Defensively the new dynamics engine really shows off with countless methods of tackling/laying out/smashing your opponent into the turf. Gameplay is identical to years past but again featuring more fluid movement and better awareness. When on defense the CPU controlled defensive lineman seem to get better pressure, forcing the computer controlled quarterback to backpedal into a sack. It does seem that the offensive line creates a better “pocket” around the quarterback and edge rushing has a less significant impact. Along with the altered WR awareness defenders must also be looking at the ball to make a play. No longer will linebackers just wildly stick their hands up with their backs turned to knock down passes as if they possessed telepathic powers. While this definitely opens up the passing game a little bit I did witness my CPU controlled Antonio Cromartie make an amazing play on a curl route and walk it in for 6, so defenders definitely still make plays.
The kicking game has been redesigned and utilizes the right stick once again. Pulling back and then pushing foward on the right analog stick to kick the football. Almost as easy as pressing A and has little effect on the game. Madden seems the change this feature back and forth every couple of years, apparently just in the name of changing something.
and Yes, there’s Tebowing!
Overall the game is the biggest improvement in recent memory. The improved animations and more fluid movements add enjoyment to what is already a much better presented product. The game seems to possess a certain quality about the experience that seemed lacking recently, answering many of the ongoing questions about lack of innovation and apathy at EA. Hats off the EA Sports for putting out their best product yet in the Madden NFL Football series.