Madden NFL 15 does something surprising right out of the gate: it throws the player into the game right away, without trying to explain the changes introduced during the development process or to add to much context to the situation.
A 2015 NFC Championship Game involving the Carolina Panthers and the Seattle Seahawks is in its last moments and players need to think fast and implement a strategy that can lead their team to victory.
I failed to score in this first gameplay test delivered by Madden NFL 15, but I appreciated what the team at EA Sports tried to do and how they leveraged the new features of the Xbox One in order to deliver an unexpected and interesting experience.
But the short segment also showcases some of the potential problems with the game and how it can drive newcomers away instead of capturing their attention quickly and for long periods of time.
Madden NFL as a series is a very complex experience and requires knowledge and practice to be played effectively, and even some veterans struggle when the development team introduces major changes to one feature or another.
The new release comes with a focus on defense and its ability to win championships, and the opening gameplay situation features one of the best defensive lines in the league at the top of its game.
As I was playing and failing to move past the line or to deliver an accurate pass, I was wondering whether the rest of the game would be the same and how I could quickly improve my performance in order to do better.
Other players, even if they are fans, might be put off by the introduction and could choose to put the game down for a while rather than jump right in.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to learn how to play Madden NFL 15 in order to be effective when moving on the field, even if it takes some time and passes are still hard to execute very well.
It will be interesting to see whether EA Sports plans to introduce more of these middle-of-the-game experiences via updates for the game or if they will only rely on this first one to create a positive impression of the game.
The studio knows how to make an initial impression, but the concept might work better with a little more context and with a lower difficulty.