This is a welcome feature to Madden NFL

This is a welcome feature to Madden NFL

Now, fast forward to 2021 and EA is now more fully at ease with the PS5 as well as Xbox Series X, allowing the team to begin weaving more exciting changes into Madden 22. Key among them is the homefield advantage feature that was largely ignored in the past. Madden has been able to recreate the look and feel of stadiums such as Seattle's Lumen Field. However, it's not translating into game play.

Madden 22 is going to change that. The teams that travel to away games who are forced to play in notoriously hard stadiums such as Lumen Field will see their playart wave become dangerously distorted, with some of their receiver buttons being hidden. EA calls these features "M-Factors" which refer to the unique benefits enjoyed by all 32 teams . They will change depending on the speed of the game. Even the Chargers that are known for having a higher number of home fans than their home fans will benefit from an offensive boost If they are particularly successful at home.

If this seems familiar you could be experiencing the same thing because NCAA Football 14 had a similar function in 2013. A stadium similar to Alabama would even produce the same type of wriggling. Gameplay creator Clint Oldenburg acknowledged the similarities in the EA's presentation earlier this week "It has its origins in what we did in NCAA Football, for sure but it's also modernized. One of the key elements of feedback we received in NCAA Football was that it was unclear and didn't make it clear when you unlocked certain things and that's why we focused on with Gameday Momentum."

Gameday Momentum refers to a measuring device that swings towards one or the other depending on the momentum of the game, with bonuses being granted to the home team when they are performing effectively. The Seahawks for instance, have three levels of homefield advantage: The 12's, that distort play art; Unstoppable that prevents home team players from being eliminated from their X-Factor or Superstar abilities and Nerves. This causes the receiver icons not being visible. The homefield advantage can vary between teams from one to the next. In Denver, stamina is an issue as is Chicago, kicking meters are skewed (cue visions of Double Doink).

This is a welcome feature to Madden NFL and will make the home games feel more important. The biggest issue is that it can feel too flashy. Also it could result in more games being lost in a hurry (just like in real life but I digress). However the M-Factors game is based on the tested XFactor system. Similar balance concerns arose in Madden 20 when X-Factors were made available, but Madden has largely kept these under control.

Madden actually has some pretty entertaining features. Its primary issue has always been the polish, an issue that has been exacerbated by the pandemic. By and large I'm happy with the new direction taken by the game, and I believe the homefield advantage is a good option that's has been a long-time coming.

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