Madden NFL 13 is the latest entry in the Madden NFL series set to release on August 28, 2012 in the United States.
With help from ESPN's SportsNation, fans of the Madden NFL franchise were able to decide who would be featured on the cover of Madden NFL 13. A thirty-two man single-elimination tournament was held via Facebook and Twitter between March 21 and April 25, 2012. The final two players in the tournament were Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers and Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions. On April 25th, Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson was chosen as the game's cover athlete.
This years installment of Madden boast a new physics driven animation system named the Infinity Engine. The name refers to the "limitless possibilities" of the tackle animations, according to gameplay designer Victor Lugo. The new system augments every animation in the game based on momentum and the laws of physics. Players will now stumble and fall over outstretched legs if they run through gaps that are too small, unlike in previous years where they would clip through limbs unless a tackle animation was triggered.
Connected Careers is the new name for Franchise Mode and Superstar Mode; which it replaces from previous games. Connected Career allows you to play as a coach or a player which you can play offline or in a 32 team online league. Connected Careers has RPG elements and is described as the first real "Sports RPG" by Lead Designer Josh Looman.
As a player you can choose to play as a created player, an active NFL player, or a NFL Legend. If you choose to play as a created player you choose what position you play as well as which team you will be on. Then you design your player and decide the backstory of your player. There are three options for backstory; High Draft Pick, Low Draft Pick, or Undrafted. Your backstory determines your starting ratings along with the goals you will be expected to complete in a year. As you complete goals throughout the year you earn XP which you spend to make your player's rating better.
As a coach you can also play as a created coach, active NFL coach, or a NFL Legend. The gameplay as a coach is almost identical to last years online franchise mode. The main difference between playing as a coach or player is that the XP you earn doesn't go directly to a rating. Instead the XP is spent on "Packages" that can do anything from make it easier to sign a player off free agency to extending the time a player keeps playing before retiring.