Madden NFL 17 Introduces Play The Moment Into Its Franchise Mode
Human highlight reels.
One of the best and sometimes overlooked aspects of sports games is the efficiency in experiencing a full regulation game in a short amount of time. Even authenticity-driven simulation modes of football games are shorter than the real life counterparts. In 2016, it’s not surprising that EA Sports would position time-saving amenities into its own brand within Madden NFL. It’s called Play The Moment, a feature within Franchise Mode that can turn a game into a 15-minute compilation of playable highlights.
Play The Moment allows you to get hands-on with only the key events. That could mean experiencing every third down but you can also expect lots of red zone plays, crucial punts, drives with only two minutes left, and lead-changing field goals. Expect the same with opening drives which, as any fan can tell you, often sets the tone of a game. It’s a filler-free collection of plays akin to playing an ESPN recap show.
Play The Moment is just the latest addition to a mode that is already known for its customization depth. That includes full player editing, ratings tweaks, contract adjustments, and time with a practice squad. If you’re pressed for time, you can set Play The Moment to only offensive or defensive plays. And this doesn’t come at the expense of the management appeal of Franchise Mode.
It’s about moving the game along while still giving the Franchise fan a sense of moment-to-moment ownership. As Franchise Mode designer John White explained, “None of the moments are formulaic, scripted, or forced. It’s more of an organic ‘What happens?’ simulation. Our algorithm takes and chooses what it thinks are key moments. They’re snippets but they’re the snippets with the most impact. You’re playing an exciting, condensed version of Madden.”
As it simulates, you get updates on who’s making the catches, who’s getting injured, et cetera. When you jump in, you’re as informed as any play maker on the field. In between Moment plays, you can watch the game unfold with the broadcast camera or you can just stick with the Moments if you’re pressed for time.
It’s conceivable that a fan can get through the entirety of Franchise Mode in a few months using Play The Moment. According to John, "A 17-week schedule is a long time and we continue to listen to the fans on how they want to play and manage their teams. Play The Moment is all the more meaningful when Franchise mode can last 30 seasons.”
Immersion is all the more enhanced in Madden NFL 17 through the Franchise-exclusive score ticker. It emulates the classic jam-packed 1PM to 4PM Sunday time slot. While you’re focused on one game, you’re getting updates on developments from the rest of the league. That also include tags on upcoming games.
Traditionally, Quick Play style modes satisfy the need for immediate gratification. Play The Moment promises to offer a similar fix for brief play sessions but with the long term satisfaction of making progress in Franchise Mode. As a mode focused on team management, the only feature that’s missing is a view mode from the GM’s skybox.
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