EA held their studio preview today and we were one of the few mobile sites there to take a look at their coming games. First up, and the most anticipated, is Madden NFL 11. This year is will be available on the iPhone and the iPad with the iPad getting a couple exclusive features.

The Hot Routes feature has been expanded and enhanced this year. Hot routes allow you to draw the path that the player takes on the screen pre-snap. You have greater control over them in both offense and new this year, defense. You can also save your custom routes as a custom offensive play.

Madden NFL 11 gets a few new features carried over from the console versions. This includes Total Defense Control -- this year defense is given much more attention giving you most of the same control of players you have on offense. This includes the ability to program hot routes for defensive players. For defense you also can slow the play down while it is in action and adjust the routes.

On the offense, new this year, and carried from the console, is GameFlow. This is basically an automated play calling system created to speed up the play of the game. Instead of needing to run into one of the 30 playbooks to pick a play, the computer will pick one for you and it does so intelligently. It watches the game and how you play and will pick an appropriate play. You can of course override the play or turn off GameFlow at any time. GameFlow makes considerable sense on the more casual mobile device.

The game gets a little prettier this year too. Graphics both on field and off look much better. This includes higher definition players, fields, and even moving crowds that are unique to each stadium. Also included are different weather effects based on the stadium location and date of the game.

Some iPad specific features include on-screen optimizations for the larger screen like a passing wheel under your right thumb. The passing wheel shows you all receives on the play and their status in a single location letting you select them very quickly. One unexpected new game type is added as an exclusive for the iPad as well. Remember the old electric football games where you place the weighted player pieces on a large metal board that when turned on vibrated them around? Well a mid-season update to Madden NFL 11 will allow you to play this fun mini-game in the app -- and even with voiceover from Gus Johnson.

If there's one disappointment it's the lack of online multiplayer. Still missing from EA's in-house lineup, this feature will really take this game, and other EA games, to the next level. There is local Bluetooth multiplayer included in both the iPhone and iPad versions. But you may only play against another user on the same device type.

EA took some heat last year by charging for roster updates in Madden NFL 10 for the iPhone. They have seen the errors of their ways and the roster updates will be free this year!

If you're a Madden fan, you won't have to wait too long. Madden NFL 11 for the iPhone and iPad will launch alongside the console version on August 11th. Hit the jump for a few more screenshots.


Posted in: News, First Looks
Tagged With: Sports, Ea, Football, NFL, Madden, Madden nfl 11
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