Posted by Will Brinson
As some of you may know, I'm a bit of a Madden junkie. I reviewed Madden 11 before it dropped last year, and look forward to doing so with Madden 12 this year again, especially after reading this post from Mike Young, Art Director of Madden 12 over at EA Sports' website about the "major graphical upgrades" they're putting in place for the newest rendition.
For starters, pregame introductions are getting what appears to be a serious overhaul -- pregame is a facet that's been improved in recent years (Can you even remember what the "pregame" looked like five or six years ago? Guh.), it's still an area where the team at EA can find some improvement. They look to have done that this year, not only with the giant flags in the middle of the field (great graphical detail, woo America!, etc.) but with the team introductions as well.
As you can see below, the Bears look pretty sweet coming out of the tunnel.
Now, we just need them to figure out a way to have Ray Lewis do his dance in 3-D so we can get people really pumped up and scare the crap out of kids.
Speaking of scaring kids, the images of Michael Vick below (I kid, I kid) are pretty indicative of how EA's providing an upgrade for player detail and lighting within the game. They've moved to what's called "Linear Lighting," something that was used in NCAA 11 in order to achieve more realistic colors. In Madden 11, you're pretty clearly playing on a virtual world, even as real as the stadium, field, etc., look.
The improvement in player detail should be obvious, albeit subtle -- check the shadows, padding and creases on Vick's jersey, as well as the flak jacket that he's rocking in the right photos. In addition, Young points out that they've got a brand new "head and neck scaling system" in place that will make dudes like Brandon Jacobs and Darren Sproles -- people with weird body types -- not look as cartoonish as they might have in 11.
One of the most dope things I've seen from this set of upgrades, though, is the 3-D grass that Madden 12 will have, in addition to the "flying turf" you'll see below.
Unlike previous years, you can actually, you know, see the grass a) standing up on the field when it the camera gets close and b) see turf flying. The latter is particularly sensical, because as we've seen from the aforementioned Soldier Field (except in real life), conditions aren't always perfect for football.
So, yeah, very cool stuff all around. And, sure it may seem uber-nerdy -- and it is! -- but for those of us that play the game, it's a welcome bonus. Besides, it might be the only football we get in 2011!
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