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Electronic Arts Reveals Next-Gen Madden

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the pretty-burly-guys dept.

Games 47

Tim Grube writes "Electronic Arts has released the very first image of Madden NFL running on the next-generation consoles. This Saturday, on April 23rd, the NFL Draft begins on TV and EA has already scored a promotional commercial to unveil Madden Next-Gen. It will air on ESPN."

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Newsflash (1, Interesting)

Servo5678 (468237) | more than 8 years ago | (#12275249)

Extra, Extra! Madden Commercial To Make Life Worthwhile!

Of all the nextgen things to reveal, did it have to be football? Show me a shooter, show me a platformer, show me a flight sim, show me anything but sports.

Re:Newsflash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12275422)

No, you're totally right. Nobody even *plays* Madden.

Oh, wait.

Re:Newsflash (4, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 8 years ago | (#12275452)

I agree to a large degree, but at least we can glean SOME info from this. I won't watch the commercial (it will probably be on the net within a 1/2 hour anyway). Here are the things I would watch for:
  • Crowd - Is it just a flat polygon? Sets of flat polygons? Undetailed models? Semi-detailed models? Is there dynamic detail (does it look better up close if the camera zooms in?)
  • Players - This is the one to look at. How good do they look? Recent games look quite good, but they could be better. The animation is the biggest problem here. While they may have motion captured realistic running, when you switch from running to jumping for the ball or something like that it is usually quite a noticeable transition. Did they get these smooth? Do the players look very detailed up close?
  • Misic - Footsteps in snow for all the players (bonus points if they don't dissapear after 20 steps or so)? Depth blur? Hear blur for hot days? Does the grass look like grass, or a green texture? Having actual grass when they zoom in on the ball or action instead of a green texture would be very cool.

I'm sure people who play these games on any regular basis (I'm not a sports person) could come up with more. Personally I'd like to see a GT4 killer. GT4 looks awesome, but it is still obvious it is a game. Take GT4, make it hi-def, ANTI-ALIAS IT, add damage to the cars, increase the background detail and you could have one FANTASTIC looking game.

Hopefully we'll see more screen shots and movies soon as we get closer to the launches (and the XBox 360 unveiling on the 12th).

And personal note to MS: Don't make a cool looking game like Malice this time, only to release it as a terrible "me too" game 3+ years later.

Re:Newsflash (1)

Stolethis (873779) | more than 8 years ago | (#12276821)

Take GT4, make it hi-def, ANTI-ALIAS IT, add damage to the cars, increase the background detail and you could have one FANTASTIC looking game.

As long as GT games use liscensed cars, they will probably never have anything close to realistic impact damage. Otherwise those sound like exactly what I'd expect from a next-gen GT.

Re:Newsflash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12276866)

Forza Motorsports for xbox will have all that.

Re:Newsflash (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 8 years ago | (#12277047)

Yeah, I know that's why they do it. Too bad, but I can understand (from the car maker's point of view). But Project Gotham didn't use licensed cars (IIRC), but they sure LOOKED like various cars to me. Burnout 3 did a good job with nice looking cars that take damage too.

But back on GT4, they could add damage and make it effect handling and such, without showing it on the car (just on a little HUD or something like that).

I would LOVE to play a Project Gotham for the XBox 360.

Re:Newsflash (2, Informative)

Toddarooski (12363) | more than 8 years ago | (#12277137)

I might be wrong, but I believe Forza Motorsport has licensed cars that take realistic damage.

Re:Newsflash (2, Informative)

lion2 (779555) | more than 8 years ago | (#12281934)

That's not true anymore. I dont know why Sony doesnt put car damage, but Forza Motorsport for Xbox (which is Microsofts GT4 competitor) will sport realistic car damage. Check out the screenshots below.

http://norm302.forzacentral.com/photos_damage.ht ml

Re:Newsflash (1)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 8 years ago | (#12281381)

Why do you want this game... to not look like a game? So you'll forget it's a game? So you can trick people into thinking that you're actually not playing games? What? Just curious. Games are an artform and taking away the look and feel of games might not be such a great idea right now.

