Published on June 17th, 2013 | by Shopmaster4
Madden NFL 25 NexGen Ignite Engine at E3 and My Impressions
I knew E3 was going to be good this year since new consoles were coming out, but I had no idea what EA SPORTS had in store for us at E3 this year when it pertained to Madden on nexgen. At every Community Day I went to I asked about NexGen and if there would be a Madden 25 for NexGen and I got no answer. They kept it a secret from everybody who was not involved with developing and supporting the game on nexgen. Even guys in the studio were blocked off from going anywhere near those working on Madden NFL 25 for XBOX One and PS4.
I’ll be the first to admit; and those that followed me know, I almost had a relapse when EA showed off their Ignite Engine trailer at the Microsoft XBOX One Reveal. I thought I was watching the same thing that happened with Madden 06 and the trailer with McNabb and TO. We never did get to that level of presentation or graphics. So excuse me when I say I walked into the lab not expecting really anything substantial. I kind of heard that there would be something playable but I had not idea to what extent.
Presentation – The Best Looking Madden Ever!
I walked into the Madden 25 section of the laboratory and immediately saw a screen of RG3’s facemask and I’m saying to myself, here they go with this CGI bs. The reflection was good, you could see the sweat and even his eye black looked good. So excuse me for being stunned when Creative Art Director; Gene Adams, picked up the controller and un-paused the game. The screen I saw was actual gameplay footage just paused and zoomed in. Gene then proceeded to walk us through the details of what we were looking at. With the new hardware they wanted to focus on 3 things with that presentation: Lighting, Details in regards to the nuances of the game, and the beginning of Living Worlds.
The first thing you noticed as he started going over his presentation was the details of the shadows and lighting. The reflections off the visor and the helmet itself were very sharp as well. You could see the field in the reflection of RG3’s facemask and the light off the side of the helmet. Degradation on helmet and jerseys looked very organic and normal. They have rendered everything from the grass on the field to the hair on RG3’s arm. The definition of the muscles mixed with the sweat made the player model look better than ever when paused and zoomed in. The last thing he showed was the stitching on the back of the new Nike jersey.
They talked a lot about 10x better details and the way they capture the facial expression just adds another touch to presentation. RG3 actually embraced for the hit and you could see that all in his face.
The other thing that was noticeable was the camera angle. It was zoomed in and closer which made the players bigger thus making them look even better. The closer you got to the action, the better the players looked. I asked Gene Adams about it and he explained it was something that victor Lugo came up with and what it does is when you hot route players it doesn’t zoom out and zoom back in.
True Player Motion brought to you by the Ignite Engine
Next up in the Ignite lab for Madden NFL 25 on XBOX One was Victor Lugo, the man who worked on the Infinity System for current Gen. Vic knows his stuff about how players should move and how players should react. Vic started out talking about what they call True Locomotion. Forget Infinity Engine if you will and think about a system that calculates every step. Vic talked about 5 components of True Player Motion.
1. True Step – True step is a locomotion system where they are able to calculate 4x what they were able to calculate with the Infinity Engine. This makes it so there is a better balance of momentum and your steps are more accurate. In the replay Vic showed Adrian Peterson running and he froze the defense so we could see it without him getting tackled. You could see red dots calculate where each step was going to plant and there was a yellow line that showed the path of the ball carrier. If you watched the IGN video, you’d know exactly what I’m talking about with the lines and no the lines will not be there on NexGen. With my hands on with the game I was able to see this first hand. Rex Dickson froze the defense for me and I was able to just concentrate on the feet. What I saw was going full speed and then trying to go back the other way (180) I saw every step that was planted for him to make that turn. It took AP 7 steps to slow himself down, gather and turn the other way. Doing this really showed off the momentum and the pressure on the lower part of the body to do the turn.
2. Player Sense – Player sense is actually in the current gen version of Madden NFL 25 but with the Ignite Engine there are 5x as many features. Player sense includes a lot of things but let me just tell you about what I saw when I got a chance to run with AP. The first thing you’ll notice is that when there are bodies in front of you laying on the ground the ball carrier will automatically jump over them. That’s player sense. I had this one play where I did a sweep and it was just me and the DB approaching the sidelines. I turned up and jumped over the DB but came down close to going out of bounds but Peterson automatically shifted his weight so that he could tightrope into the endzone. Another example of player sense that you saw was AP pointing out down field blocks. In one case that I remember Rex ran the ball to the left, broke a couple of tackles and had a convoy running down the field in front of him. Reed Doughty (Skins) was coming from the side and had an angle but the blocker in front of him was looking down field and didn’t see Doughty. So Peterson pointed out Doughty and the blocker that didn’t see him turned his head and proceeded to turn to block him. Those 3 examples are all examples of “Player Sense” and something that you did not have to do as a user, the player did it on his own.
