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Thursday, April 14, 2005 

Madden 2006

This has absolutely nothing to do with anything. but here's a big new feature in Madden 2006. it's gonna make madden tough. i like that...


This is Part I of our Madden 2006 Preview. EA Sports has asked us to release different features at different times...so here is Round 1.Surveys of the Madden Community over the past couple of years show that about 70% of the play calls made involve pass plays. While we have seen a resurgence of the running game in 2005 with the advent of the juke glitch, most guys will still air it out come 2006. We've seen some new additions to the offense over the last couple of years including hot routes, playmaker hot routes, run flips and formation shifts, but nothing earth shattering. Some serious innovation is needed on offense like we saw on defense last year.

Enter Vision and Precision (also heard it called Vision & Placement) passing. Passing's role in the NFL is an enduring thing so EA decided to step up and make some dramatic changes. Basically, Vision and Precision passing covers two things. One, a QB can't throw where he can't see. Two, QB's want to be able to place the baller where only the receiver can get it.Each QB will have a cone of vision based on their awareness. QB's with high levels of awareness will have greater cones of vision. QB's with low levels of awareness will have a much narrower vision cone. Throws to players within your cone of vision will be more accurate. Throws to players outside of your cone of vision will be less accurate. Skill levels will also affect the vision cones. Vision cones will be wider on Rookie modes and tighter on All-Madden.Here's a couple of screens to give you an idea. These 2 are done with Madden 2005 & a little Photoshop aftertouch, they are not Madden 2006 screens and aren't what the final product will look like (you can see actual Madden 2006 screens further below). They are just to give you an idea.

Low awareness QB (Grossman...sorry Rex, we Gators still love you!)

High awarenss QB (Manning)At the beginning of the play, your cone of vision will lock onto the play's primary receiver. You can use the R2 & L2 button pre-snap to change the default receiver. For example, if you read linebacker blitz and want to hit a quick slant pattern, you can lock onto that receiver before you snap the ball. This will duplicate the idea of a QB make his pre-snap read and looking for his 1st receiver.

After the snap, you can use your right analog stick to rotate your cone of vision to throw to receivers outside of your original view. With a QB like Manning or McNabb, this is fairly easy as their vision cone will cover a good part of the field. For a QB like Grossman or another guy with low awareness, this will prove to be very tricky. There is another option, however.You can hit R2 and press the pass icon of the receiver you want to throw to. This will cause you lock onto that receiver no matter where he is on the field. That way you don't have to use the right stick to lock onto him. I know that if I am playing with a low awareness QB, I'll use this option a lot more than the right stick.After the receivers have run their routes, they will go into "Get Open" mode. Their icons will disappear off the screen, so it will make it much harder to find a guy to throw to him. Hopefully this will stop the 20 yard drop and run around tactics that we have seen the last couple of years.When you roll out with your QB, your cone of vision will shrink up a bit. On other quick change to note. You don't have to drop passing icons anymore to sprint. You just hit X (on PS2) to sprint. If you are sprinting, your cone of vision becomes even smaller. I like the thought behind this as it will make it harder to be accurate on the run.On the precision side, you can use the left stick to adjust your throw location. Up on the stick as your throw, makes a high pass. Down makes a low pass and right and left obviously adjust the throw to either side. Now you can throw a high pass over the middle to clear those pesky linebackers. There will be some logic built into the game for hits on receivers with their backs to the defender which should even things out a bit here, otherwise we will have a whole new breed of rocket catching.A couple of notes here from a defensive point of view. If you lock onto a receiver the whole time, the defense will get a SLIGHT awareness boost. This seeks to duplicate the idea of a QB staring down a receiver. You can also look off a receiver. Lock onto one receiver, switch your vision and make the throw. This will give the defense a SLIGHT awareness decrease. Bear in mind, that this is a minor + or -. You aren't going to look at a receiver and have the whole defense chase him so that you can quickly switch and catch a guy wide open. It will be a gradual difference as it should be.

As far as the CPU goes, elite QB's will rarely throw out of their cone of vision. Low AWR QB's will throw out of their cone more often. From what we saw at EA, the camera angle will not rotate with your cone of vision, just the cones itself.My hope is that this will balance gameplay out a bit more. We should see more of a difference between high awareness and high speed QBs. Vick will be more deadly on his feet with the sprint button change, but his cone of vision won't be anything like Manning's vision will be. It will take some serious practice to get over the learning curve, and an even greater premium will have to be place on blocking and pass protection in order to succeed in the passing game. One the other end, I think we will be looking at a more interesting and realistic passing experience.

Very promising. My biggest peeve with football games is playing against chuckers. Just tossing bombs gets boring really fast.

They should step it up another notch and let us see what the QB really sees. Like Testaverde's cone of vision being B&W since he's color blind. Or Quincy Carter's cone being inverted. Or Jake Plummer only seeing defensive players.


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