Re:Newsflash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12284081)

Obviously you never played GT4. GT4 supports 1080i HiDef, and I would dare say it don't need antialias. If someoene want to see PS2 true capabilities, see GT4 on a hidef screen. It's amazing they can push hardware performance that well. Kudos to polyphiny (can't spell).

Actually, sports games are a wonderful benchmark (2, Interesting)

BTWR (540147) | more than 8 years ago | (#12275517)

There are two possible explanations for you not wanting to see a sports game as the first preview of next-gen systems:

1) You hate sports and/or sports games (a *shocker* on slashdot). Joking aside, this is entirely reasonable. I personally don't much care for RPGs or MMORPGs myself, so I don't get excited when I see those screenshots or 9.7/10 ratings.

2) You simply don't think sports are a good benchmark for system performance.

If it is #2, then I (politely) believe you are entirely mistaken. Put it this way... let's take a beautiful game from this generation: Doom3. The gameplay might have been subpar or perhaps it was too dark or overall not worth the 10 year wait, but it was still pretty. As nice-looking as it was, who the hell knows what a demon from hell looks like? Who knows what a Space Station/whatever is "supposed" to look like?

Sports games, and football in particular, are becoming more-and-more television like. Back in SNES/Genesis days (perhaps before), we first had players looking distinct (real-life black players were black in the game, huge linebackers resembled their true self). In PS1/N64 we started to see realistic looking players. By this generation, Eli Manning really looked like Eli Manning. Players faces were scanned and looked very realistic (I think this might have been done in the PS1/N64 days too).

But... as gorgeous as it still is, the "Holy Grail" (in some people's opinion) is for video game football to eventually look something like controlling actual live-NFL TV type games. I dunno about you, but I could see the wrinkles and individual freckles in that screenshot player's nose. Looks amazing. Perhaps we'll see individual blades of grass on the field, and eventually, crowds with 4,000 uniquely-rendered fans.

Then again, I still find my favorite football game to be Tecmo Bowl on NES and Joe Montana 1 on Genesis. Go figure...

Re:Actually, sports games are a wonderful benchmar (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 8 years ago | (#12276054)

wonderful benchmark for what? something that doesn't mean *jack*? freckles in faces making you feel better that you're in control of the team? I guess not. anyways, there's a bunch of things that make sportsgames engines different from other engines(or rather, allow them to be different - you can take some freedoms on how you decide what's going to be shown for example.. and have a lot less models loaded up at given time..). basically you only know that the system is good for rendering a football field if you see it render a football field.

did anyone else notice.. that it's not even halfway 2005 and already they're buffing madden 2006? and they're buffing it with the same thing they've buffed ea sports games since 1995.. "EXTRA EXTRA! FASTER MACHINES ALLOW BETTER GRAPHICS!! EXTRA EXTRA!!!!". gigantic bleh.

Re:Actually, sports games are a wonderful benchmar (1)

BTWR (540147) | more than 8 years ago | (#12276163)

Yes, (sarcasm) more freckles = better gameplay (/sarcasm).

I simply said that eventually, a lot of players want to have their football video games look exactly like they do on the TV, only they control it. So, while you may be able to have fun playing Atari's "Xs and Os" football, in order to have that "like I'm watching and controlling real-live football" - then YES, Brent Alexander of the NY Giants DOES have to resemble his real-life self, with a thin little mustache facial hair deal.

