Hands-on: Madden NFL 12's Biggest Improvements Are in the Gameplay

Franchise delivers what can be considered its best effort yet
Summer is coming to an in just a few weeks, taking the beach days and the hot weather along with it. You can look at it as a bad thing as that means everyone goes back to school. However, a lot of people look forward to the change in season because that means it's football season, and there's no better way to kick the season off with Madden NFL 12. This year, there aren't many new features to speak of because EA Sports decided to put more emphasis on improving the gameplay overall. After getting the chance to play it at several events, the improvement can certainly be noticed.
 
 
One of the major improvements in the game actually takes place mainly at the line of scrimmage. In previous games, one thing that turned me off was what many refer to "suction blocking" and "suction tackling." Whenever an offensive lineman would come within a few feet of a defender, you could see them get sucked into blocking someone, even if they didn't intend to. The same thing happens with tackling, which didn't really give you the best chance to avoid tackles and keep the play going. In Madden NFL 12, no tackling or blocking animations are activated until the players actually make contact with each other.
 
This is a huge improvement in my opinion since suction blocking and tackling happened a lot more than it should have in previous games. One aspect of the game that really benefits from this is the running game. The suction blocking hurt your running lanes as a lineman would block the closest defender, even if you already have ran past them. Now that they have more room to work with before blocking, running sweeps and counters are more effective. 
 
Suction tackling would also hurt the running game, as in many cases the hole to run through would be rather small and you would unfairly be sucked into a linebacker as opposed to attempting to break the tackle. Sometimes, you would even get sucked into a defensive tackle who is already battling it out with one of your lineman! But now, you have a much better chance of dogging it out and fighting for those hard-earned runs much like you see in an actual game.
 
This also leads into another improvement, which is the new tackling animations in the game. Because of this, some of the stronger or more elusive players have a much better chance of breaking tackles than in previous installments of the franchise. At the same time, players can bounce around a little more while being tackled so that they can take more abuse. You will certainly feel the hits much more this time around.