One could practically set their watch to Madden‘s annual release; it shows up every year around the same time, just like clockwork. And every year, sports gaming fans hope that the latest version of EA’s best-selling franchise will deliver a more realistic and responsive football simulation than that last installment. That anticipation isn’t unwarranted, given that the technology to make games become more sophisticated every year, with each generation delivering more potent visuals and tighter gameplay controls.
Yet, despite continuing advancements in Madden’s graphics and gameplay, EA Sports‘ aggressively boastful marketing campaigns often leave fans with a bad taste in their mouths. The marketing probably won’t be too different this year, but at the same time, the game really does look better than ever, as shown in eight impressive screenshots that detail Madden NFL 16’s incredibly lush and lifelike graphics.
Skepticism aside, the new stills support EA Sports’ claims that Madden 16 is the ultimate NFL video game experience. The screenshots demonstrate new two-man interactions, such as wide receivers and defensive backs shoving off of each other, as well as improved time of day and lighting that ensures that digital athletes’ likenesses remain pristine and naturalistic. The screenshots also give fans a their first look at improvements to the on-the-field cameras, and show off new gameplay elements, like quarterbacks’ new ability to place the ball where their teammates can catch it with body-relative throws.
Fresh and dynamic features like thse give EA Sports’ Madden series an edge against its rivals, and it’s without a doubt the most popular, influential, and profitable NFL game on the market. That being said, the Madden NFL 16 does have some stiff competition, especially if rumors about Microsoft and 2K Sports’ football game collaboration turn out to be true.
Still, Madden remains one of the biggest games in the world, and over the years its gridiron simulation has only gotten more and more realistic; last year, Madden NFL 15 correctly predicted the outcome of Super Bowl XLIX, right down to the final score. The Madden games are so popular that fans even go nuts for the game’s cover; keeping with tradition, fans voted the New York Giants’ wide receiver, Odell Beckham, Jr, as this year’s cover star.
As long as EA Sports continues to offer the most immersive and aesthetically pleasing football gaming experience, the Madden franchise will continue its reign as the gold standard of NFL video games. Of course, EA’s exclusivity deal with the NFL, which prevents other studios from using licensed NFL logos and players, doesn’t hurt, either.
Madden NFL 16 is set to release on August 25 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.