Madden 13 aims to be the 'first true sports RPG'

After Electronic Arts held its E3 2012 press conference Monday, the Madden NFL 13 team streamed the latest in its series of "playbook" videos detailing the game's Connected Careers mode. The mode is new to the series, but was described by Senior Designer Josh Looman as a combination of the familiar superstar and franchise modes of the past.

"Franchise mode is dead. Online franchise mode is dead. Superstar mode is dead," Looman explained. "It's really the first true sports RPG."

In Connected Careers, players will have the option of controlling individual football players or coaches, the latter being more akin to the standard "call all the plays, use all the players" game of Madden. The mode can be played alone or in a league of 32 players, clearing away any distinctions between online and offline franchise modes we've been accustomed to.

Connected Careers' role-playing elements boil down to goal-based gameplay and "level-up-style" player progression. Looman explained that players can achieve weekly, season, and career milestone goals, such as rushing for over 1,000 yards in a season with a running back. By reaching these goals, players will earn experience points, which can be used to purchase skill and ability upgrades. At any point in their career, players can retire their superstar athletes and coaches in order to start up new players for their teams without disrupting an ongoing season of play against friends.

Connected Careers will also feature what Looman described as a "robust news system that captures everything that happens in your league." Madden 13 will populate stories surrounding players and display information in the form of news posts and a virtual Twitter stream, which uses the names and faces of 13 NFL analysts like Skip Bayless and Mark Schlereth. The media personalities will react to trades, injuries, and highlights from a player's career in the news and faux-Twitter system.

Looman posted finer details on the game's Connected Careers mode in a developer blog. Players will get to try it for themselves when Madden NFL 13 hits the turf on August 28.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.