It looks like American football is taking something from soccer beyond the sport's name. Well, as far as Electronic Arts' virtual versions go, that is. This year's Madden will feature a full-fledged story mode akin to what FIFA '17 had. In the very evocative trailer below, a young man stares out at the Indianapolis Colts' Lucas Oil Stadium, dreaming of either a burrito or being on the cover of a video game. It's hard to tell which considering all we can see is the unnamed protagonist's expression in the reflection of a hotel window.
The other intriguing part: a title card for publisher EA's Frostbite engine bisecting the video. In 2013, EA announced that sports games would all run on Ignite, and everything else would be powered by developer DICE's Frostbite toolset. Since then, however, Ignite has been more or less been out of the picture.
Rory McIlroy PGA Tour from 2015 ran on Frostbite, and last year's FIFA did as well. When we asked EA the reasoning for FIFA switching over, at the time we were told that it was due to the ease of implementing that game's "The Journey" story mode.
Before you start mourning Ignite (which might be a little weird), know that EA Sports has been working to incorporate large swaths of the framework into Frostbite. If the FIFA parallels hold true for this year's Madden, come August, that should mean better looking player faces, lighting and animations on the virtual gridiron paired with the physics systems Ignite was know for.
Of course, FIFA '17 wasn't the first sports game EA added a story mode to in recent history. That'd be Fight Night: Champion from 2011. Speaking of, we haven't had a new Fight Night since 2011 but there have been a few middling UFC games since. No rush, EA.
With video gaming's Paris Fashion Week (E3) rapidly approaching, it shouldn't be long before we hear more about what else is changing for Madden.