Madden 23 is attempting to make some major strides this year by improving gameplay on every level, but that also means balancing the power of certain formations.
We've got new details from the Madden 23 developers about their moves to lessen the power of one formation that's become a staple of competitive play.
Madden 23 is nuking the beloved Gun Bunch formation
If you've ever gone digging for the best playbooks in Madden or watched any of the masters play competitively in the last few years, you've probably seen or heard of Gun Bunch.
Versions of Gun Bunch have been a key part of Madden competitive play since its introduction a decade ago in Madden 13.
One guide from 2013 outlining top plays for both Madden 13 and NCAA 13 described Gun Bunch Quads as "a brand new formation that is sure to leave defensive coordinators scrambling to defend it."
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It continued to be a staple of competitive just last year, but that's all set to change according to a new interview with Senior Producer Clint Oldenburg.
In the interview, Oldenburg explained that specific overpowered formations like Gun Bunch are something they've taken aim at in Madden 23.
"We think we've clocked that one pretty good this year," he said of the longtime Gun Bunch formation.
Fellow producer Mike Mahar gave some follow-up: "I think it would be, probably, hubris of us to think that some expert level gamer in our community isn't going to find a glitch in the matrix, so to speak, but we definitely went play-for-play, feedback-for-feedback, with all the stuff we've heard up to this point to try to address it."
While the experts are sure to be digging deep into the nuts and bolts to find the new Gun Bunch the second Madden 23 arrives, this could mark an entirely new era for the most die-hard Madden players.
Madden 23 will try to move away from animations for more natural gameplay
In the same interview, Oldenburg also spoke about listening to fan feedback in order to inform their decisions on this year's title.
"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," he said.
Part of this move was to start pulling power away from money plays and anything like Gun Bunch which wields too much dominance in competitive play.
Oldenburg went on to describe the new gameplay system as "emergent, organic, and natural."
It's not clear how much of the gameplay changes like defensive AI logic will carry over, so we could see a very different competitive meta on next gen than there is on current gen for Madden 23.
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