There’s one thing that the main line of EA Sports titles have in common: Ultimate Team brings in players, and they keep coming back. That’s no different in Madden NFL 19, where the gridiron rendition of the card-based squad building game mode is lovingly called MUT. EA Tiburon has made some big changes this time around, and we spoke with NFL 19 producer Ben Haumiller to get the scoop on what his studio is bringing to the table.
The most significant change this year is the overhaul to the player upgrade system. Gone are the days of gathering Team Tokens in bulk for upgrades, with the new system allowing gamers to collect ‘Training’ through quick-selling items (and potentially other methods currently kept in the shadows).
It’s worth noting that once players upgrade a player card, that card becomes ineligible for auction or trade. However, those who want to downgrade a player from all their upgrades and then sell them can still do so – but they’ll only get a portion of their invested Training back.
You can catch gameplay of Madden NFL 19’s revamped MUT mode below.
To save gamers a click, they’ll also be able to upgrade MUT player cards right from the card menu, as opposed to going one more menu deeper. It’s a nice time saving input, and one that reflects with EA Tiburon’s overall goal of reducing UI clutter throughout Madden NFL 19.
EA Tiburon is also introducing Solo Battles into MUT this year, a move made specifically for players who didn’t always want to take the action online. In this challenge-based mode, players will be able to take the fight against CPU opponents on a weekly basis. While players may be duking it out against their opponent offline, the computer will actually be using a squad from someone’s real-life MUT roster (and each player’s MUT roster may be picked up by someone else’s computer-based opponent, too). Beyond that, Haumiller also stated that the studio is working on celebrity involvement for this game mode, so some weekly Solo Battle challenges may pit players against a celebrity’s MUT roster.
MUT Squads, the popular 3v3 mode added last year, will also be adding an option for players to go up against computer opposition. Players can squad up in groups of three against the CPU opposition in scenarios of varying difficulty, playstyles, and weather.
The refined player upgrading formula will allow gamers to keep some of their favorite players in their MUT roster who may not have had the statistics to justify their inclusion before. With plenty of CPU-based options, this year’s MUT is a lot more accessible to those who don’t always want to take the fight online – and given how tough it is on the gridiron out there, we suspect that may be a hefty portion of gamers.
Madden NFL 19 will release for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on August 10, 2018.
You can find John on Twitter at @Makelevi, where he talks about football. Which football? There’s only one way to find out.