Madden NFL 15 Preview
PS4 | Xbox One | Xbox 360 | PS3
Madden NFL 15 Box Art
System: Xbox One, Xbopx 360, PS3, PS4
Dev: EA Tiburon
Pub: EA Sports
Release: August 26, 2014
Players: 1 (2+ Online)
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p
Getting Back to Basics With Madden 15!
by Jason Messer

EA looks to prove the best offense is a killer defense!

I don’t have to explain to you the long, storied history of a franchise like Madden, as I’m sure you already know all about it. Even if you’re not a football fan, the very name is an instantly recognizable presence in the game industry (as it has been for ages). While the fun factor has been there from the start (thinking back on the hours well spent with this series and my 16-bit Sega Genesis), Madden has always strived to push the envelope. Even after EA acquired the exclusive rights to the NFL brand, the franchise could have easily kicked up its feet and coasted on its previous accomplishments, churning out the same tired experience over and over (simply updating the player roster).

Fortunately for us, that wasn’t their plan. Striving to create the most realistic football-sim available was more their speed.

Each year, EA brings a new Madden to the table that tries to build on the strengths of its predecessor. Of course, I’m not saying their always successful, but I recognize when a company is legitimately putting an effort forth to innovate. That’s why the franchise has enjoyed such longevity. Sports fans (and Madden fans specifically) appreciate the intricacies of tweaking this rushing game here or adjusting that player’s stats there. The last release saw the celebration of the 25th anniversary in a big way, EA is back to business as usual with Madden 15 for the Xbox and the PlayStation!

The casual fan might get the impression that yearly releases in the same franchise could just run together. This is the challenge EA is posed with: how do they walk the line between innovation and familiarity? After all, hardcore fans often live inside a certain comfort zone, so flipping the script too much could result in some very unhappy campers. In 15, EA looks to the presentation as an area of improvement. Hoping to give the virtual experience a more real-world flair, a recent press release touts that we’ll “…experience an entirely new broadcast presentation that delivers Madden NFL game day like never before with dramatic all-new camera angles, as well as dynamic pre-game and halftime features. It’s not just football, it’s Madden Season.”

Madden NFL 15 Screenshot

Also, a new focus on improving both the pre-game and half-time shows hopes to immerse gamers a bit more. By featuring actual clips from the action on the field (and tying it together with focused commentary and a killer highlight reel) fans should feel as connected to the gameplay as if they were watching SportsCenter on a Sunday afternoon.

While improved camera dynamics and killer half-time content is great, the real tale of tape will be told on the gridiron itself. Enhanced tools and play mechanics are what really set each new version of Madden apart from its previous iterations, and 2014 looks to bring a slew of fun goodies to the field. If you enjoy shutting down your opponents on the defensive side of things, this year you’ll have several new toys to play with! Players will have the ability to choose between “Aggressive” or “Conservative” tackles on the fly. Although the latter means you are much more likely to engage the ball carrier, being aggressive rewards you with things like fumbles or your opposition losing yardage. However, the stakes are higher and so is the risk, which can sometimes force players to consider if their gamble is worth it.

Madden NFL 15 Screenshot

Plus, the new Skills Trainer is a step in the right direction of making this iconic franchise more accessible to casual fans. Figuring out which plays to run or what direction to line up your defense can be a daunting task for someone who’s not a seasoned pro. However, Madden 15 will walk you through real-life football fundamentals, and then allow you to test your newly acquired knowledge in a gauntlet of challenges and boss battles. If that’s not enough, they will even provide an extensive database of plays and formations (based on the field positioning at the time), which you can pull from in order to ensure certain victory!

Madden NFL 15 Screenshot

This will also be the second entry of the series to appear on both the current and previous generations of consoles. Naturally, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions will no doubt push the limits of visual fidelity, Madden 15 is sure to offer the same level of depth on the aging 360 and PS3 as well. Even though we still have baseball season to finish up first, it’s never too early to break out the tailgating gear and warm up with the old pigskin.

August 26th (the game’s official release date) is right around the corner!

Jason Messer
Contributing Writer
Date: June 9, 2014

Game Features:

  • See defense through a whole new lens with all-new camera angles that let you attack the play from the defensive’s perspective. Lock in on a single defender and go for the big play or follow the action wherever the ball goes.
  • Utilize a new set of pass rush tools to beat your blocker and disrupt the backfield. New mechanics to jump the snap, shed blocks and steer offensive linemen put your in control and make defensive linemen more powerful and versatile than ever.
  • Broadcast and NFL Films –inspired presentation redefines the way games are presented. New cameras capture the emotion of every play from fresh new perspectives, and choose from 6 gameplay cameras pre-snap to get the best view of the action.
  • The new pre-game and halftime shows, complete with studio commentary, tell the story of the game, with special emphasis on game-changing matchups and big play highlights.
  • A revolutionary recommendation engine utilizes data from millions of online games to surface the best selection of plays possible for the match-up and situation. Sort from traditional sets and formations, to expert recommendations, to what’s working the best in the Madden NFL community.
  • Skills Trainer has been expanded to teach not only gameplay skills, but strategy and football concepts as well. Learn how to read zone defenses, when to hot route a receiver, and more with nearly 50 new tutorials and drills. Once you’ve mastered the basics, enter The Gauntlet where your skills will be put to the ultimate test through intense challenges and boss battles

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