EA Sports held a live stream yesterday for Madden NFL 25 to explain and show off the improvements to gameplay that have been the marketing focus since E3. It turned out to be a fairly valuable watch with a lot of information relating to the new features, issues the development team attempted to address, and the thinking behind it all. There’s a difference between reading about all the various gameplay-related features and actually having them shown and discussed in a manner that gets across how people will benefit from them while playing.
There are still plenty of deficient aspects even seen on display in the stream, and the “Tackle Cone” would seem to be a gimmick that doesn’t really justify its presence within the context of actual gameplay, but the nice thing is the issues aren’t being hidden and some are even flat out being admitted to. There’s no attempt being made to mislead consumers and instead the effort is to inform of where the game actually has improved and what that means for addressing other areas in the future. It may not be enough to convince those who are skeptical to get on board, but it’s how the process of regaining lost consumer confidence needs to begin.
EA Sports has released another in a series of videos meant to show off improvements and additions to Madden NFL 15. The latest is what they call “Player Sense 2.0″ and relates to the intelligence of the players in making decisions and reacting to situations. “Player Sense” was introduced in Madden NFL 25 and though limited in scope it did show some promise.
ZONE/MAN COVERAGE IMPROVEMENTS Zone Coverage ratings now have a bigger impact on how quickly defenders break on throws. Defenders with higher ratings in Zone Coverage will react much quicker to throws.
Defenses are now smarter when it comes to going for a swat vs. an interception or a tackle. This improved logic will be broken down by player traits.
Improvements have also been made to zone defenders responsible for the flats. Some things to look out for include smarter principles (no more out route abuse!), improved head tracking on all players, increases in press and chuck interactions between DBs and wide receivers, as well as better pursuit and tackling ability.
SCEA today released the first patch for the PlayStation 4 version of MLB 14: The Show with the fixes also being applied to the PS3 version which is now on its second. It’s a significant update that would appear to address many of the issues people have had with the game since its release in early May (PS4) and the beginning of April (PS3).
Areas impacted by the patch include online play (will have to sufficiently evaluate to determine effectiveness), the misaligned strike zone specific to the PS4, and a whole lot more.
♦General online synching and stability. ♦Play results are now consistent on both users machines. ♦Fielder synching issues across two users online now fixed. ♦Batter desync when batter calls time. ♦Balks or balls in the dirt no longer cause hang. ♦Ball deflected collision on defensive players now consistent on both user screens. ♦Late fielding dives no longer cause the game to hang online. ♦Fielding decisions and throws are now consistent on both player screens. ♦Late Bunt (and bunts pulled back) and swing attempts now give the same game result ♦Check swing improvements to online gameplay ♦Challenge of the Week pitcher settings no longer carrying over from any other game mode. ♦Timing issues with pausing the game and guess pitching at the same time. ♦Stealing home while batter takes strike 3 for the 3rd out issue fixed. ♦Ball 4 resulting in a walk on a wild pitch and trying to advance the runner on first issue fixed. ♦Fixed infrequent end of online game crash at closing on-screen-display graphic. ♦Fixed rare instance of on-screen bright color/black corruption affecting stadiums and players. ♦Fixed very rare corrupted player faces issue. This would show up as dark splotches and patches. This happened in certain player substitutions in Franchise mode Spring Training. ♦In Game Options for Camera changes are now saved when reloading the game. ♦Road to the Show crash when loading into Batting practice addressed ♦At-bat ambient Organ music addressed (wasn’t playing when intended) ♦Custom Music applied to all players now properly working. ♦First HR in a Franchise game issue no longer stating “First Career HR” every time. ♦Umpire balls, strikes and 3rd strike audio calls now playing properly and consistently ♦With Music Mode on, stealing a base no longer skips the song track. ♦Andrelton Simmons face fixed! ♦Home Run Derby can now be entered during the install, once the needed assets are loaded. ♦Bernie Brewer now seen after a Home Run in Miller Park. ♦Addressed Strike Zone size on PS4 that cause ball/strike calls to appear very wrong. ♦Analog throw meter difficulty balanced on all levels. ♦Fixed issue with repeated jumping near pop-up causing the runner to take off for next base. ♦All Vault screens should now default to rating (no longer sorted by user name). ♦Diamond Dynasty> My Bids fix to prevent a crash when users have more than 500 transactions. ♦Online score posting fix to prevent lost online game scores and data. ♦Addressed Login/Boot-up crash sometimes occurring when logging in during peak hours. ♦Fixed Diamond Dynasty “vs cpu” pre-game line-up crash that could happen before proceeding into the game load. ♦The Show Live Double Header games now have crowds for both games. ♦Diamond Dynasty and The Show Live issue fixed where some players were showing Headley (PS4) and Jeter (PS3) heads on certain players.
EA Sports today released the latest video for NHL 15 this time focusing on the advancements to physics primarily as it relates to collisions and the puck. These are improvements made specific to the PS4 and Xbox One version of the game and won’t be realized in PS3 and 360.
12 Player NHL Collision Physics utilizes the power of next generation consoles and the critically-acclaimed NHL Collision Physics system, to put every player on the ice into physics at all times. This means that every player on the ice is susceptible to authentic collisions, no matter the situation. All-new Real Puck Physics leads to the unpredictable and authentic puck spins, rolls and bounces seen in a real NHL game.
EA Sports has released another video focusing on one of the new elements being introduced in Madden NFL 15. Tackling has received a lot of attention, going as far as to even add a “Tackle Cone” in order to help those who have struggled with it in the past.
Once in position to make a tackle, hold down the Left Trigger and X for a precision breakdown tackle. For more control, choose between pressing Square for an aggressive tackle and X for a conservative tackle. An aggressive tackle performed at close range will aim to perform a big hit a power back. If the ball carrier is outside of the tackle cone, take a risk and press Square to perform an aggressive dive tackle. Using the Right Stick, you can still line up the ball carrier to Hit Stick your opponent. A conservative tackle will wrap up a speedy or agile ball carrier in space, and is the best option to prevent a missed tackle in a one-on-one situation.
Surprisingly the cone and other visual assists are on by default through All-Pro difficulty. Earlier the company had stated it would be turned off for both All-Pro and All-Madden. It’ll remain optional of course on all levels.
2K Sports today released the official cover for NBA 2K15 featuring Kevin Durant. Check out the full cover here. While some fans are expressing frustration with the lack of info or even screenshots for 2K15 – the cover and a soundtrack-related announcement won’t help in that regard – the game is basically right on schedule considering the typical way 2K Sports markets the series.
For the third straight year a prominent name will be selecting the soundtrack. Pharrell (please don’t put ‘Happy’ on there) Williams has been chosen to do so with 2K15. The full list of songs won’t be revealed until later this summer. Pharrell follows LeBron James who did NBA 2K14′s soundtrack and Jay-Z who was behind 2K13′s.
The final two segments from the most recent Press Row Hangout relate to the apparent shift in marketing strategy from EA Sports and various topics sent in by viewers.
The first video gives consideration to why EA is promoting their upcoming titles differently this year compared to how they have traditionally. Less is being talked about early, recording was not permitted at E3, and the information that is actually being distributed has been fairly low key and based in fundamentals. Is it a philosophical change, related to the shorter development cycle, or due to the desire to continue generating revenue in last year’s titles for as long as possible?
The second video involves discussion around viewer submitted questions that include the lack of a patch for the PS4 version of MLB 14: The Show, when to expect Connected Franchise news for Madden NFL 15, whether Madden’s release date should be moved up now that there is no college football game, promised NBA 2K15 news that was never delivered despite people being baited into watching a live stream, and more!