E3 06: Madden NFL 07

EA is calling their new control scheme for Madden NFL 07 FreeMotion control... but we call it awesome. The Wii's nunchaku controller gets put to heavy use in the newest iteration for the Madden series and it has to be grabbed to be believed.

A number of the movements of real football are aped by the FreeMotion system. When it's time to pass the ball, you have to use your right hand to first hike the ball by snapping your arms back and then throw by arcing your arm forward, mimicking a genuine football superstar. Do you look like a fool? Of course you do, but that's not the point, because the physicality brings the gaming experience into a completely new dimension of realism... it's also very fun.

Passing isn't the only activity to receive the FreeMotion treatment, though, and kicking is accomplished by a quick snap of the right controller forward. Running a kick in requires the use of the right analog stick, but you can juke by jerking your left hand to the left or right and stiff-arm incoming defenders by jerking the right controller in the direction they approach.

For your menu choices (including selecting specific plays) you simply point the right controller at the screen as you would a laser pointer. A handy blue circle appears wherever you point the controller to assist you in determining what you're about to choose.

At first, we were hesitant to step up and risk complete social rejection by looking like spastic idiots, but there was no resisting the pull of Madden NFL 07. It didn't take long to lose our egos all together and surrender to the pure joy of the game.

May 11, 2006