Madden NFL 25 publisher Electronic Arts began the game's marketing campaign by focusing on changes to the running game, but developer EA Tiburon is also matching that work with improvements to the defensive side of the ball, the studio said in a developer blog today.
The developers are balancing the addition of about 30 moves for ball carriers by tuning Madden's physics engine and the long-running Hit Stick feature: Fumbles will be more likely if a defender uses a Hit Stick to tackle a ball carrier in the middle of making one of those moves. "Heat-seeker tackling" is a new feature that mirrors the defensive assist that Tiburon previously introduced for defending passes. By holding down the defensive assist or wrap tackle buttons, or the Hit Stick, users will be guided along the proper angle to take toward a ball carrier.
Tiburon is also improving dive tackles to give them a better chance of succeeding, and adding lunge tackles to let defenders go for a ball carrier's legs. And general AI tweaks to defensive awareness and defender pursuit angles should also help maintain the offense/defense balance this year.
Madden NFL 25 is set for release Aug. 27 on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. You can check out a video about the defensive changes above.