3. Precision Moves, 4. Combo Moves, and 5. Force Impact – These are things that’s not new and are in the current gen version of Madden NFL 25, but what you’ll see is a better representation of each. If you’ve ever looked closely in replay when you run and perform a move you’d get a pop. It’s when you juke but your leg is still up it will pop down to plant and is not really fluent but in NexGen you’ll get more of a smoother transition especially with combo moves. The juke move, hesitation, back juke, spin and hurdle was awesome to combo together.It’s really hard to explain if you haven’t seen the leg pop thing, but there is a difference. The fluidness of doing a juke to a spin move looks so good. The force impact was a lot more effective as well. I’m sure the demo was on rookie because AP was just flattening DBs every single time, but you still saw the force impact system at work and it wasn’t just the RB. Pulling lineman really showed their weight too when it came to blocking and getting out in front of the runner. I didn’t see any small DBs holding their own versus one of these lineman either, they got pushed around.
Overall the good thing is you won’t see sliding and you won’t see zig zag running. It’s impossible to zig zag when you are putting your foot down and placing weight on that foot while running. I tried it and I just couldn’t do it. It took some getting used to also because there is no just cutting on a dime without proper foot planting.
Every Battle Begins in the Trenches
I feel like we’ve been asking for better Oline and Dline interaction since Madden 07 or earlier and finally in Madden 25 NexGen we’ll get that. Clint Oldenburg; who played on the offensive line in the NFL, is the man when it comes to the the war in the trenches and explained how nexgen will redefine how the 2 lines interact with each other. First it’s important to note that the offensive line and dline blocking has been built from the ground up in NexGen. The first thing Clint talked about was the new targeting system that allows you to target a defense based on an alignment and pick up rushers post-play. The targeting system is essential in creating a pocket for the QB to be comfortable in and be able to step u and throw. The passing pockets in Madden NFL 25 NexGen were a lot better and more defined. You could literally see the pocket form and there were lanes in the middle. The targeting system also works to identify who the threats are. In the demo there were circles under the defenders on the defensive line and the red circles were identified as threats to the pocket and the lineman picked them up accordingly. If a linebacker came in on the rush they were immediately identified as a threat and were also picked up. The interesting thing is each guy had a responsibility to a lane or a gap, which resulted in the line shifting when need be when there was an overload on one side. Because there wasn’t a demo for pass blocking for us to play I went to Clint and asked him to show me some more after the brief demonstration. He showed me that no longer will you see a LT trying to come all the way across to pick up a blitzer coming in on the right. The line will recognize the overload and shift accordingly. The double team blocking on the pass plays looked good as well, even when a late blitzer decides to come in you can see the lineman hand off defenders to someone else to pick up the incoming blitzer. It almost seemed as if it was going to be impossible to get a free man in unless you just blitz more than blocked. It’s also important to note that the threats are all calculated on distance to the QB, speed at which the threat is moving, what direction they are moving and what angle are they taking. What this does, is if there are too many rushing to block, they take the one that’s a threat more to give the QB as much time as they can to get the ball off.
– There are 300+ more passing rushing animations- Stunts are picked up organically
– The 5 offensive lineman work together like never before
Hands on Running the Ball with Adrian Peterson
Then finally after all of the presentations, they let us test run some Madden NFL 25 for the XBOX One. What we actually played was very limited in the respects that we could only run the ball so there was no passing at all, we had to be the Vikings, and we played against the Redskins. Like I said in my writeup, it had to be on rookie because after about 3 off tackle plays I was making into the endzone on a regular. The ball was on the 35 I believe and AP was stiff arming, hurdling, and just trucking his way to the endzone.
After a while I began to just concentrate on the blocking of the offensive line and trying to be very patient when running through the holes. Vic came over and told me that the LT trigger worked like a strafe for the offense when they are behind the line. So when I get the ball, I can immediately strafe and wait for a hole to open up and then speed burst through. One of the things that I was also shown was near the goaline, you can jump over the pile as long as you are two yards behind your blockers. I asked if the Oline and Dline interaction was better close to the goaline, because I believe there should be players trying to go lower to get leverage, but that wasn’t in there. This is something that if I get invited down for a Nexgen Community Day that I will be asking about. I’m tired of the same line action when it’s on the goaline, the NFL goaline is very distinctive and should be replicated.
Well that does it for my impressions on NexGen, not a whole lot but as the videos and the opportunity to play more arise, I’ll definitely let you in on what’s going on.
You know, I’m always trying to take you guys with me so here is the presentation for the E3 Madden NFL 25 EA SPORTS Ignite Lab. We weren’t allowed to video tape but I did audio record. To skip the trailer and hear the actual Madden 25 NexGen presentation go to 4:54. Enjoy!