First Hands On Play

by nathan.lejeune 4 years ago

I was able to get my hands on M17 and get some play time in. Let me give a slight disclaimer, that I’ve only played this game for about 3 hours and most of it was discovery more than digging in for feedback. I was able to play one online game, and he was a terrible guy to play, but it allowed me to get a feel of what the game was like. I was also able to dig at the CFM and PTM. Also, my last disclaimer is that I am approaching this is a hardcore CFM guy and not a competition player or a MUT player or even a quick online game player. So here are a few thoughts.

Game Play

My first initial response of game play is that it plays very fast. Some people like the faster play, but I find it to be slightly too fast. I haven’t played a user game on slow, so we’ll see how that plays, but normal plays super-fast. The gap between a 75 speed player and an 85 speed player, feels normal and good. The difference between an 85 speed player and a 95 speed player though, is not so big of a gap. I like that speed has been tweaked and it does help with guys just putting the fastest guys possible on the field instead of better overall, awareness, etc players. If you are stuck with 88 speed cornerbacks to start your franchise with, no worries – you can still compete. I will say the days of a player getting the fastest middle linebacker possible and just running all around the field like a headless chicken, are not going away. But you can find other ways to attack them and compete with the speed adjustments.

Play calling feels good and the new gap and zone improvements are much better. If the guy is burning you with a certain type of play over and over, you now can adjust quickly and find a play to stop it. Players also seem to adjust quicker to the same plays being ran against them. Cover 2 zone, which was over powered last year, is still pretty powerful this year. I am afraid we will all see a ton of cover 2 zone.

Running game felt good, but not over powered. It’s still difficult and with the auto-flip defense, you will need to really set your team up for success. This game will force you to think about what you’re doing each play and not just mindless button smashing.

Defensive lineman also seem to get good pressure on your quarterback. I’ll be interested to play around with some sliders and see how the game feels, but the days of sitting in the pocket all day, are no more. Blitzes work very well and if they are overloaded, you will have no time unless you make adjustment. I wasn’t really playing to win my game and was mainly just playing to get a feel of how things would play, but my opponent blitzed me about 75% of the time and really got a ton of pressure on me, very easy. Learn the cancel play action button – you’ll need it.

Kicking is extremely hard and fake kicks are not. I was worried that the fake and kick block would be overpowered, but it’s not and works pretty realistic. The guy ran several against me and I was able to stop them all. Kicking meter will take some getting used to, as there is a delay. I didn’t get it right much – it’s not easy.


I am professing my head-over-heals love for the CFM improvements and overall feel. It’s pretty amazing. Free agency is quick and easy and they also list all practice squad players. You can quickly see the main attributes of a player and can also quickly see their improved player card. If you go into the ‘improve my team’ section, you will find a rating for every position on your team, and with a quick click of a button you can find the top 5 available players at that position, whether practice squad or free agent. You can also pick to not be interested in that player or trade for them if they are on the trade block. It’s pretty great!

Game planning is amazing. If you’re the owner of a CFM, you will find this to be a great feature because it will show all tendencies of the teams in your CFM. Is a guy running too much zone, too much blitz, too much cover 3? You’ll be able to see, in black and white, exactly what they do. I love this and the game planning itself works awesome. You get to pick 2 types of plays on offense and defense to earn a metal for – which is XP for your players. They also suggest which you should go with. You can sim it or play it and once you earn a metal, it’s yours to keep. You get XP for two position groups who are involved in that play and you also get to pick 3 players who also earn XP on top of what the two position groups get. These players can also be PS players.

Signing your PS players is pretty easy, just go to their card and sign to a contract to your 53-man roster. Signing someone else’s PS player is also easy and can be done via Free Agency. After signing a player, you then have a big decision to make and cut player to get back to 53. The CFM will give you 5 suggestions of a player to cut and why you should cut them.

XP sliders are back as well as all of the other options that we want in an CFM. Even league and team personal settings are all separate this year and easy to find and get to. Though, I did not find a kicking arc option to turn off, but maybe I missed it. The kicking arc is not the same as last year and only half an arc.

Spending XP has been tweaked. Now it gives you the top 3-5 options for your player to upgrade but you can click the players card and get the old system, which I enjoyed, from last year.

Play The Moments.

Play the moments is a pretty cool feature. I am not sure how much I will personally use it, but I did enjoy the experience that I had with it. It’s quick, easy to use and has a great looking lay out.

Overall Thoughts

This Madden has the chance to be one of the best maddens to date. I really am in love with the CFM improvements and customization. The game play itself will need some tweaking but with the first patch or two and some slider testing, the game will be really fun to play and has the opportunity to fit a lot of different types of leagues and players. I think you will enjoy!


Poundtherock 4 years ago

Good write up for only three hours. I look forward to your game-play opinions after further time with the game, like, does your opinion of the game speed change....fast speed becomes normal, etc., or still has the same feel.

Rudy.brown.545 4 years ago

anything on the CFM companion website...

Nathan.lejeune 4 years ago

Rudy, that news will drop very soon. All I can say, is it will be exciting!

KlyVertigo 4 years ago

Excitement and trepidation on my part. Not only is this my first online league, but this is also my first foray with CFM. I haven't done any franchise in Madden since 13, since NCAA gave me my franchise fix. Can't wait!

Twizzie811 4 years ago

Nice write up. Looking forward to the finished product (patches included) of this year's game. I think they're finally getting all the pieces together and improving in key areas.

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