Madden NFL 13 will sound a lot different this year. Some quarterbacks will call audibles in their own voice. Bone-crunching hits have been mixed in from NFL Films audio. The crowd is going to explode on big plays and go stoic on drive-killing turnovers.
But where the game will sound most different is in the music, both in what you don't hear and what you hear. The "EA Trax" menu music, rather than fight against something diehard players end up muting after a week anyway, will simply be retired. More importantly, this game is getting a new theme.
Scored by Colin O'Malley, who was also the composer on Tom Raider: Underworld and the PBS documentary The Last Reunion: A Gathering of Heroes, the new Madden theme is much more martial and aggressive, keeping with the trend of themes composed for the NFL productions of Fox, CBS and, most recently, NBC. Madden's past version was short and to the point, but almost obligatory in its themes.
Where other games in the EA Sports lineup have been able to draw on the real-life broadcast packages of ESPN, Madden has had a more difficult job in creating an immersive broadcast. The NFL is carried by all the major networks, in some form, in the United States. Picking one shatters the overall reality. So EA Sports has to build its own presentation that is reasonably unique while still being evocative of something you expect to see on Sunday.
Music is a big part of that. The main theme was impressive, if a little confused in the middle for my tastes. The real blood-pumper is in that video above, the alternate rock-guitar cut that will play when the game cuts away between quarters.
For much more on the audio upgrades in Madden NFL 13 this year, audio director Matt Bialoskunia gives you a guided tour at the link below.
Madden NFL 13 Audio Blog [EA Sports]