Beyond The Glory: The Sports Game Ceiling: Part Two

With Madden recently passing an important anniversary, and with next-gen consoles on the way, the future of sports games has to call a couple audibles to keep from hitting that ceiling. Part two of an in-depth analysis of what the genre has done and has to do.
From HalfBeard's HUD.

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StockpileTom1693d ago (Edited 1693d ago )

It still has to be AI... right now in Madden I find the QB AI particularly lacking.

I'm gonna single out one particular example and that is on an all 'go' play against a Cover 2 (not even the Tampa 2) or Cover 2 Man. One receiver is wide open streaking down the seam and more often than not the QB AI decides to throw it down either sideline into double coverage instead of the wide open receiver in single or no coverage.

Simply put the QB AI in Madden is insanely stupid and makes having a impossibly dominant defense way too easy. I average 8 takeaways per game and 185yds allowed per game. Also with all the turnovers and 3 and outs my offense, which is performing at a respectable efficiency comparable to the Saints, ends up scoring 70+ PPG. The raising the difficulty seems to make playing offense rather realistic as I have to be very alert and read the defenses carefully, but the opposing QB AI doesn't get any better.

Another interesting quirk I noticed is the QB holding onto the ball on screen passes and taking a sack instead of throwing to the intended player (when open) or throwing it away.

Nolando1693d ago

I find in presentation I feel like so much more can be added... I agree with working on making AI smarter, I feel on all-madden its either I dominate or the computer just cheats and I get wiped the floor with.

Its difficult in these types of games to get that balance. but my main gripe is PRESENTATION, there are so many commentary/sideline/ stadium and gameplay animations or features I wish were there! I thought they would get it done but I still feel NFL 2K5 gave me a much better presentation than madden has its entire xbox 360 lifetime! Where is a PROPER pregame/halftime/post game show?! where are my weekly highlights!

They are promising these features will improve in the next gen games but im not buying one till I see it!

Sports games have so much more depth you can get out of them that devs have not explored or barely touch such as contract negotiations. free agency. just now we got a very decent draft system with commentary (im talking mostly madden here).

either way theres my rant :|

StockpileTom1692d ago (Edited 1692d ago )

Definitely, presentation is 2nd on my list on what needs to be improved. It is just atrocious. The sideline models are meh and the animations for those models are lame. The crowd models are even worse and they really need to have improve the general atmosphere of it all.

Contract negotiations need to allow you to set the values for each individual year so you can structure contracts in a way that both pays the player what they want but is cap friendly either early or late in the deal depending on the contracts of your other players.

Also I would like to see restricted free agents and the option to use both the exclusive and non-exclusive franchise tags. There should also be compensatory draft picks and this next one is really nit picking here but I would like to see some conditional draft pick trades and contract escalators. IR designated to return designation would be nice too.

EA has a monopoly on the NFL and they are lazy... Actually I believe they should just make one game and maybe improve on it for 3 years before making a new one. I would even pay like $10-$15 for updates each year if only they would get the game right. It is currently lacking way too much depth to even consider that.

Also on the presentation end I believe they are just being cheap. They would end up having to pay the voice actors more to vocalize all of the presentations. What they could do (which would still cost em quite a bit) is use a program like VOCALOID to record every possible syllable combination in the english language from the voice actors. This would would be costly and time consuming but their final product would be useable for years as the program can synthesize the voice quite well to say whatever they want at any pitch they want. Right now VOCALOID is just used for singing (and almost exclusively japanese) but I believe it holds great potential for the gaming industry. The announcers would be able to pronounce any randomly generated name fluently.


Nolando1692d ago (Edited 1692d ago )


there so much missing from commentary! and also once you play more than a few seasons in ur franchise the commentary on your players is not even right based on what is going on in his career or even how he is doing right at the moment! everything is way too pre canned this franchise makes SO much money and they wont invest to make it what it can truly be! we need 2K back! I agree also on the injuries idea. we should be able to set people on IR or IR designated to return, or if you try to make the player play too soon after an injury they become more injury prone ALA RG3 in last years playoffs.

football is my favorite sport it just makes me mad how badly represented it is in videogame form

EDIT: I meant this as a reply to TOM, I didn't mean to make a whole new comment :P

StockpileTom1692d ago (Edited 1692d ago )

I really do hope that voice synthesizing tech really takes off in the game industry as it would greatly improve sports games and even RPGs.

The tech has finally improved to the point where it sounds more natural. (though with apple's crappy synth you wouldn't think so lol)

People could also release voice over libs for the software and that would greatly help indie game developers have more affordable ways to make fully voice-acted games.