One of the biggest surprises from the Madden franchise was the inclusion of the Longshot mode in Madden NFL 18, which told the story of fictional quarterback named Devin Wade and wide receiver Colt Cruise. The narrative covered the trials and tribulations of trying to make it in the NFL and the web of relationships players have to navigate while performing at the highest level possible. While Longshot served as a tool to teach you the basics of playing Madden and the intricacies of the sport itself, the actual storytelling was well done. Hall of Fame QB Dan Marino made an appearance and Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali played Devin's father, and Madden NFL 19 brings in new names like Rob Schneider and Ron Cephas Jones to play major roles.
Devin Wade's story continues in Madden NFL 19 with Longshot Homecoming along with Colt Cruise's personal tale from high school glory to his struggle to make ends meet. Out of the gate, Devin is fighting for a roster spot with the Dallas Cowboys and you'll control him in training camp and through preseason. Madden lays the drama on thick as the QB coach and GM butt heads as to whether or not Devin deserves the third-string QB spot, and Devin himself gets caught up in the front office power struggle. Real media ties into the narrative as well with segments of NFL Network's Good Morning Football crew talking about Devin Wade as if he's a real player. Meanwhile, Colt gets a surprise visit from his father who hadn't seen since he was a kid, and soon finds out he has a half-sister that he now needs to take care of. Through developing a new familial relationship and reminiscing high school success, Colt's love for football seems to be reignited.
A big change to the actual gameplay is that there wasn't anything similar to the Telltale-style choice system that would affect the narrative. Instead, you either pass or fail certain segments, but it's tough to say how much it'll affect the story's outcomes.
In the video above, you can watch the first 35 minutes of Longshot Homecoming in Madden NFL 19 and see how much has changed from last year's story. Drama seems to be ratcheted up a notch, especially with the overall theme being "football is family." We'll be able to see how things plays out in the Longshot sequel when Madden NFL 19 hits the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on August 10.