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Can these Madden NFL 23 changes revive the EA Sports franchise?

While the FIFA and EA partnership is on the outs, the gaming firm’s relationship with the NFL is as solid as an offensive tackle with concrete boots. However, the long-running Madden NFL series of games struggled to make up the hard yards in recent years.

As such, EA Sports has revealed a host of changes and new features coming to Madden 23, in the hopes of revitalising the tired series. It comes alongside the first trailer for the game and the cover reveal featuring the titular coach himself.

Key among the changes is a series of new gameplay mechanics for the PS5 and Xbox Series S/X versions of the game, coming under there new Fieldsense banner.

There’s a new skill-based passing mechanic that enables surgical accuracy via a new reticle and passing meter. You’ll be dropping back shoulder throws into the slot for the first down before you know it.

There’s also new hit stick physics that enable you to rev up the intensity on defence. There’s mid-air blocks, the ability to help out your fellow backs and even attempt to force turnovers with stand-up tackling.

There’s new wide receiver moves and defensive back counter moves to up the ante of those 1-vs-1 battles, while running backs and receivers can access new 360-degree cuts enabling runners to “hit the gaps you want to, plant-and-go, and elude defenders using Left Trigger/L2 and a well-timed flick of the stick.”

The Franchise management mode gets new player motivational tools, updated trades, and franchise tag logic. Scouting and strategy features have also been refined.

The Face of the Franchise single player mode also sounds pretty fun. You have a one year contract with a new team after five seasons in the NFL (you can choose your skill position), and have to prove yourself and level up in the Madden Ratings.

New gameplay modes include The Yard, where you’ll play 6-vs-6 games in “fantastical locations”, while Superstar KO is a co-op eliminator mode where X-Factor abilities are always turned on. Madden Ultimate team is also back some refinements.

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