As hard as it might be to believe. . .and, let me tell you, there are times where it can be. . .we're only a little more than two months from the start of Training Camp in the National Football League. That means that, yes, it's time to start seeing hype packages for the latest installment of the Madden NFL franchise from EA Sports.
This year didn't feature any sort of a tournament or voting to see who would be on the cover as EA has done in past years. They just decided to put New England Patriots' tight end Rob Gronkowski on the cover instead. He is the first tight end to be put on the cover of any of the Madden games.
According to our friends over at Polygon,
Madden 17 developer EA Tiburon laid out its plans for the game in a post on the series' website, saying that the studio wants to "address all three phases of the game on offense, defense, and special teams."
Tiburon is working on the running game, separating special moves into different tiers so that the moves they can pull off are tied to their ratings. Madden 17 will also offer more tutorial elements to players, teaching those moves with prompts in the game interface and highlighting paths for running backs.
On defense, Tiburon is touting AI improvements to areas like gap play, zone coverage and protection of the edges of the field. And special teams, a long-dormant area of Madden, is getting a lot of attention this year. Tiburon is revamping the kick meter, allowing teams to ice the kicker, introducing a mechanic for blocking kicks, and adding trick plays.
I'm not totally sure how "icing the kicker" is going to work in a video game or anything. I'm sure there's some way of doing it, but I haven't picked up a copy of Madden in so long that I'm not 100% sure what that way would be.
Are you folks out there excited for the latest installment of Madden NFL?