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Madden 2005 Info....


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Here is a link to two threads as Madden Nation where we are keeping all of the links to articles, screens, & videos for Madden 2005. Check out the IGN articles and videos... they are brand new and have the first official info about the game. I have made it so you can view this thread on the boards there without having to register. Thanks.

Madden 2005 info

NCAA 2005 Info

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Haha... yeah. I worked on yours yesterday for a while. I am still not happy with it though. My daughter's birthday party is tonight so I won't get a chance to work on it but I think I will have it finished tomorrow.

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April 19, 2004 - "Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."

Those were the words of Joe Theismann, who ironically proved his own point by merely speaking.

And while nobody in football should be called a genius, the same can't be said about football game developers. EA Sports and ESPN Videogames continue to innovate the genre with competition fiercer than the Panthers and Pats, and in their 2005 games, both companies are striving to not only outdo each other, but themselves at the same time.

The Tiburon team, who develops the Madden series for EA Sports, has been working on Madden NFL 2005 since before the release of 2004, and feel like they've been able to implement some new features and functionality that will separate and distinguish themselves from ESPN, even if they refuse to tell us exactly what all of those features are (they will be unveiled at E3 in May).

What we did manage to uncover, and even get our hands-on for a time, was already arresting and formidable, as the Madden game is following its namesake for possibly the first time in series history, working more to improve its defense than any other aspect of gameplay (the real Madden coached the Raider linebackers before becoming head coach).

Let Bruce-Bruce Hit It

While the NFL is full of jarring "de-cleaters" as the big man likes to say, the Madden game has traditionally been more about a defender diving toward the ball carrier, the ball carrier falling over, and the whistle blowing. Every once in a while, you might see the quarterback crunched and the crowd in the room will wince, but nothing close to the degree seen on a typical Sunday in Baltimore or Tampa.

This is about to change. And it's about to change in dramatic fashion.

Enter "The Hit Stick".

On defense, the right analog stick transforms into this aforementioned Hit Stick, where a well-timed flick turns into some of the biggest hits ever seen in a football simulation. All of these new hits were motion captured where the guy running with the ball in the funny black suit didn't know when or where the tacklers were coming from, and the results are a series of intense animations where you're left scratching your head about the current health of the poor guy who had to do the mo-cap work (hope he had insurance).

All of the hits are legal, clean shots that if performed correctly are more likely to cause fumbles than a typical tackle. But that doesn't necessarily mean that the hits will cause injury, as the NFL mandated that for EA to institute the Hit Stick, the increased violence couldn't lead to an increase in the number of players holding their heads and rolling on the turf.

There are more than 10 Hit-Stick animations, taking into account where the defender is attempting to tackle the runner. Whether you're launching yourself up high or grabbing the back of the jersey and slinging the ball carrier down from behind, you won't be disappointed with the payoff. The thing is, utilizing the Hit Stick carries with it a definite risk. When playing against the Falcons, for instance, it is easy to deliver a fierce blow to Warrick Dunn and watch him spiral down in pain. But try hitting a bigger back like TJ Ducket, and Ducket merely brushes the flying defender off and continues running down field. Also, since the defender more than likely leaves his feet to deliver the big hit, rather than attempting to wrap the ball carrier up in a more mundane animation, this also leaves the defense more vulnerable to missing completely on the de-cleater, and leaving a huge hole for the runner to burst through.

Leveling the Playing Field

But defense is not all about crushing tackles -- if that was the case, there would already be a statue of Chuck Cecil in Canton. So besides the Hit Stick, there are plenty of strategic additions as well, and for the first time, it really feels like the defense was given its due.

The biggest change to the defense is the addition of defensive hot routes. Using the right analog stick pre-snap, you can press down to blitz, up to enter a hook zone (medium zone to stop tight ends, hooks, curls), press left to play in spy formation, or right to drop into a flat zone. This will enable wannabe defensive coordinators the ability to match-up more effectively against opponents who are sending players in motion and calling hot routes of their own.

But that's not the end to the defensive improvements. You will also finally be able to call coverage audibles for individual players. So now, instead of having to press all of your defensive backs at the same time, bringing your safeties up with your corners, you can match-up more effectively by pressing with your best corner, while keeping your safeties back in their original coverage (this only works in man-to-man defense).

Also fixed is the area of defensive pursuit. Last year, no matter how good of a defensive player you were, there was always the Vick-factor. Yes, cover athlete Michael Vick could run around for days and wait for the open man or simply takeoff up field and was so damn fast, he could nearly beat you single handed. This year, Vick is still fast, but the defense will pursue him, and all ball carriers better, taking smarter angles, and generally playing the ball more intelligently. The defensive line A.I. for instance, has always been geared toward sacking the quarterback. This season, they will react better to the play that is happening in front of them, using a finer awareness of the field to try and cutoff Vick before he scrambles, and attempt to contain quarterbacks better in the pocket. Defenders will also do a more superior job of knowing where their teammates are, eliminating the instances of all defensive linemen chasing Vick to one end of the field and watching him throw the screen back to Dunn in the open flat.

The A.I. will also help nudge user controlled players toward taking the best angle. This sounds like a scary prospect, but it's really unnoticeable and is very subtle (it can also be turned off). If you're pursuing a ball carrier and about to make the tackle, but you're a little off on your angle, this will help correct your angle so that you can still tackle the runner instead of whiffing the wrap and diving right past.

In terms of defensive back A.I., the corners will play even more aggressive than last year, going for more picks and swatting at more balls. The strange bug of defensive backs going into a catch animation behind the receiver who just caught the ball also appears to have been fixed. You will even see more chucks at the line and fighting between wide receivers and cornerbacks. They don't just rub off each other anymore, as there are actual sequences of animations as the wide receiver tries to work his way off the line against press coverage.

The Muscle Behind the Brains

Not only did the A.I. behind Madden receive an upgrade, but so did the big man's muscles. All new player models include improved definition of pads, and athletes like David Boston looking more ripped than ever with sharpened (some would say juiced) looking biceps. New animations include helicopter spins for receivers who are hit mid-air, defenders striping the ball with one hand while attempting to wrap the runner with the other, and blockers who finally sprint on counters and lead the way for the running backs.

Outside of the lines, the weather will change during gameplay, showing off the new rain, snow, and haze effects, as will the lighting inside the stadium depending on the time of day.

On the Clock

Overall, Madden already looks extremely impressive. Is it a work of genius? We'll have to wait to see the finished product for that determination. But either way, the defensive engine already appears to be quite a bit smarter than any game in Madden history. So smart, in fact, it would even make good old "Norman" proud.

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Originally posted by manichispanic

They'd better have the 'playmaker' control in NCAA 2005. Their player animations were 10 times better than maddens

According to IGN's NCAA article that feature will not be included in NCAA 2005. :(

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Originally posted by codeorama

Thank you RAC.... that sounds awsome...!@!

No problem. In a few weeks E3 is coming up and we will definitely have someone there so I'll make ure and let you know about any new info. We should have some pictures and stuff like that from the event too.

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