Madden NFL 22 is in The Red Zone Looking To Score
It was a rough start for Madden NFL 21 last year. I called it the “should have been delayed edition”. I know, kind of a snarky header, but I was choked. Madden 21 felt so broken at launch. But let’s be honest, 2020 was a rough year for everyone, and Madden’s development cycle was clearly impacted by COVID. Coupled with, what I can only imagine, was the daunting task of getting the game ready for both current and next-gen consoles, it was clear the Madden team was stretched thin during the pandemic.
To be fair, Madden NFL 21 is a vastly improved experience than the one we played last summer. It eventually evolved into a rock-solid experience. Madden NFL 22 is looking to keep that momentum going as we near what we hope will be the end of the pandemic.
On Monday, June 14, I had a chance to attend a digital event, where we got a peak at Madden NFL 22, which included a Q&A with the top dogs on the development team. Full disclosure, we didn’t get any hands-on time but what we did see looks impressive and it certainly appears the team is on the right track. I’m hopeful Madden NFL 22’s launch will be significantly smoother than the one we saw last year.
Here are 5 things that give me a reason to believe Madden NFL 22 should be a kick ass experience this year.
Home Field Advantage is Meaningful
Having that home-field advantage is going to mean something this year. It will impact games. New environments and presentation elements will let players feel the impact of big moments that can change the tide of a game. These moments are based on the unique atmospheres of each NFL stadium.
How will this work? If you are playing in Denver, visiting players may get tired from that high Colorado altitude. In Chicago, visiting kickers may struggle. In Seattle, the 12’s will make it hard for you to read the pre-play art. Needless to say, this all sounds pretty cool and I cannot wait to see it in action.
Finally, a Robust Franchise Mode
EA Sports says they have listened to fans griping about the Franchise mode for the better part of the past few years. I’m one of them. At launch last year Franchise mode was embarrassing. It was nearly identical to Madden 20’s mode. This year; however, we can expect a robust feature set at launch. There will be a comprehensive staff management system, more weekly strategy, a revamped franchise hub, improved trade logic, enhanced scouting (which is apparently coming post-launch) along with some other substantial updates. Not to mention, the Super Bowl celebrations will be different, finally. We will get more information on the Franchise mode in the coming days but everything looks promising thus far.
Toned Down Run Game
The run game in Madden NFL 21 was ridiculous. If you had a strong running back and some half-decent stick skills, you were winning games, a lot of them. The development team is toning down the run game in Madden NFL 22 and working hard to make it balanced. The dev team has recognized the run game was too strong in Madden 21 and are continuously working on balancing it. They seem confident it will hit a nice spot as balancing the run game is a priority for them. At least they say it is…
Games Versus AI Will Be Entertaining
The vast majority of Madden games take place vs AI opponents. Madden NFL 22 will include “Star-Driven AI” which can change AI behavior and team tendencies backed by Next Gen Stats. Next Gen Stats will provide information about your opponent’s tendencies so you can gameplan better and make the adjustments you need to make. As team and player tendencies evolve over the course of the real-world season, tendencies will also evolve in Madden NFL 22. This translates into AI games that are deep, meaningful and fun.
Madden NFL 22 Will Actually Be a Finished Game at Launch, Mostly
Granted, just like every other Madden game in recent memory, we can expect updates throughout the year. Franchise mode will see an update post-launch. Yet every mode will be back and included in both last-gen and current-gen consoles at launch. Modes like The Yard, Superstar KO, Franchise, Face of the Franchise, and MUT all return and fully playable day one. It doesn’t sound like we are getting a half-baked Madden experience this year and I’m all for it.
What do you think? Is EA Sports doing enough with Madden NFL 22? Let us know in the comments below.
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