The development of Madden NFL 23 was sad and self-conscious

While EA’s Madden football matches It often tops the sales charts each year, and those sales didn’t reflect quality. Critical consensus about the series has been declining in recent years, and Madden NFL 22 It was full of bugs that hampered the experience. Fortunately, the developers are aware of Madden’s flaws and try to improve its gameplay Madden NFL 23.

Speaking to Digital Trends, gameplay executive producer Aaron McCardy paints a picture of a more somber and reflective development of Madden NFL 23 as such EA Tiburon mourns the death of series of the same name, John Madden And I tried to make up for the previous failures of the franchise. Although Digital Trends hasn’t dealt with the game yet, McHardy highlights it Madden NFL 23 It will address many of the issues fans are experiencing thanks to a slew of bug fixes and a new set of features called FieldSENSE that touch every part of the experience.

“The investment in FieldSENSE, bug fixes, and gameplay has been so great because we know FieldSENSE hits whether you’re playing Franchise, Ultimate Team, The Yard, or a quick match with a friend on your couch,” McHardy tells Digital Trends. “It’s exciting because it accesses every part of the game, every style you play. We feel like anyone’s playing Madden NFL 23 You can really feel something new and different in the game this year.”

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Insect extermination

Before the team can do that Madden NFL 23 Playing better, they had to fix what was already broken. All the past few Madden titles are filled with bugs and The situation is worse than ever Madden NFL 22. The annual release schedule and pandemic have finally caught up to the quality of EA Tiburon’s games. McHardy outlined the steps developers are taking to ensure this does not (hopefully) happen again.

“We looked at how we developed the game and researched the internet, and actually got our QA department, within our development tools, to log every complaint we could find to keep track of,” McHardy explains. “Where possible, we’ll go and analyze that to find out what actual problem caused someone to file a complaint. If there’s a video, we put it in our database, and if there’s a general complaint about an area of ​​our game, we’ll put them all together and figure out all the issues.”

“We are very focused on making the most polished games as we can.”

This process was exhaustive, with developers ending up with a list of “hundreds” of bugs and issues that EA Tiburon could improve. Then the team fixed some issues as part of Madden NFL 22Live service updates They take anything they can’t fix into account when planning Madden NFL 23 development.

“The way we plan for new features every year, we’ve also been planning fixes for all of these bugs to make sure we fix them and also have time to catch new features that we’re creating,” he said. “Polish has been an important thing for us in the team this year, so while there are still some bugs because we haven’t finished, we feel the game is really in a better shape this year than it was at this time last year. We are very focused on making the game The most polished we can.”

We won’t know for sure if all of this really ends until we have the game in our hands in August, but EA seems to know where it got stuck and wants to do better.

Joe Borough is handled by the Chargers players in Madden NFL 23.

reasonable changes

It seems that this desire for improvement will apply to gameplay as well. The basic modes are getting improvements, and the franchise mode will have deeper crafting, exploration, and free agency options. Meanwhile, the face of the narrative-driven franchise mode now follows a player on a new team five years into his career and allows players to be linebackers.

While many game modes are undergoing updates, Madden NFL 23 The most important changes this year are not situation-specific. Instead, they have to do it with gameplay and animation. One complaint that some Madden’s biggest critics are constantly posing is that the game has “animation based” gameplay. Basically, some players hate how Madden overly relies on set animations on fluid physics, which means that some throws and catches don’t work as naturally or realistically.

“We’re about to get out of this canned animation this year.”

despite Madden NFL 23 The gameplay is still technically animation-based, and the developers have taken this feedback into account when designing FieldSENSE, the moniker given to Madden NFL 23 Gameplay improvements. Defensive players are more involved now because they can interrupt animation, the ball carrier can make 360-degree cuts more efficiently, and quarterbacks have more control over their shooting and adding power to their throws.

While FieldSENSE is an odd name for these upgrades, McHardy believes it brings some fundamental and meaningful changes to throwing, passing and defense that will appeal to fans unhappy with the direction Madden has been heading for the past several years.

“We wanted to fix that feeling that people get when they feel stuck in a canned animation, and the outcome seems to be predetermined,” McCardy says. “What they tell us is a loss of control. With FieldSENSE’s branching animation technology, we’re about to break out of that canned animation this year. It gives us unpredictability and variety in a game that we haven’t done because it’s not all predetermined.”

pivotal year

EA always calls new Madden games the most “authentic” experiences yet, but McHardy seemed eager to deliver on that promise this year. Madden was slow Drop in review scores and loss of support from hardcore fans For years, EA finally seems to have recognized this drop with Madden NFL 23 Make changes that affect every part of the game.

A Seahawks player performs an air strike in Madden NFL 23.
This mid-air strike is an example of one of the disturbing new animations for Madden NFL 23.

As mentioned, Digital Trends has not been dealt with practically Madden NFL 23 So far, the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game won’t include FieldSENSE, so we’re not sure if this investment by EA will pay off in full this year. However, the developer’s efforts to fix bugs and improve gameplay show that at least EA is guiding the Madden series in the right direction. Going forward, McHardy appears keen to only increase the size of Madden’s play agency.

“We will continue to invest in FieldSENSE in the coming years to find more ways to bring more consistency, player agency, and emerging game behaviors because I believe that is where the fun with sports is,” he says. “Let’s find out how we can improve and invest in gameplay to take it to the next level.”

Madden NFL 23 It launches for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC on August 19.

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