Madden 20 has received a lot of hype already but what did we think of it?
Well, you can read our Madden 20 review right here. And if you’re just here to find out what’s changed this year, read on… we’ve got you covered.
Changes to the ratings system, a brand new career mode, the addition of college football, and an earlier release date than normal have all excited fans.
X-Factor abilities will make superstar players standout in games.
So what is new for Madden 20, and why should you buy the game?
Madden 20 release date
This years game will hit the shelves on 2 August, but that’s just the basic game. If you purchase the Superstar or Ultimate editions and have EA Access you can start playing on 25 July. It will cost $59.99/£49.99 on Xbox & PS4, and $64.99/£54.99 on PC.
That is much earlier than even Madden 19, which came out a week further into August, and previous games that have been in late August and early September to match the start of the NFL season.
Buying the deluxe editions will get you bonus Ultimate Team packs and a choice of 32 core elite players from a favorite NFL team among other things.
Face Of The Franchise: QB1
Madden’s career mode has often been lackluster, with little changing from year to year and no real sense of ownership and development unless you fell in love with a draftee you were desperate to develop into a star.
Madden 20 is going to change that with Face Of The Franchise: QB1. This mode will allow you to design your own quarterback and then play in the College Football Playoffs for one of 10 major schools including Clemson, LSU, and Miami. You will need to impress scouts not just with your play in games but also your performance at the Combine to improve your draft stock. You’ll then have a journey through an NFL career that involves a scenario engine to create unique but realistic stories during your career as you try to leave a lasting legacy in the NFL.
READ MORE: 99 OVR players revealed
Madden ratings are frequently discussed but rarely have a huge impact on actual play. Users have always shown a preference for a fast 64 OVR player over a slower 84 OVR one, but that should be changing in Madden 20. EA have talked about making OVR far more important to how a player actually performs on the field, with a desire to create tangible gaps between on OVR and the next. They have also said there will be bigger ratings spread, with elite players ranked more highly while some teams could have starters in the 50-60 OVR range.
This was shown in the recent reveal of rookie ratings that saw #3 pick Quinnen Williams get an 80 OVR but #6 pick Daniel Jones get a 63 OVR. Now that all the ratings have been released we can really see the damage Madden 20 have done to some players. Nathan Peterman gets a horrific 50 OVR. Ted Larsen, a 9-year veteran who started 13 games last year for Miami at left guard, is a 58 OVR.
However, in franchise mode Madden have promised better player development, so you can build up some of those terrible players into useful pieces of an NFL roster.
READ MORE: Madden 20 top rookies
Madden 20 gameplay
This years gameplay looks set to be built around superstar players and their unique abilities. Madden 20 has created 50 players marked as X-Factors, and they will have special abilities to be unlocked by completing in-game objectives, putting them “in the zone”. Meanwhile, a number of players will be gifted with Superstar Abilities that can affect their performance in certain situations.
These abilities amount to a stats boost in certain situations, like red zone offense, slot coverage, or blitzing. Here is an example of the X-Factor system provided by EA Sports themselves.
Patrick Mahomes – QB, Chiefs
- Bazooka – When in the zone, increase maximum pass distance
- Objective: Complete a TBD-number of passes over 30-yards
- Knock-Out: Interception or sack
- No Look Deadeye – Perfect passing accuracy on cross-body throws
- Escape Artist – Elite speed and agility when scrambling on passing plays
- Dashing Deadeye – Perfect passing accuracy when throwing on the run
- Red Zone Deadeye – Perfect passing accuracy when throwing inside the red zone
Julian Edelman – WR, Patriots
- Slot-O-Matic – Excels at route running and contested catches when running routes from a Slot receiver position
That’s a lot of abilities, and while Mahomes is the best quarterback in the game it sounds extremely over-powered. “Perfect” passing accuracy in any situation immediately sounds unrealistic, though defensive players like Aaron Donald and Von Miller will have their own set of abilities to counteract the offensive ones.
In the beta things like pressuring quarterbacks had a much bigger influence on accuracy, and lower OVR QBs were harder to use than in previous versions. Madden 20’s gameplay will still be tipped toward offense and points scoring, and things like lurking linebackers have been nerfed after they were deadly in Madden 19.
READ MORE: Best rookie quarterbacks
Also coming in this year are run/pass option plays and updated playbooks. These will undoubtedly take some time to master but could be a game-changer much like the read option was when that was first introduced to Madden. The Philly Special will also be included this year, so be ready at the goal-line to jump that pass!
The new features for Madden 20 all sound promising, but what drawbacks are there? Well, the depth of franchise mode is not great. Relocation and create-a-team options still appear very limited, unlike other sports games, and there don’t seem to be any new presentation elements. If you are a franchise mode purist then Madden 20 may not appeal to you quite as much as it will to MUT players and online warriors.
However, this game looks like it will take the franchise on a step, and the additions of zone abilities and a new career mode (as well as the lack of another dull Long Shot) should freshen up enough of the gameplay to keep fans happy. You can pre-order Madden 20 on Steam, Microsoft Store, and PSN Store, as well as via traditional gaming retailers.
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