8 features we want in next year's Madden
Yes, Madden 15 just came out today, but that doesn't mean we can't look forward to next year's game this soon. Every year I have a wishlist of new features and fixes that I hope make it into the franchise's next iteration, and every year I'm left a little disapointed.
Don't get me wrong, I'm having a blast taking my Broncos into the second week of the playoffs. Peyton was out for part of the year with a broken collarbone, but my team has rebounded nicely, won a Wild Card game in New England, and now off to Cleveland to take on the 14-2 Browns. You can watch me stream on Twitch.tv/officialGameZone.
So, what new features would I like in Madden 16? Here they are...
Offensive and Defensive Coordinators
An NFL team has a coaching staff. Not just a head coach, trainer and scout, but a staff. Offensive and defensive coordinators have a huge impact on their team, their team's preparation and the gameplan. Some coordinators are referred to as QB gurus that can turn a turnover machine into a Pro Bowl-caliber QB.
And yet, you can't hire offensive and defensive coordinators in Connected Franchise mode. Players need the ability to shape a coaching staff, hire and fire coordinators, and promote from within a coach tree. Just like how players mesh within an offensive or defensive scheme, coordinators could do the same thing and feed into the new confidence system EA Sports implemented.
I expected changes in relocation this year. In Madden NFL 25, there were 10 relocation cities to choose from. Each city had three predetermined names/logo, each name had three pre-made uniforms. You want different colors? Too bad. You want a stripe going down the side or your home uniform? Not happening.
For a team that brought in devs that worked on the NCAA Football series, I'm beyond disappointed that I can't choose a team name, logo, colors and design a uniform. You had teambuilder and it was amazing! Bring it into Madden!
No Preseason Games
Does anyone play the preseason games in their Connected Franchise? I don't; I simulate it. I enjoy the cuts, but playing them makes no sense because I already know who I want to cut without playing. What EA Sports should do with preseason games is set how long you want the starters to play and the focus of the gameplan for the starters and back-ups. Then, depending on the results, players will improve/decline and your team can build chemistry and confidence.
Show Ratings in Free Agency
Some genius made the smart choice of removing players' ratings from the Free Agency Signing Period. The only rating you can see is the player's overall. Outside of that, you're screwed. No speed. No throwing power and accuracy. No tackling. No man coverage rating. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. If I want to sign the fastest RB, why can't I see who that is from the free agent signing screen?
Weekly CFM Highlights Show
The Twitter feed in Connected Franchise is nice and all -- outside of Skip Bayless, who's always wrong – but you know what would be better? A weekly Sports Center-esque show that shows highlights from every game. I'm not talking about a minute of film breakdown for every game. Just one or two highlights from each game so you can see how other teams and players are doing. It'd be cool to see what else is going on around the league.
Get Mel Kiper and Todd McShay and give us some damn Mock Drafts. They don't even have to be that accurate! They rarely are in real-life. NFL fans love the draft. Seeing storylines of college athletes play out over the course of the season and affect their place in the mock draft every couple of weeks would be cool. Mocking them to a team would also give players a better understanding of what positions and players other teams might be looking to draft.
It's time for a change. Nothing against Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, but Madden has fallen behind other sports games in quality of the commentary. It would be nice to have some new personality and commentary in the game. Three commentary teams I'd like to see are Troy Aikman and Joe Buck; Mike Tirico and John Gruden (my god Gruden would be hilarious); or bring back legacy announcers... John Madden and Pat Summerall.
We saw a little of what a story mode could be with the first interactive experience between the Panthers and Seahawks to start Madden NFL 15. I think a story mode where you play as multiple teams/players in key moments over the course of a season would be really cool. And there'd be multiple story-branching points for different outcomes.
What would you like to see in next year's Madden? And what do you think of our list?