Here Are the Best New Features in Madden 17

Meaningful additions have us hooked on this year’s NFL game.

Madden 17 has arrived. The annual edition of the NFL video game series continues striving for excellence by adding meaningful upgrades to all the the most crucial elements of the game. Here are the best beefed up parts of Madden 17.

Fancy Feet

Madden 16 rethought the throw and catch dynamic between QB and wideouts. Madden 17 builds on the offensive improvements by adding similarly fine-tuned controls to the running backs in the game. Mid-run prompts for evasive maneuvers like jukes and hurdles are now defaults in easier settings. All modes now give running backs a better chance to struggle through the gaps or break tackles when they’re finally wrapped up too.

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Aggressive Special Teams

The new kicking meter feels somewhat meaningless but plays where kicks happen often have a huge impact on the game, just like it does on Sundays in the NFL. Madden 17 has gone to great lengths to reemphasize special teams after years of neglect. Truly being able to challenge a punter, or block a field goal, or run your choice of fake plays adds depth that’s been missing from Madden all along. Not to mention how satisfying it is when you finally break through and lay out a kicker.

Hurry Up Offense (and Defense)

Madden 17 still has legitimate hurry-up offenses and audible play-calling measures but we’re referring to the franchise mode where games can be simulated with ACL-tearing speed. Play the Moment gives you the ability to jump in and actively play through pivotal parts of the game. It’s meant to hasten your path through full seasons as your franchise team—through you own brilliant management and strategy—wins two hands worth of Super Bowl rings.

More Accurate Injuries

Speaking of your brilliant management, franchise will also rely on you to look out for your rostered players. That means lots of injuries—and this time around it’s not the rinky-dink sore hammies or broken toe injuries. Madden 17 tasks you to deal with a huge variety of realistic ailments, all while looking out for the players’ careers and longevity with your team.

Big Picture Strategies

Madden 17 is lending players a huge hand in determining the right course of action to take against opponents. Previous games gave you all the raw numbers but little direction. This year’s edition is actually helping you give that feedback some purpose, taking that overview of both offensive and defensive opponent tendencies and helping you make plans for how to combat them.

Individual Player Tweaking

Ever play Madden and think to yourself that it’s absolute bullshit that Drew Brees isn’t as consistent in the game as he is in real life? Or that a breakout player like Devonta Freeman isn’t as explosive in the game as he is in real life? Madden’s developers go through extraordinary care to try and capture athletes’ looks and traits but they don’t get it right every time. EA Sports knows that their best efforts don’t always keep up with the speed of Madden’s fans and now gamers have the opportunity to actually edit the looks, style and, most importantly, attributes of the thousands of players available in the game.  It’s an extraordinary improvement that proves there are ears to the ground at the Madden studios.

Practice Mode

This is another example of giving the people what they want; practicing with your actual franchise squad is once again a possibility. For some odd reason it disappeared in last year’s iteration and left game players feeling unprepared for online franchise games. Now it’s back and we are fast on our way to working out kinks and developing teamwork in our carefully crafted franchise.

Honing your Skills

This year also has the most extensive collection of tutorial and practice mini-games we’ve ever seen in a Madden. Madden 17 has a huge selection of these that’ll teach you high-level strategy, teach you the controls or even teach you the game of football itself, if need be. High score competition runs amok here as you’re trying to better yourself and your players in the quest to leapfrog to the top spot on the scoreboards.