Out of the many games I played at EA Play this year I was only able to check out one sports game and that was Madden NFL 18. I chose to line-up for this particular game as I was most familiar with it. What was being demoed this year was the 3v3 MUT Squads mode. This is of course Madden Ultimate Team where you build a team and then face-off against others. I've played every Madden for well over a decade at this point and while not huge on Football, I have a decent understanding of the sport. Aside from the return of this mode, this is a big change for the series as they move over to the Frostbite engine.
This is part of EA's big push to get everyone sharing resources and from what I noticed the game looks very similar. That's a good thing as these engine changes have typically had a rough patch for the first year and while I'll need more time to notice the smaller details it keeps the experience largely the same. This coming down to how the game handles whether we're on defense, offense or pushing along the ball. The core game of Madden doesn't feel too different and despite using a controller I'm not used to with the sport it felt similar to what it has always been.
Having been at E3 by myself I was paired with some random and intense Madden players so we won with me mostly providing support. They were really into it to the point I wasn't even sure I knew what they were saying about play strategies and just gave a nod yes when anything was whispered. The squad based game has players taking on certain roles and then playing against others. This can be in combinations of up to six players and it works well providing enough per team that it still feels competitive.
We would have some small chats before plays on what we were going to do with the on-screen visuals giving extra general outlines as is usual. There was a nice mix of friendly and intense action there so I can imagine this mode will go over well with the fans. I enjoyed checking out this new mode and while my time was limited the changes for the game shouldn't cause too many issues for those waiting on their yearly release of the game.
Read our Need for Speed Payback Preview (E3 2017)
Our E3 2017 Hub