Highlighted by a new Skill Stick system on both sides of the ball, the current-gen version of Madden NFL 21 will launch at the end of the summer.
The official reveal of Madden NFL 21 on the current gen arrived Monday with a gameplay trailer that put a spotlight on this year’s new on-the-field features, cover star Lamar Jackson, and sights football fans are expecting (hoping) to get familiar with in a few months like the Raiders in their new home of Las Vegas, Joe Burrow under center for Cincinnati, and Tom Brady taking snaps for Tampa Bay.
Madden’s key selling point this time around looks to be the Skill Stick, a term that will be familiar to anyone that has played an NHL game in the last decade. With it, EA is aiming to implement a more fluid system when it comes ball carrying on offense, and pass rushing and tackling on defense.
For offense as described on EA’s Madden page:
“Go all out with the new Skill Stick to link together clever skill-move combos that setup amazing gameplay moments.
Master new evasive moves like dead-leg and slide hurdles combined with spins, jukes, and hurdles to create in space.
Run up the score with an innovative ball-carrier system developed to inspire creativity.”
“The new Skill Stick allows for full control and responsiveness with specific pass rush moves and combos. Be strategic as offensive linemen will build resistance to repeated moves.
Tackling advancements include location-based tackling, breakdown tackling, and improved dive tackling for all-out precision defense.
Diversify your play calling to outsmart adaptive AI adjustments that counter your tendencies in new ways.”
Superstar X-Factors are also coming back with more than 50 new abilities to separate the NFL’s stars from the rest of the pack.
Mode-wise, Face of the Franchise is returning, now subtitled “Rise to Fame.” And EA is promising “all-out levels of agency and depth throughout your journey to the Hall of Fame.” Players’ careers will now be starting as a high-school quarterback with the option to switch to wide receiver or running back in college as they make their way up to the pros. All good things to hear, though a lot the mode has to prove to be worthwhile following last year’s lackluster introduction of it.
We’ll being seeing more of the game at the EA Play showcase on Thursday, so stay tuned for more.
The current-gen version of Madden NFL 21 will be releasing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Origin and Steam. Pre-ordering the MVP Edition will grant access to the game three days early on Aug. 25, as has become the standard for the franchise the past few years.
Ahead of the game’s official reveal, EA released a hype video following its cover athlete Lamar Jackson’s rise to becoming NFL MVP and one of the league’s most electrifying players. And now the next in line to face the franchise’s infamous cover curse, it looks like he’s already tempting fate.
Madden NFL 21 will also have next-gen versions ready for the launches of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X in the fall, which was first announced during Inside Xbox’s Series X showcase back on May 7. EA will be putting a “Dual Entitlement” program in place that will allow players to upgrade their current-copies to the next-gen ones free of charge all the way up until the release of Madden NFL 22.
Monday’s reveal was originally scheduled for June 1, but EA opted to delay it so it wouldn’t distract from the initial and still ongoing Black Lives Matter protests that have swept through both the U.S. and the rest of the world.