By Matthew Rondina
As the NFL gears up to celebrate its 100thseason this year, Madden 20 has the honour of kicking things off in style first. The storied gaming franchise is back, packing many upgrades that both casual and pro players should take note of. World Gaming Network has you covered with the biggest gameplay changes getting you ready for the virtual gridiron.
Madden 20 features Superstar X-Factor Zone abilities that will give elite players an edge separating them from the rest of the pack. 50 players have a load out of abilities including one special zone ability that can be unlocked by meeting in-game objectives. Players that are “in the zone” can be knocked out of it by an opponent who meets their own counter-objective. It’s difficult to capture the essence of an elite athlete’s ability to swing the momentum of a game, but EA is hoping X-Factor abilities will help up the authenticity for players. Based on what I’ve played, they are on the right track.
Madden 20’s cover athlete Patrick Maholmes is a key example of how these abilities will be utilized. He has a skill appropriately named Bazooka, which ups his maximum throwing distance by 15 yards. This adds a new level of complexity to the game, in order to activate his ability, you need to trigger it with specific in-game milestones met. The trigger condition for Maholmes’ X-Factor is one completed pass for 30+ yards in the air. Adversely if you fumble, are stacked, or intercepted by your opponent your skill advantage is reset. Offering these extra buffs to exceptional players is just what the game needs, instead of ratings these specific skills, if used properly, can determine a game’s outcome, just like a real NFL game.
While Maholmes helps to bolster an offence with his X-Factor, there are defensive players like Aaron Donald who can stop you in your tracks with his zone ability. Donald has the FearmongerX-Factor allowing him to pressure QBs even while engaged with blockers. A full list of X-Factor Zone abilities can be found here, learning to master these are key to some early season wins.
In addition to the X-factor abilities, Madden 20will also feature a collection of signature animations. QBs have gotten some of the more detailed treatments, with their iconic on-field throws looking nearly shot-for-shot the same. Maholmes has his patented “No look,” Aaron Rodgers now has the “Throw on the run” animation and Drew Brees comes to life with his “Adjusting” movement. Roughly a handful of players have seen these added animations, with more to be added in the future for others. Check out these in action below:
Face of the Franchise: QB1 Career Campaign
If you are looking for a mode to test this toolbox of new skills and improvements, QB1 Career is your answer. The new mode has been added in response to fans requesting to be the star of their own football story. You’ll be able to prep for the pros and establish a name for yourself on the collegiate gridiron. The performance you put forward in college builds your stock for the NFL draft. You even participate in the NFL combine where your performance can dramatically affect your draft stock. It’s the closest thing to actually being a potential NFL prospect going through all the motions. As you build your legacy you get to choose your player archetype: strong arm, scrambler, improviser, or field general. Whether you go first round, or seventh, you’ll need to prove your worth over and over again to the NFL team that drafts you. Best of luck building your NFL legacy!
About the Author: Matthew Rondina
Matthew has been involved in all things gaming since the 8-bit era. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry who has been passionate about technology and gaming for over 20 years. Follow Matthew’s gaming adventures on twitter and join in on the fun!