As one Madden games comes to a close, speculation mounts regarding the next iteration of the NFL juggernaut. In this series, we will be looking at ways EA can improve the game, from gameplay to the different modes.
Home crowds in the NFL make a difference. Getting home field advantage in the play-offs is a game changer. Yet it means nothing on Madden. That needs to change.
The NCAA series actually gave players a home field advantage and would be a great for this to be reintroduced into the next Madden to give franchise mode some much-needed improvement.
How it worked was that when playing away, if the crowd were particularly feisty, you wouldn’t be able to call audibles.
Or if you did, they don’t always work.
To implement it in Madden going forwards, imagine when calling an audible on a play that changes a receivers slant route to a post route, but because of the noise (and his low awareness), he runs a streak instead.
You would be annoyed at the incomplete pass, or turnover, but the miscommunication would actually make sense and it adds some realism to the game, something fans have been demanding for years.
Viewing the play before the snap would be difficult when playing NCAA, as lines were blurry and it added an element of difficulty to the game. What does playing at home in Madden at the moment actually mean?
For it not to be totally overpowered, have it so that it doesn’t affect all QBs. Tom Brady, Drew Brees and other veterans should be able to call audibles, some of the time.
Rookie signal callers or those with low awareness should find it harder to hot route or change the play at the line.
Also take away the play clock and vibrate the controller and playing at home offers a stark contrast to being on the road.
Playing away to the Seahawks or Chiefs should have a noticeable difference then playing away to the Jaguars or playing in London.
We saw in real life how Jared Goff struggled on the road against the Saints, Madden needs to replicate that.
They have the animations on both sides of the ball to pump up the crowd or signal for them to be quiet – it’s time to put those to actual use.
Imagine you’re the Steelers playing at Heinz Field.
Down three, the Browns have the ball and it’s 3rd and 7.
You are controlling your MLB and you pump up the crowd, the fans in attendance are waving their terrible towels and the crowd noise increases ten-fold.
You get the stop and your destiny is in your hands.
That is the kind of experience Madden should be providing it’s franchise players, not what they are being subjected to at the moment.
It can also impact cold-weather teams.
Miami going to Buffalo in December should make it harder for the Dolphins, as an example.
And you can turn your stadium into a fortress the more games you win, or it can be like a road game for your side if you are constantly losing.
Wins and losses then become even more important and the longevity of your franchise career means more.
The fact home field advantage was a feature six years ago on NCAA but isn’t on Madden in 2019 is quite embarrassing. Bring it back.
Because it doesn’t just affect the gameplay, it affects how you build your team.
It will make you think about trading away all your vets for young players. All of a sudden, you will need those players with high awareness or whatever stat they bring in to combat this.
Obviously it should be an option, some people may find it too difficult or not for them and would want to turn it off.
That’s fine. But at least give people a choice.