by VG Sports Kobra
Big B will happy with this part of the game or at least I think he will. The few guys I talked with seem to agree with me that the run game is back in the NG. I am not much of a runner, but when you get Marion Barber in your backfield, you can’t help but want to pound the rock. In the games I got to play, I ran him between 15-20 times and was averaging around 4.1 yards a carry. The holes tend to open up more. Now I didn’t get to spend a lot of time running against dime and quarter formations, so I can’t say if those two can defend the run like in years past. As we get closer to Madden launch day, you can bet we will have more time on sticks to give you a better idea of how the run game will work.
Not all the playbooks were done with the build we played today. I believe 75% of books were completed. I can tell you there are new formations and several new plays to choose from. Also the formation names have been change. Shotgun formations are now called Gun. For those of you who have played real football, you will find a lot of same terminology is now used in Madden.
I am big fan of passing concepts and they are all over the Madden playbooks such as Drive, Mesh, and Texas. I know they were in the game last year, but even more plays with the same concepts can now be found in several different formations. What I like about this is I can run the same passing concepts, but from different formations to keep my opponent from knowing what I am running.
Each team has it’s own defensive playbook. I didn’t get a chance to check out all of them or even know which were done. However I did see new plays. One of them that stood out to me is Man Press. What I like about this play is when I lab I don’t have to use two controllers. I can just play with one whenever I want to work on beating bump-n-run man coverage. By calling this defense the CPU defenders are automatically put in bump-n-run man coverage. This makes it really easy to work on plays that beat bump-n-run man coverage.
Some of the New Features Added
Here is quick look at some of the new features added to Madden NFL 09.
Virtual Trainer – In the mode you can test your skills by performing various drills to improve your game.
EA Rewind – Basically lets you roll back by replaying the last play.
New Booth Commentators – Really nice to have a two-man booth calling the game again.
Action Camera (I think that’s the name of it) – At first I didn’t like it, and I switched to Madden classic. After a game or so, I decided I would give it a try again. It’s not too bad once you get use to it. It does allow you see the field better. I wonder how much it will really affect playing defense. I’ll need to spend more time with it before I decide what camera I want to use.
Online Leagues – I am not going to spend a lot of time with this feature in this article, but I will write up a more in-depth article later this week. I will say that this will increase the game play replay value tremendously.
Weather Effects – Brings in another element when playing Madden.
User Celebration – Pretty cool if you mange to get in the end zone. Different players will perform different types of celebrations. It’s a nice way to talk some trash to your buddy playing next to you.
Bluff Art – I really like this feature being added to Madden. When playing next to your opponent, you can use it bluff your opponent or use it to view pass routes or blitz assignments that you may have forgotten.
Slide Protection – Nanos shouldn’t be as effective as they were in Madden 08 thanks to this new game feature for the NG.
Formation Audibles – Another game play feature I am glad was brought over from CG. Real nice to have when you see something in the defense that you can exploit.
Smart Routes – Works like it did before in CG.
That’s it for now. I will be answering your questions on the forums over next few days.