Assuming that Madden NFL 22 is on the way, the game will almost surely be bringing one of the franchise’s newest modes with it. Face of the Franchise first popped up in Madden NFL 20, and its follow-up was included in Madden NFL 21. Depending on the kind of tweaks Electronic Arts makes to the mode this year, it’s continued existence can either be a good thing or a bad thing. There are certainly aspects that can be improved to help Face of the Franchise follow up on the promise it offered when it first appeared.
Madden NFL 22 has several areas that could use some improvement, but Face of the Franchise stands alone. If Electronic Arts doesn’t nail it this time, there’s a risk it could quickly become an afterthought to players. Face of the Franchise’s debut in Madden NFL 20 was good, but not great. The follow-up didn’t meaningfully expand upon the first iteration of the mode. However, if the developers make a few improvements, the mode could see new life.
One of the neatest additions for Madden NFL 21 in Face of the Franchise was the ability to pick a real college team and then play in the college playoffs. While EA Sports College Football may not release anytime soon, that doesn’t mean Electronic Arts can’t take advantage of the licensing deal it’s already worked out. Not only should players be able to have more colleges to choose from, but they should get to play more games. That doesn’t mean the mode should or could have an entire season, but it would be a nice improvement to really feel as if the protagonist is living the college life.
Madden NFL 22 might be nothing more than rumors at the moment, but if and when it does land, and brings another Face of the Franchise installment with it, the story simply has to be better. Some of that can be rectified by not flashing through the playing days quite as quickly as it did in the prior mode. More college life, more games, and more interaction off the field with characters that don’t feel like they’re there just to move things along.
Adding in aspects of EA Sports College Football to feel as though a player is really going through a young career will help. However, there needs to be something to do when the protagonist isn’t playing a game. That story also needs to start out from the very beginning. There’s a reason the focus has been on the college and high school days. That’s where the stage is set, the focus can’t simply rely on when the hero makes it to the pros.
Another way to get a better story, one that feels more immersive in Madden NFL 22, is to have the dialogue trees really lead somewhere. While players are able to choose what the protagonist says to someone when conversations are going on, it doesn’t really feel like the choices matter. There are all kinds of games out there that Electronic Arts can take pointers from. The feeling that choosing a direction or particular dialogue choice really changes the career trajectory in Face of the Franchise could be a big step in making the mode quite a bit better.