For those that haven’t seen the Run Free Feature of Madden 25, here is the short video provided by EA.
For anyone that has watched the videos of the Run Free features (see above if you haven’t), I know everyone has concerns. It looks like the running backs are juking everyone out of their shoes, running thru tackles galore, trucking everyone, spinning and juking at the same time….and they just look unstoppable & Greenerrr will be happy (old inside joke).
But, I thought I’d weigh in a few things. First off, my impression of the video is always tempered, in that I expect all demostration videos of new features to be done on the “Rookie” play setting. That way it shows incredible “Highlight” moves that make for great promotion. It also is way to early to be thinking about how this will actually be experienced in a “Release date” format.
What impresses me the most, is the graphical quality of the moves. Its not the same lame spin moves, jukes etc. It looks to me like there are several different styles of each move, and maybe those are tied to what your players attributes are for.
The Scary Part
While the highlights show this for Running backs, this feature will apply to any ball carrier. So Half Backs, Full Backs, Wide Receivers, Tight Ends, even Quarterbacks (yes RGIII or Vick just got scarier).
The Non Scary Part
When using this feature, the player fatigues a lot faster, which means a lot higher risk of injury. If they balance it right, its a good risk-reward. However, knowing EA, it could be too much of a reward, or too much of a risk. They rarely get it right in the middle.
What excites me the Most
The acceleration burst. Lets say you are running to the outside (cuz thats where everyone runs these days lol), and you see the LBs running across the field at you. You can pull back on the stick to slow down and stutter step, and then accelerate forward without the delay that we currently have, which will be nice and a little more realistic.
What excites me the least, but shouldn’t
Different types of stiff arms. You can push people off you with the stiff arm, you can hold it out there while you are running up on a group of people to guide them away from you, there is a punch stiff arm animation. So several different ways to use the stiff arm. Something that I’ve never found to be hugely effective, even though I try to use it all the time.
The one feature I hope it fixes
This is an easy one. Anyone who has played M13 and been hit behind the line but broken the tackle knows that you get pushed back, stagger forever, and never are able to actually move up the field. You never, ever, recover from it. Its a defacto tackle, you just waste a couple seconds of clock and a couple yard stumbling…. I’m hoping the new features allow you to break that tackle, and more quickly regain your footing to move up field. (Edit: I read somewhere that this is fixed, in a sense that you can hit right stick in the opposite direction of a stumble to regain your balance, but only in a short window)