The latest version of Madden is almost here, but the biggest changes are reserved for next-gen consoles.
Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes are the cover stars for Madden 22.
Madden NFL 22 marks the first time in over a decade that two people were featured on the same cover. Troy Polamalu and Larry Fitzgerald previously were the dual-cover stars for Madden NFL 10.
Moving beyond the cover, EA is touting a few improvements to differentiate this year’s edition from prior games. All versions of Madden 22 will be seeing improvements to Franchise mode to enable more detailed staffing and strategy control, as well as new cinematics. EA says it will continue to expand the franchise mode after launch, with a September update promised to provide improvements to scouting.
The biggest changes, however, will be in a new “dynamic gameday” experience that is exclusive to next-gen consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X. EA says these changes will be impacting all modes throughout the game, from local games against the computer and online versus friends to franchise modes.
There will be new sideline animations in Madden 22.
As part of the “gameday” adjustments, the company has boosted the crowd and presentation elements of Madden 22 while adding additional localized changes to the on-field game, such as increasing passing and kick distance in Denver to account for the altitude while lowering short-term stamina for the visiting team.
A new “momentum” function has also been added to the next-gen versions that can impact the players on the field based on how the game is going and better imitate the pressure of NFL gamedays.
Away teams will have two of these momentum perks, what EA calls “M-Factors,” while home teams will get three as a bit of a home-field advantage. The home-specific perks will vary for each of the NFL’s 32 teams and can provide boosts for your team or disruptions to an opponent when triggered. Playing at home with the Minnesota Vikings, for instance, will get you a small speed boost in the red zone when the fans are doing their “Skol” chant. Visitors to Chicago will have a harder time kicking, while preplay play art on third and fourth down will be difficult to see in Seattle if momentum is on the Seahawks side.
The modifiers will vary based on each game and the situation you find yourselves in. Clint Oldenburg, gameplay producer for Madden 22, says there are roughly “40 plus” M-Factors in the game with more coming post-launch.
No player, not even cover stars Brady and Mahomes, will be immune to the impacts of the “M-Factors.” Games at neutral locations, like a Super Bowl, will not have extra perks for the home team.
In an expansion of an idea first introduced in the next-gen editions of Madden 21, EA says it will also be updating team and player tendencies throughout the season using the NFL’s Next Gen Stats. In Madden 22, this feature will also appear in the game as a way to make game plan decisions pregame and adjustments at halftime by pulling data from how your opponent has played or is playing.
For next-gen consoles, Madden 22 will retail for $70. Older consoles, PC and Stadia players will be able to get the game for $60.