen?

    3. Have sideline catches been improved? Any new animations?

    4. With chew clock added and hot routes adjusted to take longer to initiate, has accelerated clock been phased out?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Ryty

    Ryty Over the Cap

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Messages:
    3,275
    Love this. People may actually have to have an offensive gameplan.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  16. Danthraxxx

    Danthraxxx Walk On

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2011
    Messages:
    8,531
    this like 200%

    I have seen soooooo many times where the FB will get through the hole and go block a skinny CB vs trying to block the MLB, leaving me with a 3 yard gain vs 8+ , drives me nuts.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. Papa Perry

    Papa Perry Leeroy Jenkins!!!

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Messages:
    6,562
    I'll just bring my gameplan back to HK and shove it down your throat haha.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Danthraxxx

    Danthraxxx Walk On

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2011
    Messages:
    8,531

    creating a 100% new play at the line is totally a legit game plan :p
     
  19. Papa Perry

    Papa Perry Leeroy Jenkins!!!

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Messages:
    6,562
    Dude I gave up on I-formation. Drove me nuts.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  20. Danthraxxx

    Danthraxxx Walk On

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2011
    Messages:
    8,531

    I had my FB go get a corner on 4th & goal out of it , ran right past P Willis like he was Montgomery Burns or something and was no threat, RB gets blasted and I lost the game. I was a bit ticked off.

    At least try to block the best LB in the game is all I am asking lol
     
    • Like Like x 1
  21. Papa Perry

    Papa Perry Leeroy Jenkins!!!

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Messages:
    6,562
    That's a personnel problem. If you had Aaron Hernandez he could've pulled out his glock and shot Willis.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  22. klaximilian

    klaximilian Walk On

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    Messages:
    4,133
    • Like Like x 1
  23. BobJr

    BobJr To each their own

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    Messages:
    7,123
    Featured Threads:
    2
    1. Personally, I was so focused on playing with the steer blocking and defensive line moves that I did not try too much. However, I did see a few batted balls.

    2. Fullback blocking is a bit better, but maybe not to the point you are looking for.

    3. WR catching is awesome. There are plenty of new animations, and the catches are seamless now.

    4. Accelerated clock is still an option.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  24. Baron

    Baron "I'm PFP's reckoning."

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Messages:
    4,147
    Good stuff Drift!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  25. G_T_G

    G_T_G BEAR DOWN

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,961
    "Wind direction is fixed"

    FINALLY.
     
    • Like Like x 2

Share This Page