Madden 21 Gameplay Deep Dive Gives a Look at Game's the "New" Mechanics

Madden 21 has a new gameplay trailer, showing off several mechanics that appear to be rehashes of past ideas. Oh, and they have new celebrations too.

After only showing up in a short highlight video at EA Play, Madden 21 is out with a new gameplay video. The team is calling it a deep dive into the game’s new on-field mechanics, but at just four-minutes long, the dive doesn’t feel that deep. That said, it does give a quick look at some of the things EA is bringing to Madden 21. Check out the trailer below.

The video says the team wants to give players “complete control” of the on-screen action. To do that, they’re looking to switch a few things up. It starts with defensive line play. Now, all your pass rush moves are on the right stick and triggers, giving you greater control over which moves you do. That sounds like it could be fun, but if they’re just taking what used to be buttons and moving them to the right stick, it won’t actually change much. They are looking to give you better feedback on the success and timing of those moves. So it could be a step in the right direction.

Similarly, the ball carrier changes and open-field tackling seem to already be in Madden 21, just under different names. Maybe the skill stick refinements will feel like major improvements, but without new and better animations, it’s not going to drastically break the mold. The team is also promising more authentic immersion. So, players will extend their arm for first downs and touchdowns. You know, a feature that was in Madden 12.

And look, I’m a fun guy sometimes. I like to celebrate. However, giving players more ways to troll and time waste in Ultimate Team is not what Madden (or any sports franchise) needs. It’s certainly not something I would spend time on in my gameplay deep dive.

Without playing the game, I’m going to withhold judgment. I’m also very curious to see how the game plays on next-gen consoles. That being said, this gameplay trailer doesn’t give me much hope for Madden 21 actually playing better than last year. Skip to the 2:09 mark of the gameplay trailer. Watch how that DB just dives at nothing. Who approved that clip being in the video to show off how tackling has improved? It just continues to be more of the same legacy issues that need a revamp or a new engine. Something to fix the series’ many problems.

It’s a shame. With new consoles on the horizon, you’d love for them to try some new things. Maybe next year.

Madden 21 launches for PC, PS4, and Xbox One on August 25. The game will come to PS5 and Xbox Series X once those consoles release.

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Ricky Frech

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