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So already newcomers are learning and getting comfortable with the basics, before being thrown into a real match situation. Once the game has tested you and worked out your Madden IQ, though, things get very clever indeed.
If your IQ is low, the game will adapt around you. During a match, for instance, you won't be offered a baffling series of nondescript 'plays' to choose from. Instead you might be offered two choices - Pass or Run? Depending on the situation you're in at that time, the game will choose the best specific play within the choice you make.
Then say you improve your Madden IQ (how this happens dynamically is yet to be confirmed in detail). This time around the game might offer you three choices - Long Pass, Short Pass or Run? And, again, you'd pick the action you wanted, leaving the game to worry about the correct 'play' for the situation.
As you push on through and improve your skill the game will further open up. You might be offered two long pass plays that work in the scenario you're in, alongside two short pass plays and a pair of running plays. This way you'll steadily build up an understanding of what choice is right in each moment - and of what the hell the plays actually mean. And if you're really stuck you can always ask Madden to choose.
What really blew us away during the demo, though, was the replay system. For a low IQ player, the replay will be short and simple. But, for example, it'll pick up (in rather surprising detail) what went wrong in failed passes, explaining the setup of the field, the runs that you missed, and will even trace the path of the pass you should have played, all educating you in the sport.