During the Xbox Showcase, a private hands on time for media, there were many games on show, one that surprised me in being there was Madden 19, seeing as no-one else was giving it a go, I thought what the heck.
The first thing that I noticed, is that the games presentation has gotten an overhaul, from the player animations, to the tv style presentation, everything has been given significant attention. Loading into my game, the commentary was nice and crisp, but it was the on-screen elements that were nicer than in years past. All the transitions were achieved via the giant EA Sports logo, which did a nice slow pan across the screen, likely to allow more time for other things to get sorted.
The player animations though were what really surprised me, not only was the game running smoother, each player animation looked more fluid than in years past and there is a reason for that. The team at EA Tiburon managed to get a hold of the same animation system used by the FIFA team, meaning the amount of animation in each player has tripled, thanks to that system. In years past, the animations would have an opening and an ending and nothing would stop the two from connecting and completing, however this year, anything can cause the opening animation to trigger anything else, meaning each time you run a play, things will be different.
Of course, gameplay aside, there were some other changes, the level of polish was surprising across the board, though being an early build, there were still some random instances of weird things, like the quarterback just running through a team mate to get into position. The game was running in 4K, but one the developers near by mentioned that the game was running at EA Play in Ultra Widescreen 4K and said that it looks even better there.
While I am not a sports game player, I enjoy diving in every few years to Madden, the chess like gameplay makes things interesting for me and it looks like with Madden 19, it is my year to return.
The game is set to release on August 10 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with PC getting a release as well for the first time in forever.