The world is still waiting on even an smidgeon of information regarding Madden 21 next-gen gameplay. The game is scheduled to release on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S on Friday–and no actual gameplay footage is in circulation. Needless to say, there is some concern.
Well, at the very least, EA dropped a pretty significant update to the current-gen version that might also be the last update before EA starts to unveil a wave of next-gen assets.
Per EA, here is a look at their most recent patch notes which covers new Superstar and X-Factor abilities, along with a new group of players joining or returning to X-Factor status.
- Fixed an issue causing the ball velocity to not always reach the desired speed on some specific QB passing animations
- Tuning to improve deep zone defenders reaction to crossing routes from a single-receiver side for highly rated defenders
- Tuning to slow down cut-reaction time for linebackers in man-coverage facing away from the QB
- Fixed a run-block targeting issue with the Gun Wing Flex Wk Inside Zone play
- Fixed a rare issue causing QB’s to appear to use an under-pressure pass while not actually being under pressure
- New Superstar Abilities and Superstar X-Factor update, based on NFL Player’ performance up to this point in the 2020 NFL Season
- Fixed an issue causing defenders in man coverage vs. a ‘block-and-release’ RB to sometimes instantly switch their assignments to blitz when seeing the RB start to block, resulting in the RB being left uncovered once he would run his route thereafter
There is a major exploit play in the passing game that still doesn’t appear to have been addressed. The PA Crosses route is all but indefensible by the CPU, which makes offline single-player a bit of a bummer for those who are aware of this issue. I’d hoped the second bullet point might remedy the problem, but I tested it before writing this article, with the Pittsburgh Steelers’ dynamic Minka Fitzpatrick in position to be the “highly-rated defender,” and the play still worked the same as it did before the patch went live.
Newly Added Superstar Abilities:
- Film Study – Defenders with this ability will have full vision of plays the offense has run 5 times each quarter; via coach cam.
- DEV NOTE: Based on the feedback received from the Madden 21 beta, we re-worked this ability to provide more balance across our multiple game modes. One of those adjustments is based on players telling us it was too easy for the ability to activate, making it too powerful. In response, the ability will now require a variable number of repeated offensive play calls before activating. This number will scale up or down based on the current quarter as well as the game’s quarter length settings, with the required amount always being displayed via X-Factor Vision in pre-play. Additionally, defender knowledge of these repeated plays will be wiped out when a quarter ends, giving the offense a bit more leeway with how they run their play-calling.
- Backlash – Ball carriers with this ability will cause increased fatigue penalties against their tackler when tackled via a non-conservative tackle.
- Recuperation – Players with this ability will recover from the effects of fatigue at an increased rate between plays.
- Honorary Lineman – Non-offensive linemen with this ability will frequently win Impact Blocks when blocking defensive backs in the open field
New X-Factor Players:
Alvin Kamara, Saints:
- Satellite X-Factor
- Juke Box
Lavonte David, Buccaneers:
- Run Stuffer X-Factor
DeForest Buckner, Colts:
- Unstoppable Force X-Factor
- Inside Stuff
New Superstar Players:
DK Metcalf, Seahawks:
- Deep Out Elite
- Red Zone Threat
Terry McLaurin, Washington Football Team:
- Deep In Elite
- Outside Apprentice
Aaron Jones, Packers:
- Backfield Mismatch
Calvin Ridley, Falcons:
- Mid Out Elite
- Outside Apprentice
Darren Waller, Raiders:
- TE Apprentice
- Short Out Elite
Jamison Crowder, Jets:
Brian Burns, Panthers:
- Strip Specialist
Myles Jack, Jaguars:
Jessie Bates III, Bengals:
Ali Marpet, Buccaneers:
Jonathan Allen, Washington Football Team:
Josh Allen, Bills:
One Off Addition:
Derrick Henry, Titans
- The following players have been downgraded from X-Factors to Superstars
- Drew Brees, Saints – Pro Reads Ability removed
- Calais Campbell, Ravens – Unstoppable Force and Edge Threat Abilities removed.
- The following players are no longer Superstars, losing all abilities
- Demarcus Lawrence, Cowboys
- Rob Gronkowski, Buccaneers
- Zach Ertz, Eagles
- TY Hilton, Colts
- Justin Simmons, Broncos
- Matt Ryan, Falcons
- Julian Edelman, Patriots
- Carson Wentz, Eagles
- Ryan Kerrigan, Washington Football Team
- Courtland Sutton, Broncos
The Yard Updates:
Superstar KO Updates:
User Experience (UX) Updates:
- Users can now link directly from Avatar customization screens directly to the vanity story by clicking on the Store Advertisement or by Hitting Y/Triangle while viewing individual items
EA also offered another update concerning the second boost to Madden’s franchise mode, which is scheduled for next month. Hopefully, it will deliver some much-needed improvements as we move for what could be a bigger, and more impacting upgrade to the mode in the spring.