E3 2016: Madden 17 Brings New Features to Franchise Mode

EA dropped the trailer for the newest edition of Madden today at E3, and it just looks drop-dead gorgeous

Seriously, it's a fine line they're walking between realism and Uncanny Valley, where some poor soul will enter a room and be terrified to learn that the game they're watching isn't real people playing real football. THAT's how damn good the graphic looks. 

And yet despite the incredible graphics, this franchise has been derided for its odd decisions the last couple years (remove the Turbo, remove Franchise Mode, etc), and its lack of features that rendered it little more than just a new yearly roster update. 

For Madden 17, the developers have gone to one of the franchise's oldest tricks in "updating" the yearly game: bringing back an aspect of the game they eliminated and touting it as BRAND NEW! In this instance, it's special teams play.

The last Madden I played religiously was Madden 12, and that was several releases after the last Madden game I played where I blocked punt (I think it was actually Madden 07). Special teams used to be incredibly fun to play in the Madden series, with the kicking mechanics forcing players to pay closer attention, or being able to return a punt for a touchdown due to the blocking you set up. I guess it's a good thing to have EA and Madden reinstalling the importance of special teams, so we'll be happy about it here. 

Apparently one of the new features on the Franchise Mode is a feature that can cut gameplay even shorter than Be a Player would - a Red Zone feature. It's the natural progression of the game, if you think about it. First, you only play one side of the ball. Next, you only play when your character is on the field. So why not only play when your team is in the Red Zone? Madden seems intent on shortening the amount of time a player spends constructing a franchise, or building a dynasty, or whatever, and I can't figure out why this stuff is alluring to new players or Madden loyalists. But it's there, so yay? 

They're also tackling on a new broadcast team. I guess this looks good? After they got rid of Gus Johnson I've been playing on Mute anyway. 

Madden 17 will hit stores on August 23, 2016 for all consoles and computer.