Re:Actually, sports games are a wonderful benchmar (1)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 8 years ago | (#12301900)

Now now. be fair. There are some gameplay changes. I don't personally play the game, but my friends who play the seriese hardcore agree that there are substantial gameplay changes to the series every year. You just have to take it to a certain depth in order to see it, which in of itself (depth) is a crucial indicator of a good game.
But you do bring up a good point. The industry is jumping through so many hoops for a features that do not affect the core element of games: gameplay. Yes, there are some games that have benefited, and even innovated because of the emergence of better graphics (GTA series). But only developers who are innovating are going to benefit from such advances are the developers who were already innovating in the first place (again, GTA series).
So, it's not only a matter of graphics do not equal gameplay. The question is where the industry (the developers) wants to go. Only the Madden fans will be able to judge the trueness of this statment as it applies to EA Sports once Madden 2K6 is released. But simply saying that graphics do not equal gameplay is a shallow and unintelligent statement.

Re:Newsflash (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 8 years ago | (#12275724)

"Show me a shooter, show me a platformer, show me a flight sim, show me anything but sports."

Err okay. You do realize that sports are the hardest things for game consoles to realistically do, right? The more impressive a sports game is, the more impressive your flight sims, platformers, and shooters have the potential to be.

Re:Newsflash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12281084)

I don't even know why they care to spend money advertising since nobody else can use the NFL names now. I've successfully boycotted all EA products since that deal was signed. Trying hard to stick with it.
EA Games - buy everything.

canned movie or real time game footage? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12275308)

notice that EA isn't actually stating that the screenshot is of gameplay, and gamespot is only implying it yet never clearly states either.

Re:canned movie or real time game footage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12275438)

I don't think you'd put a camera there during gameplay. But it's probably in-engine, not canned footage. Next-gen consoles really do have the capability to render this kind of scene in realtime. And EA did spend a fortune doing hi-res face-scans of well-known players.

Re:canned movie or real time game footage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12275734)

but it's pretty deceiving, no 3d game designer would put that high res a texture on a character model that at best you see from a third person perspective. so it may be in-engine, but it's not in-game footage.

Re:canned movie or real time game footage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12278040)

You know what else I noticed? If you bleed the letters together a little bit, "EA" is pronounced almost exactly the same as the abrupt Japanese word for "no."

It's as if hidden wisdom in the East is telling us to never buy another product from those exploitative, monopolizing motherfuckers ever again.

Just say "iie" to "EA"

Re:canned movie or real time game footage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12284407)

oh come on.

We all know that you can't really really translate the word "no" into Japaneese. The closest existing concept it "sheeshhh I don't know ... we'll have to think about that"

So realistic... (2, Funny)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 8 years ago | (#12275370)

It will feature fully real-world physics of John Madden's humongous beer gut jiggling!

Re:So realistic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12275470)

Finally, another use for all that work they put into modeling the real-world physics of breasts bouncing!

This image... (1)

-kertrats- (718219) | more than 8 years ago | (#12275468)

This image, and a similar image of a car, have been floating around for weeks. I'd hardly call that 'unveiling'.

Re:This image... (1)

Toddarooski (12363) | more than 8 years ago | (#12277244)

They're not quite the same image -- the earlier image you're talking about (this one here [totalvideogames.com]) is slightly different than the new one. Whether one is a pre-rendered mock-up and the other is a real screen shot, I don't know. It's getting harder and harder to tell the difference...

Don't buy it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12275547)

Anybody who buys it is has officially whored himself out to EA. The same goes with any other EA game (with exceptions to any studios which have been subjugated by them, like Maxis).

Re:Don't buy it (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#12283045)

For ten bucks I don't mind buying EA games (I wouldn't mind restrictive copy protection schemes or other crap, either). Unfortuinately EA isn't offering a whole lot for ten bucks.

WHOA.... (1)

ElectricBrain (452147) | more than 8 years ago | (#12275809)

.....im not very impressed. Doesn't look THAT good. Looks like more like something just above what we can do presently with our current generation of consoles. Or even what our higher end PCs can do.

Im very dissapointed.

His nose is ugly.

Re:WHOA.... (1)

ElectricBrain (452147) | more than 8 years ago | (#12275899)

Actually, id like to clarify why I think its so damn ugly.

