Posted on June 5, 2008,

New Trailer Demonstrates Madden 09′s "Backtrack" Feature

Madden NFL 09 `Backtrack` Trailer

The newest trailer for Madden NFL 09 shows off “EA Sports Backtrack,” where you get to watch Cris Collinsworth analyze the previous play from every angle you can imagine. First you’ll get an overview of how the previous down played out from the offensive and defensive sides. Then you get to see the offensive play call, and then the defensive play call, and a success rate for that play with the personnel on the field. Definitely very cool, and I enjoyed watching it.

Then the second example comes up, and you can see how annoying this feature might get. A significant play happens, the announcer says it’s time for an EA Sports Backtrack, and off you go! I’m sure you can skip it, but just watching two examples of Backtrack show you how terribly repetitive it’s likely to be. It’s the exact same formula each time; stare at the offensive play call, the defensive call, etc., all while Collinsworth is droning on about the same thing.

Luckily, the game itself looks pretty good, and that’s what really counts. I’ve never come across a sports game where the commentary didn’t become repetitive and annoying at some point, but who knows — maybe Backtrack won’t suffer from it as much as I extrapolated from this trailer. You’ve gotta wonder, though, how much this is going to break up the flow of the game. Yes, football has as many as 40 seconds in between plays, but that includes time for calling a play, trying to draw the defense offsides and so on, meaning that this would likely freeze in-game time while it plays. I’m not entirely sure I want even more breaks from the action when I’m trying to play a videogame.

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