One of the final reveals during EA Play involved Electronic Arts’ sports offerings. Specifically, EA Sports provided a brief glimpse of both Madden NFL 21 and FIFA 21’s next-gen versions, which are due out for both PS5 and Xbox Series X in addition to current-gen platforms.
The video that premiered during EA Play was not an in-depth gameplay demonstration by any means. Instead, it consisted of brief snippets of gameplay from camera angles you would see during replays, rather than normal play. Still, it did highlight the impressive visuals these games will include, with an incredible level of detail on players’ faces and some stunning sweat effects (always a highlight with sports games). We even got a brief shot of Tom Brady in his new Tampa Bay Buccaneers jersey, albeit only from behind.
“Feel Next Level”
EA is promising a range of improvements for Madden NFL 21 and FIFA 21 thanks to the power of the PS5 and Xbox Series X. EA created a new website–“Feel Next Level”–to talk about and show off the updates.
The PS5 editions of FIFA 21 and Madden NFL 21 will make use of the console’s new DualSense controller to give players the ability to literally feel the “impact of shots, passes, catches, kicks, tackles, and hits with immersive controller haptics.”
The games will also have faster loading times on PS5 and Xbox Series X. “Never lose focus as stadium environments will load with unprecedented speed, letting you get to the kick-off in seconds,” EA said.
FIFA 21 and Madden NFL 21 will also have a “deferred lighting system” that allows the games to offer “ultra-realistic” graphics for player models and other parts of the stadiums.
There will also be improvements to player physiques, along with “dynamic lighting” to help make faces, hair, and uniforms look better. Spacialized audio, meanwhile, will provide sound that “wraps around you for a completely immersive experience.”
For FIFA and Madden, the games will use “real life athlete data” to make player models look more realistic based on their real-world attributes. Additionally, weather elements are expected to be better this year, with elements like rain and snow called out as being specifically improved. Additionally, the weather conditions will affect “cloth definition.”
This image of Tom Brady in the rain looks particularly impressive.
Finally, EA has added new contextual player, bench, and fan reactions that the company says will combine to create a more authentic representation of each sport. FIFA 21 and Madden NFL 21 will also have new pre-game cinematics to heighten your immersion, EA said.
EA also again reiterated the free upgrade path for Madden 21, allowing those who buy the game on PS4 or Xbox One to access the PS5 or Xbox Series X version without paying a dime. The same will also be true for FIFA 21–you’ll just need to buy the game before next year’s edition in the series to qualify. (However, take note that you could run into issues if you buy a physical copy and then upgrade to the PS5 digital edition.)
But the company also again called attention to the fact that the next-gen versions of Madden 21 and FIFA 21 are different games, not simple ports running at higher resolutions. There are no specifics regarding what to expect specifically from those versions, but you can expect them to include new features of some sort that are not available in current-gen versions.
The full details of the Dual Entitlement program can be seen here on EA’s website.
Carry Over Your Progress
Progress from FIFA Ultimate Team and the Volta mode will carry forward if you upgrade from PS4 to PS5 or Xbox One to Xbox Series. However, you can’t move between platforms and keep your progress.
EA’s NHL 21 did not show up in today’s EA Play Live, but hockey fans don’t have to worry. Historically, EA focuses on its breadwinning sports games, FIFA and Madden, during its E3-style briefings, leaving NHL for a later date. That’s expected to again be the case this year, so keep checking back for more.
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