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What Does Madden NFL 13’s New “Infinity Engine” Bring To The Franchise?

EA has been touting their brand-new “Infinity Engine” as the biggest game-changer in recent football video game history, EA’s Madden NFL 13 is also being touted as the game to take American Football into the next generation.

Right.

Now that we’ve gotten the PR stuff out of the way, we can actually start to look at what the Infinity Engine is all about. What is it about the shiny new engine that might turn heads, and bring in new and old fans to the franchise.

Anyway, let’s look at Madden NFL 13’s Infinity Engine after the break.

The Madden NFL series has been a multi-million selling franchise for EA and, while it is a fun/realistic take on Football, many have been criticizing the series of becoming stale over the last few years.

Remember the epic battle between the Madden series and the NFL 2K series that spurred competition and thus culturing innovation? Remember that all of that competition culminated with ESPN NFL 2k5’s affordable $19.99 price point, innovative features, and brand-new gameplay that gamers certainly embraced. It also forced EA to really bring their A-game that year, as I remember Madden ’05 having smarter AI, and a more realistic gameplay experience than NFL 2K5 (regardless for my love of the 2K series).

The possibilities offered by the Infinity Engine definitely reminds me of that feeling of excitement I had when I had both ESPN NFL 2K5 and Madden ’05 in my hands!

Now back to the present, EA has shown that the Infinity Engine allows for a large number of animation possibilities that will hopefully make the game look and feel more authentic/realistic especially to hardcore pigskin fans. Each of the players and their interactions in the field are supposed to be more organic; meaning that the game takes into account the player’s speed, weight, mass, skill, and style.

For example, older Madden titles had tackle animations that had pre-determined outcomes, so when a player tackles another on the field, there’s no chance of that scramble, that fight for the last few yards like in real life to happen. With the Infinity Engine, players who get tackled (considering their size and mass) have a chance to regain their balance and continue to run a few more yards unless he gets tackled and brought to the ground.

According to the developers, the engine brings to the game “a system that augments animation based on contact with other players or objects on the field.” These animations and calculations based on different factors really bring that sense of unpredictability that can and will happen on the field, another reason that makes watching American Football such an exhilarating experience.

Still not convinced of the potential the Infinity Engine brings to the virtual NFL? Why don’t we check out the Madden NFL 13 Blog, specifically Infinity Team Designer Victor Lugo on Madden NFL 13 animations:

“Characters will now move and react to contact organically, creating unlimited visual and functional variety to your gameplay experience. A quarterback who gets his arm grazed throwing a pass will now have his throw affected. A running back that falls on a pile and never actually touches the ground will get back up and keep running. Other players now have the ability to disrupt two-man animations to create unforeseen outcomes.”

Man! Just thinking of the play possibilities and the unpredictability of every run excites the heck out of me. And guess what, that’s just a small part of the changes that the Infinity Engine brings to the table. There’s also the new balance system and the new focus on muscle tensions (which allows for spectacular blindside hits, and also allows characters to rotate realistically when they are hit while jumping).

Now everything I’ve covered so far has been exciting and great news for Madden fans. But really, we can’t judge how it’ll play until the game ships later this year.

However, from what I’ve seen of the game so far, it looks like all that PR isn’t just the same old hype talk, it’s actually the real deal and this revitalized Madden (with a brand-new engine) definitely looks like the game-changer that the franchise needs to stay relevant as the industry enters its transitional period from current to next-gen.

What are your thoughts on Madden’s Infinity Engine and the possibilities it brings to videogame football?

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About janhutchings

Canadian Game Industry Blogger / Contributor for @Sonyrumors & @ShogunGamer / Communications and PR Professional. Voice of Canadian and Indie Gaming. http://jtmgames.com/

Posted on June 17, 2012, in Game Previews and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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