If you can sit up straight and squirm in your seat at the same time, I did when I got the news Madden NFL‘s creators revealed they were going to go for it this year, with their “Infinity Engine” offering real-time physics. It is a long overdue feature, something seen even in a striver title like Backbreaker two years ago. But the potential for embarrassing glitches in the YouTube age—just ask FIFA 12—seemed an order of magnitude greater for something as heavily scrutinized as Madden.
After playing an advanced build of Madden NFL 13 for an hour on the E3 show floor, I’m cautiously relieved. Yes, I still saw a lot of silly stuff. But it was mostly in the dead-ball aftermath between plays. And all of it is something that is being tuned or should be by the game’s release.
Live-ball collisions themselves, even ordinary ones, had a pop and dynamism that hasn’t been felt in Madden for a very long time. Knowshon Moreno getting folded up like a beach chair behind the line of scrimmage was especially gratifying to see. (I was playing as the Detroit Lions against the Denver Broncos.) But there were still a few head-scratchers. Jahvid Best, the Lions’ running back, stumbled to the ground in a sitting posture, swinging his left leg back from underneath his body for what appeared to be no reason. The Ford Field carpet appeared to offer ice-rink traction as he went face first to the ground on another play, leg kicking up in front of him. And you’re likely to see some comical interactions as players extricate themselves from the pile. Continue reading Madden 13 is Mostly Law-Abiding in Its Physics—Though It Does Jaywalk at Times