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Madden NFL 13 announced for Wii U, GamePad functionality detailed

MADDEN NFL 13 Screenshot - 1115370

Madden NFL 13 has been announced for the Wii U, and will now be joining fellow EA sports title FIFA 13 to Nintendo's new console when it launches later this year.

“We challenged our teams to develop innovations designed specifically for the Wii U, and to create new ways to play that would bring players of all abilities together,” said Andrew Wilson, Head of EA SPORTS. “Our teams have truly delivered creative new football experiences with FIFA Soccer 13 and Madden NFL 13 for the Wii U.”

We've already learned how FIFA 13 will function with the Wii U's GamePad controller, so now it is time to learn about Madden NFL 13. Unlike FIFA, which actually uses the GamePad screen during gameplay for kicks and passes, the controller's functionality with Madden will fill more of a pre-snap role.

The stop-start nature of football lends itself perfectly to the GamePad's screen, enabling players to make quick decisions when it comes to substitutions and pre-snap play calling. While EA has spent the majority of their time adding new features that help create a realistic, simulated football experience, another primary focus has been on simplifying and streamlining play calling prior to hiking the ball.

For Xbox 360, we already know Madden NFL 13 will be using voice command control with the Kinect. However, the company has completely different plans for the Wii U version of the game thanks to the added benefit of having new and unique features that interact with the game through Nintendo's new GamePad controller.

Posting on the Madden blog, EA has detailed the Wii U GamePad's functionality with Madden NFL 13 and how it will make pre-snap calls even easier.

"The Wii-U Gamepad with its touchscreen interface has been the perfect fit for our new features and play calling is the first benefactor.  Our goals when designing were threefold:  first and foremost, we needed it to be easy to use; second, it needed to be fast and third, we wanted to deliver something that couldn't be found on other systems," EA explained.

One of those features includes the ability to navigate through your entire playbook straight from the touch screen hits all the high points.  You’ll have access to every corner of the team's playbook by simply using a series of quick taps and swipes. 

"With the Wii-U Gamepad and touchscreen, we have the luxury of being able to give you the ability to not only quickly see all of your options laid out in front of you, but also the opportunity to make changes on the fly without having to back out of a series of menus," they added.

The Wii U will also make substituting players and player packaging much easier. You'll be able to access the Personnel screen through the playbook where you'll then be presented with a diagram of the formation you previously selected. Simply tapping on any of the positions in that formation will bring up a swipeable list of players eligible for being substituted into that position; quickly tap on any of those players and it will insert them into the game. It definitely beats having to scroll through all the positions using the analog sticks.

The GamePad doesn't just make play calling easier, but also simplifies the pre-snap adjustments, which EA admits have been an area "that many Madden NFL players struggle with".

"For years, pre-play adjustments have required button presses and control stick movements, but now users can perform some of these adjustments quickly, simply and intuitively through the touchscreen," EA said. 

"While on offense, you’ll have the ability to create custom hot routes for your players by simply tapping on that player's icon and drawing them a new route.  This not only gives you the ability to quickly make adjustments at the line in order to take advantage of weaknesses in the defense, but also allows you to create custom plays on the fly which has been a long requested feature from the Madden NFL community."

Offense won't only be getting the benefits from the touchscreen controller. On defense, where you typically have just a few seconds to make adjustments, you can quickly change the assignments of your players by tapping on your player icons and dragging your finger or stylus across the screen onto different zones and offensive players to assign them new roles. According to EA, this will allow you to perform multiple adjustments, instead of just a couple, in the same amount of time.

Lastly, you'll be able to access and select your audibles right on the touch screen the way you would any play during the play calling phase. The touchscreen not only gives you the ability to see the play for each option, but you'll have them all presented at once.

"With the latest core gameplay, plus redesigned play calling and pre-play adjustment features made possible with Nintendo’s new touch screen interface, Madden NFL 13 for the Wii-U is set to deliver an authentic Madden NFL experience with the most intuitive controls available to date," EA boasted.

As we already know, the Wii U doesn't yet have a release date, which means Madden NFL 13 doesn't either. EA did say it will be available for Wii U when the console does launch later this year. Similarly, FIFA 13 will also be a launch title for the Wii U.

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Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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