“It happens every Sunday. A player blows a play and it impacts their performance for the rest of the game. It digs into their head and suddenly one dropped pass becomes three drops and some poorly run routes. Some players are more susceptible to these things than others. Sometimes it starts to affect the entire team. In Madden games of the past, a player’s ratings stayed static from the flip of the coin to the final whistle. But this will no longer be the case. In Madden 12, any given player’s performance through a game dynamically affects his stats.
Previously, I revealed how Madden NFL 12′s Franchise mode handles fluctuations of a player’s performance over the course of a season. Well, that stuff applies to every play of every game. Every player is rated on their confidence and consistency, which helps determine how much they are impacted by good and bad play.
Jay Cutler can throw a pick and quickly start dropping down to a 75-rated passer. But he can also string together completions and leap up to an overall 90 rating in a game. Peyton Manning won’t have those severe swings in either direction. He might have a tough game here and there or a particularly sharp performance, but overall, Peyton is Peyton every time he steps onto the field.
The hope is that no two games will ever be the same and that Madden finally captures the essence of every NFL player. To that end, tendencies and traits are given for anyone who straps on a helmet. When pressured, Brady is unlikely to run and tends to throw the ball away rather than sling it wildly into traffic. Vick isn’t afraid to tuck and go when he feels a little heat. The traits get pretty specific, such as the tendency to cover the ball against a medium hitter. Yeah, that specific.
Those tendencies help dictate how players react on the field. But it’s what happens after every down that makes things interesting. Those tendencies can change during a game, depending on the player’s psyche. Some crumble quickly when things start going bad.
Get a good hit on Eli Manning, for example, and he starts pressing. He might get rid of the ball a little quicker, start misreading the defense in his hurry. Peyton Hillis fights for every yard, but if he coughs it up early, he’ll become more conscious of protecting the ball. He’ll cover up more often, doing his best to secure the ball. That might cost him a yard here or there, but also limits the risk of another fumble.
Knowing the players on the field can be a major advantage on Sunday. T.O. lacks concentration. If he isn’t involved in the game, he might drop a crucial pass. You know this. So, as the coach, you need to call some short, high-percentage plays for T.O. to build his confidence and keep him focused. Because when he’s focused, he might still come up big when you need him. Otherwise, he could erode the confidence of everyone around him.
That’s right – players don’t just affect themselves, but can influence an entire team. When a QB has it going, it can energize an entire offense. A great leader, for instance, can boost not only his own play, but those around him. And influential players who lose confidence easily can lower the play of the entire team. It works both ways.
The concept is solid and could prove the biggest change to Madden in years. But it could also completely send Madden’s gameplay off the rails if it’s not balanced perfectly. I’ve played one game of Madden 12, which is hardly enough to judge the quality of Dynamic Player Performance. If the team at Tiburon can pull this off, it will be something special.”