The ramp up toward the release of Madden 18 is getting exciting, despite the fact that it's only June 1.
We've seen an intriguing trailer with some interesting clues, and we've had a new mode confirmed. Even at this early stage of the pre-release hype, there's already five reasons to think this could be a big year for the Madden franchise.
1. MUT squads
Online co-op play is coming to Madden 18. The new mode is called MUT Squads, and will allow gamers to play 3v3 games.
Each team will have an offensive and defensive captain as well as a head coach. This could be yet another avenue for Madden to carve a deeper niche in the esports world.
2. Story mode
We don't know what the name of the mode will be, but it's pretty clear from the trailer above that there's a story mode coming to Madden 18.
3. Frostbite engine
This will be the first Madden that utilizes the Frostbite engine. The new tech didn't set the world on fire with FIFA 17, but Madden fans have their collective fingers crossed for a more visible difference in their game.
You can see a few positives in the trailer. The environments, grass tech, and player renders look top notch, so the new engine seems to be working well.
4. Target passing
It may not be the biggest thing fans are discussing, but the new passing system in Madden 18 could be a game changer.
Throwing to a spot, as opposed to throwing to a receiver, is more of what we see in real NFL action. It represents even more control and potentially, a more realistic gameplay experience.
5. Competitive and arcade modes
Not every gamer is looking for the same experience. Some sports gamers like over-the-top gameplay. Others want their games to play as close to the real thing as possible.
EA Sports is delivering competitive and arcade modes. The former is ideal for esports or serious competitors, while arcade may work better for a novice, or fans interested in more wide-open gameplay.
In any case, this approach widens the game's overall appeal.
More sports gaming news and updates
Love sports games? Check out more content from Mic, including tips for leveling up your NBA 2K17 MyPlayer, playing quarterback in Madden 17, our review of MLB the Show 17 and the classic Nintendo sports games we want to see on the Switch.