Over the past couple of years, the Madden Franchise had been nothing short of a disappointment. Gameplay doesn’t change, the same cheesy plays work all year without patch, and it is easy to run the same play all game and win the game. Here are five things that need to change in Madden 21.
- Zone Defense
Throughout Madden 20, Zone defense was a big issue. AI defenders would stay in their zone and not defend receivers, even if the receiver was just outside of the zone. They would stand in one place leaving the receiver wide open. In order to make Madden 21 more realistic, EA Sports must fix zone coverage, so that AI stay inside their zone, but still are intelligent enough to guard nearby players.
- The Sim Engine
Franchise Mode is a gamemode in which players can choose a team that they want to control, and they assume the role of General Manager/Head Coach. The player can cut players, sign free agents, trade with other teams, and participate in the NFL Draft. However, the issue with Franchise Mode is the Sim Engine. Low rated QBs that have running traits almost always perform better than QBs in the 90s that are not mobile. It seems every year that QBs such as Jacoby Brissett and Mitch Trubisky , who are fringe starters in real life, always win MVP and bring their teams to the playoffs. This is just not realistic, and is a problem with the mode. Additionally, during the playoffs, the Sim Engine always benefits the underdog. One could build the best team in the league, go 16-0 but still get knocked off by a 9-7 or even 8-8 team in the Divisional Round. Every year, a team with a relatively poor record for the playoffs like 9-7 (or worse) seems to be in the Super Bowl, which is not realistic at all. The Sim Engine benefits worse teams, and doesn’t reward the user for putting together an elite team.
- Superstar Traits
Coming into Madden 20, the new feature was Superstar traits. The Superstars of the NFL had traits, some extremely overpowered, and the cream of the crop had an “X-factor” which activated after the player reached a goal such as “Force 3 Incompletions” or “Catch 3 20-yard Receptions”. Overall, this was a pretty good addition to the game. However, certain traits such as “Evasive” (faster jukes and spin moves) or “Escape Artist” (faster movement behind the LOS for QBs) or “Dashing Deadeye” (perfect pass accuracy for the QB while running) were unfair to play against. The combination of “Escape Artist” and “Dashing Deadeye” were lethal throughout the year, as the QB could easily run away from blitzes, and deliver perfect passes 30 yards down the field while on the run. It made it impossible to sack the QB, and made it easy for one to dot up the opposing defense. If that wasn’t bad enough, the X-factor “Mossed” is completely unfair. When activated, “Mossed” makes it so that the receiver automatically wins any 55 + yard reception. It gives the user a free 55 (or more) yards, which can really change the game.
- Madden Ultimate Team
The most commonly played gamemode amongst the Madden Community is Madden Ultimate Team. This gamemode has a lot of potential, and would be a lot better if it was not Pay-to-win. To have a competitive team, a player has to shell out hundreds of dollars to buy packs in which you aren’t even guaranteed a good pull. Pack odds need to be boosted in Madden 21, and packs must be cheaper for players who can’t afford to spend more money after purchasing a $60 game.
- User Lurk
When on defense, most players control their MLB, and lurk routes so that they can pick off the opposing team. The issue is that these Interception Animations are extremely inconsistent. One drive, a MLB can jump 4-5 yards into the air to catch a ball thrown to a receiver that has a good amount of separation, and the next drive the same MLB won’t put his hands up for the ball or will just drop the ball. To make the game more playable on defense, EA must fix these animations, and make defenders more consistent.
Madden hasn’t been very good the last couple years, and Madden 20 was no different. Hopefully, EA can implement better defense from the AI, as this is the Madden Community’s biggest gripe with the game.