With Madden NFL 20 set for release on August 2, senior gameplay designer Clint Oldenburg has outlined some of the key changes players can expect from the upcoming title.
Per a lengthy reveal from EA's official website, the developer notes that the focus for this year's installment of the game is focused on "making NFL stars feel like stars," as well as unique playbooks, more immersive moments and a more polished experience.
Perhaps the most intriguing section of this update is the Superstar X-Factor. This is an all-new feature which sees 50 of the league's most elite players gifted "Superstar Abilities" that can be tuned into at all times during gameplay.
Each of the 50 athletes will also have one "Zone Ability" that seeks to mimic the impact a particular player has over a game when he's in what's known as "the zone" amongst athletes and sports fans. This will have to be unlocked during gameplay by completing an in-game objective specifically suited to that player.
A detailed description from EA is below:
"Each of the 50 players will have a loadout of powerful abilities, including one Zone ability that can be unlocked during gameplay by completing an in-game objective tailored to that player. When the objective is achieved, they will enter the “zone” and have access to use their special ability until their opponent knocks them out of the zone with an objective of their own. These players also have several Superstar abilities equipped which will be active at all times during gameplay to truly emphasize their unique skill sets and make them powerful and hard to stop, just like their real-life counterparts.
"For both the Zone abilities and Superstar abilities, what sets them apart is that they are NOT ratings boosts or modifications. These are behaviors, characteristics, and situational outcomes, aspects of football, and it will be very clear to our players what impact they are having on the game by complimenting the player ratings, not modifying them."
- via EA.com
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes enjoyed a stellar 2018/19 season that saw him named the league's MVP and Offensive Player of the year.
As a result of his remarkable achievements during the campaign, the 23-year-old has become the latest cover athlete for Madden.
The update from EA details his Zone and Superstar abilities, with the former branded Bazooka. This Zone ability will increase Mahomes' maximum pass distance and can be unlocked by completing a number of passes over 30-yards. The exact number hasn't been announced just yet, however.
Mahomes' Superstar Abilities are comprised by the No Look Deadeye (perfect passing accuracy on cross-body throws), Escape Artist (increased speed and improved agility for scrambling on passing plays), Dashing Deadeye (perfect passing accuracy when throwing whilst running), and Red Zone Deadeye (perfect passing when throwing within the red zone).
There are also players - Julian Edelman, for example - who will be called Superstars and will have Superstar abilities but will not be fitted with an unlockable Zone ability.
The standard edition game is out on August 2 but players with EA Access, Origin Access or Origin Access Premier should be able to play by July 25. The Superstar Edition and Ultimate Superstar edition will be playable by July 30.