Madden 23 gameplay got a major defensive overhaul this year

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We've got some great news surrounding the Madden 23 gameplay in regard to some of the defensive adjustments that were made.

The latest Gridiron Notes showed off some of the changes to the game that players can expect when it releases.

There was also an IGN interview that detailed some defensive adjustments.

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Madden 23 Gameplay Updates (Defense)

The latest notes on the Madden 23 gameplay covered several things but defense is what we paid the most attention to.

The Gridiron Notes revealed a few coverage adjustments and the addition of several hit stick animations. Hopefully, we'll receive a few more videos on what some of these animations look like.

Madden 23 Ultimate Team
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NEW ANIMATIONS: We're excited to see what these new animations entail

Coverage details were also revealed during this Madden 23 gameplay update. During an IGN interview, Clint Oldenburg spoke on how players feel that the game has gotten too "animation-based"

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Oldenburg added:

"Our players have told us very strongly, their words, not ours, Madden has gotten a little bit too animation-based, meaning that they feel like they lose control at critical moments and are watching quick-time events, for lack of a better word."

We'll take a more in-depth look at the IGN interview after we go over the Gridiron Notes below.

PRE ORDER NOW: Secure your copy of Madden 23 before it arrives

Gridiron Notes for defensive gameplay

The Gridiron Notes for defensive gameplay encompassed a key feature that we were happy received some attention.

Man coverage fake outs received a closer look after the Closed Beta so expect a different look in man-to-man situations from the Madden 23 gameplay.

Madden 23 gameplay
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MAN TO MAN: Coverage mechanics have been adjusted in Madden 23

Players sent in feedback surrounding hit-stick animations so EA responded with adding 27 new hit-stick animations to the Madden 23 gameplay.

Here's the defensive breakdown from the Gridiron Notes:

Don’t Drastically Change the Game/Leave Coverage Reaction Time Alone

  • DEV NOTE: The number one feedback topic we received! Rest assured Madden community, our vision of game balance is consistent with yours and the gameplay you experienced in the Closed Beta is what you’ll be playing on launch day. There has been polish added and bugs fixed from players’ feedback to make it even better, but the overall experience will be as you played in the Closed Beta.
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Play Awareness - Too easy to run the same plays over and over again

  • DEV NOTE: We’ve made a number of changes since the Closed Beta to bring more balance to gameplay. We believe these changes will bring more variety to playcalling, but we want to hear from you, our community, when the game launches to let us know how you feel about these changes - each of these implemented changes may be further tuned via a Madden NFL 23 Title Update:
    • Logic added so that when defensive backs are playing in linebacker positions, they will have slower reaction time to the running game.
    • Removed the ability to hot route TE’s to a pass block assignment when in a 2-point WR stance
    • Adjusted the Corner Route in Bunch formations and the corner hot-route in the Hot Route Master and Slot Apprentice abilities to align with the other corner routes throughout the playbooks.
    • Made improvements to man coverage pre-snap alignment vs. bunch formations
  • User Interceptions aren’t always responsive:
    • Tuning to catch animations to increase range for jumping INT’s
    • Tuning to significantly decrease situations where the player is requesting ‘Play Ball’ without seeing the corresponding animation response.
  • Man Coverage Fake-outs are too frequent:
    • Tuning to significantly reduce the frequency of fakeouts by man coverage defenders
    • Added new logic so the fakeouts could be used in super-win situations where the ratings delta is heavily in favor of the WR
  • Not enough Hit-Stick Variety:
    • 27 new hit-stick animations have been added for launch
    • Most of the existing animations have been updated to make them look/behave differently
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Now, let's take a look at the IGN interview and see what Madden 23 Senior Producer Clint Oldenburg had to say.

IGN Interview with Clint Oldenburg

The interview with IGN that Clint Oldenburg revealed several Madden 23 gameplay updates and it seems that defense was a focal point.

Madden 22 featured several "one-play touchdowns" which is something that EA is getting away from this year by bolstering defensive mechanics.

Madden 23 Ultimate Team
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LOCKDOWN DEFENSE: EA gave significant attention to defense in Madden 23

It was revealed that the Madden 23 gameplay put greater focus on gang tackles, pass coverage, and quarterback containment.

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Here are some other comments from Oldenburg:

"I think, from a high level, just the changes we did in deep zone and pass rush this year helps combat the problem of money plays, specifically those deep crossing routes that I already talked about.

"We added zone drift logic that gives our deep zoners the awareness to not continue drifting up the field if they don't have a vertical threat so they can leverage that deep crossing route."

To learn more about the Madden 23 gameplay updates, follow this link.