Madden NFL 16 Primer: Why 'Draft Champions' Matters

Madden 25 Returns Tutorials With “Skills Trainer”

Holographic John Madden seems unlikely this time around.
Holographic John Madden seems unlikely this time around.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a tutorial system in Madden, but according to a recent interview with Creative Director Rex Dickson, Madden 25 will combine tutorials and mini-games to bring something new, and needed to the franchise.

Rex Dickson: “This year we’re introducing a new mode called Skills Trainer, I don’t know if we’ve talked a whole lot about it yet. It’s basically a mini-game/tutorial mode, that is built around teaching people some of the more advanced mechanics in the game, like user-catching and Ball Hawk and calling hot routes, and throwing touch passes.”

The addition of a tutorial-type mode is something that was debated internally, largely because of poor response to similar modes in the past. “…a lot of people were like ‘oh god tutorials, we’ve done this before, it doesn’t work, nobody likes it,” said Dickson, who noted that detractors didn’t stop there. “And other people said ‘it just sounds like mini-games to me, and we’ve already done that, and we just took that out, and why are we putting it back in again?'”

Ultimately, it was the lack of a true way for new or more casual players to pick up the mechanics in the game that seemingly lead to its reinvention. Dickson himself was also tired of reading reviews suggesting new players should stay away from a game that has become increasingly complex over the years, and difficult to pick up on your own. He assures us, however, that there’s something for everyone in the new mode, from the casual to the advanced.

“For casual users that want to learn the controls it’s very useful, for people that like playing the mini-games we have some of that stuff in there too, but for me it was actually very useful… for example the read option this year has had a lot of work, and there is a specific defensive behavior that you’re looking for, in other words the unblocked defensive end who is your read man, will do one of two things, he’ll either crash your dive man or he’ll go after your quarterback, and as a quarterback you are watching his animation to know how to make that read, and I struggled with it quite a bit until I went into skills trainer and spent like a good hour, just repeating the reps over and over and over again until I had memorized what to look for in that behavior and the timing of the mechanic, and now I’m just deadly with the read option.”

The Madden NFL franchise has been under new direction in recent years, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to see the reinvention of past features, the removal of relatively new ones, and an overall different feeling in Madden than in the years prior. Most recently, it was revealed that Owner Mode would be returning in Madden NFL 25, but with the hope of giving it the kind of depth reminiscent of a “Tycoon” game.

It’s unlikely that the new “Skills Trainer” mode will receive as much fanfare this August as the return of Owner control, but a truly useful tutorial system may play just as important a role in deciding (and educating) the future for a franchise.

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