The NFL's MVP Shaun Alexander is featured on the cover and he represents the game well as the focus this year is on the running game. This is an area that hasn't been highlighted over recent editions but it has gotten a great deal of attention this time around.
Possibly the biggest new addition to the way the game will be played is the "Run to Daylight" feature. You now have the option to control a blocker on a running play. If you were to highlight FB Mack Strong, you would now have the assignment of clearing running room for the MVP. Once you engage in the block you can either have it automatically switch back to controlling the RB or remain as the blocker. You can even start the play as a WR if you so desire as you have your choice of the offensive player you would like to begin the play as. There are also a wide array of different types of blocks you can attempt to make. It is not an easy thing however as witnessed firsthand...it'll take some time getting adjusted to. Whiff on a block and you'll cost your team yards.
Many improvements have been made to the general running game as well. Running to the inside will be more effective then it has been in the past, where it usually was more successful to bounce to the outside. Also plays such as sweeps and tosses that have been difficult to do well with will benefit from the improved blocking along with taking over as a blocker and directly affecting how well your RB can do on a given play.
In the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions there will be 20 specific unique running styles. We had a skeleton build at E3 to play which restricted us to the Super Bowl rematch of the Seahawks vs the Steelers. Alexander was clearly himself in the way he ran and put moves on defenders. It wasn't possible to compare different styles however because the opposing back was Willie Parker who likely didn't have his own personalized one created.
Overall the graphics on the next-gen systems will be sharper and the player models adjusted to appear more realistic. The look of the game was the first thing noticed as it was a significant improvement. The field has been worked on and the grass will be more pronounced. Not only did it look great but it also reacted to the weather and the punishment it was taking. The field became muddy and torn up in the rain, which was something that really wasn't evident in previous years. Even in good weather you'll see the field degrade in the places where traffic has been heavy.
While the build presented at E3 was limited and only at approximately 60% along in the development cycle, it was a positive look at the direction the game is headed. For anyone who loves the running game there is a lot to look forward to.
For more information, impressions, and videos of Madden 07 visit Maddennation.com.
Bryan Wiedey is a regular contributor to Maddennation.com, and he's known as "pastapadre" on the NETNation Fan Forums. We'd like to thank him for this exclusive inside look at Madden 2007. You can e-mail Bryan here .
Once again, Shaun is the Man.
Joey Porter and his virtual Steelers rejoice when they discover that Bill Leavy will be the game's virtual official.
|The Madden 2007 player control panel.|
|An exclusive look at the action.|
|The virtual Seahawks get fired up!|