Madden 23's newfound realism makes for bone-crunching player pile ups

Madden 23’s newfound realism makes for bone-crunching player pile ups

Madden NFL 23, the latest in the long-running American football franchise, is going back to fundamentals. Where recent years have focused on flashy updates, like a new scouting system for Franchise mode, and the introduction of Home Field Advantage in the form of teamwide buffs and debuffs, Madden 23 is primarily focusing on nuts and bolts. And nowhere is that more apparent than in the Fieldsense system.

An ambitious agenda of changes and refinements, Fieldsense seems to be equal parts system and philosophy, intended to take Madden a large step forward on the journey to authentic 11-on-11 football, with key components focused on passing, running, and defense. I had a chance to go hands-on and try these new mechanics for myself when I visited EA Orlando.

Madden 23

(Image credit: EA Games)

NFL quarterbacks don’t have the luxury of just hitting their wide receivers in the numbers on every play. Defensive backs are too fast, and the windows to throw into are too small. That’s where Skill-Based Passing comes into play. Pressing a button to aim your throw brings up a blue circle, representing where a wideout can potentially catch a ball. A reticle, controlled by the left stick, allows you to select a target within this zone, and a meter fills, determining the speed and trajectory of the ball.

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