Looks like everything is blurred. But probably because this was taken from some prerendered movie. Textures are all blurred out, especially that metal piece near the top of his helmet. The helmet grill looks...meh... And his eyes! We've seen a lot better on tech demos from ATi/nVidia. The edge of his nostrils bother me the most. His lips seem so flat. We want chapped lips, damnit! Chapped lips!!! And his breath, man...nothing spectacular at all. F.E.A.R seems to have better looking particle effects.

Just a big mess.

Am I just expecting too much?

Re:WHOA.... (1)

Staats (877154) | more than 8 years ago | (#12277879)

This is pretty good, considering there's gonna be at least 22 of these guys on the screen at once. It's comparable to a main character in a game on the current generation (Master Chief.) If it helps you any, I think that things will improve with time (more dramatically than in the last generation) because of all the difficult hardware.

Commentators (5, Interesting)

Doomstalk (629173) | more than 8 years ago | (#12276474)

It's a pity they can't use all that processing power to make the commentary decent. If I have to hear "It's like there's a bee in his helmet!" one more time, I'm going to kill someone.

Oh and making the players look nice is all well and good, but I hope to hell that they did something about the crowd. Low-res sprites just look awful. Oh and the cheerleaders need a ton of work too. The ones in Madden 2005... yeesh.

Re:Commentators (1)

Stolethis (873779) | more than 8 years ago | (#12276894)

Fugly doesn't begin to describe the level of disgusting the cheerleaders in Madden 2005. They look like you slapped some 50 year old's face on a skinny girl's body and gave her huge sagging tits.

Re:Commentators (1)

Doomstalk (629173) | more than 8 years ago | (#12277353)

Actually a more apt description would be a novelty blow-up doll (the kind you give as a gag gift) with downs syndrome.

Re:Commentators (1)

wheany (460585) | more than 8 years ago | (#12278579)

Okay, you just made me want to see them.

Re:Commentators (1)

Doomstalk (629173) | more than 8 years ago | (#12278686)

You asked for it: http://media.xbox.ign.com/media/620/620935/img_224 2979.html

Re:Commentators (2, Informative)

Golantig (231102) | more than 8 years ago | (#12279334)

It's a pity they can't use all that processing power to make the commentary decent. If I have to hear "It's like there's a bee in his helmet!" one more time, I'm going to kill someone.


Processing power won't make the commentary any less repetitive. Recording lots more dialogue will. In this regard, it is a budget and storage issue.

Re:Commentators (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#12283078)

If storage really is the issue we're fucked, the X/360 apparently will use normal DVDs and the increased texture size will leave less space for audio...

For all of those... (1)

Reignking (832642) | more than 8 years ago | (#12280651)

For all of those that expect EA to simply rest on its laurels and not innovate, here's proof that they are trying new ideas: Gamespot article [gamespot.com]

It seems like they are trying to revamp the passing game and make it more life-like by forcing the QB to "look" at the receiver.

Graphics? (4, Insightful)

jone5ey (852043) | more than 8 years ago | (#12281015)

Why is everyone making such a fuss over the graphics? I wouldn't mind if they put in the crowd from the original genesis version if the game played right. Madden 2005 had so many major gameplay flaws like the Offensive linemen not being able to block, and several rules where not implemented. You could have a receiver go out of bounds and then run back in to catch the pass with no flag. EA should focus on these things before they even start revamping the graphics. And hey, how about a decent PC version with all the features from the consoles?

Re:Graphics? (1)

Reignking (832642) | more than 8 years ago | (#12281205)

The PC version is definitely an afterthought. Maybe the lack of competition -- no one else released a PC football game -- led EA to not worry as much about that version (something to remember this year).

1) No "Madden cards" to unlock special features
2) Awful UI based on consoles not having a mouse
3) Released weeks later

Re:Graphics? (1)

jone5ey (852043) | more than 8 years ago | (#12284131)

Let's not forget: 4) No 'Team Captains' feature, but all the references to it were left in the game. 5) Weird graphical glitches on cutscenes (black players with white faces and vice versa and so on...
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