August is always an exciting time for NFL fans.
Not only does pre-season football return - but it's also the month that EA Sports drop their annual installment of Madden - and this year is no different.
On August 10, fans will be able to get their hands on 2018's release - and it's one of the best yet.
GiveMeSport were given early access to the game this week and we've broken down some of the biggest changes in Madden 19.
The running game seems to be at the forefront of this year's title - with a number of changes made to how you use the ball on the ground during offensive plays.
New ball-carrier motions will be an integral part of any successful drive, with "real-player motions" giving you a true feel of the NFL.
As a ball carrier, you'll have the option to perform two new moves, the "one-cut" and "The Hesi", which have been added to compliment the ever-present spin moves, hurdles and stiff arms.
One-cut allows you to quickly change direction by using the left sick and R2 or RT buttons in combination to avoid tacklers and burst towards the end zone.
The Hesi is a move that acts as the opposite, allowing players to put the handbrake on, stopping dead in their tracks with a stutter animation.
To do this, simply press L2 or LT - if you time it right, you'll set defenders completely off balance, forging a clear path to the end zone.
And once you get in for the score, you'll have the freedom to celebrate in all new ways this year.
After players put up six points, they're prompted to pick a celebration.
Flick up on the right stick to celebrate with your teammates, down to perform a specific players signature celebration, left to dance or right to spike the ball.
Of course, EA Sports didn't just add new offensive moves to the game. To counter those precision moves, changes have been made on the defensive side of the ball too.
Defenders can now position themselves in far more authentic ways - which allows them to pull off more athletic and reactive movements to the ball-carrier.
To launch a "strafe burst" while in control of the D, hold the L2 or LT button and square up to your opponent - as you move in closer, quickly switch to holding the R2 or RT button to perform a tackle.
That's a rather conservative way of bringing your opponent down - but it's not the only type of tackle you can make.
In Madden 19, the hit-stick returns - and it's better than ever.
In previous versions of the game, the hit-stick was pretty overpowered, often causing a lot of fumbles. That's always fun, but it's not too realistic.
This year, new animations have been added, making hits more spectacular than ever, but the effectiveness of them seems to have been toned down.
In Madden 19, you'll also need to time them well - because if you don't, you'll see the ball-carrier breeze past you.
The updated hit-stick seems to be a good balance of risk and reward. Use it, but don't overuse it.
CHANGES TO THE TWO MOST POPULAR GAME MODES
Along with impressive new gameplay features, Madden 19 boasts upgrades to two of the titles most popular game modes - Franchise and Ultimate Team.
Following in FIFA's footsteps, Madden Ultimate Team (MUT) now offers "solo battles" - where players can attempt to beat five different "featured" teams each week.
Up to now, gamers who enjoy playing Ultimate Team offline could only match up against the 32 NFL teams - there was very little variety.
But in Madden 19, the community creates teams for other players to challenge solo. Like FIFA, winning these solos will push you up the global leaderboard.
The higher you finish each week, the better the rewards. Points are acquired through winning these five solos and vary depending on how well you play and on what difficulty.
At the end of the week, you'll be ranked anywhere between "rookie" and "ultimate" - with top rewards including packs, coins and players for your Ultimate Team.
The second big edition to MUT 19 is a groundbreaking one - and something that's not already been trialed in FIFA.
In this year's game, you'll be able to upgrade certain players and cards on your Ultimate Team.
From day one, you'll be able to acquire special "Power Up" players, which can be trained using special training cards, or by sacrificing other unneeded players from your team.
Once you unlock an upgradable player - you'll be able to train him up and change his chemistry style to fit your team.
Improving these cards is a great way to start in MUT 19, considering they can be upgraded anywhere from around 76 overall to 90 - but only if you have enough training cards.
These new features, which now compliment the returning solo challenges and online head-to-head modes, make Ultimate Team in Madden 19 fun for both casual and die-hard football fans.
Franchise mode has long been one of Madden's best selling points and like Ultimate Team, it's been improved in this year's game.
The first new feature is one that's very similar to MUT's player progression. Individual players on your team now earn points to upgrade their abilities after each game thanks to the new archetypes system.
Once again, you can change their chemistry and choose to upgrade certain skills, adding yet another level of depth to coaching your favourite NFL team.
But it's not just realistic depth that Madden 19 brings to Franchise mode - in fact, you can take things in the opposite direction - with new draft creation tools.
NEW DRAFT SYSTEMS
Players can now create custom draft classes - by creating their own football players. You can choose to make players from the past, present and future - create whoever you want.
In week three of the regular season, you'll be prompted to use an auto-generated class, one you've created and saved, or one a fellow Madden player has made and shared.
As soon as the game drops, you'll find that other players will have already created a pretty accurate 2019 draft class - so download it and start scouting the college stars of the future.
Using "Madden Share" you can import these custom classes anytime that scouting is available throughout the season.
With this new system, EA Sports have finally added the number one requested Franchise feature in 2018's game - and it was well worth the wait.
Once you've created your fantasy class, you'll probably need to make adjustments to your team's tactics in order to get the most out of it - and that's where a new level of scheme customization comes in very handy.
Gamers can now choose specific offensive and defensive schemes to fit their team personnel, adding even more depth to an already immersive Franchise mode.
Of course, EA Sports have made a number of other improvements, both big and small, to the Madden franchise in their latest installment of the game.
Ahead of its release on August 10, we won't be able to name them all - but those we've touched on certainly stand out above the rest.
Football fans will have to work out the others for themselves when the game finally drops.
EA SPORTS Madden NFL 19 is available on PS4 and Xbox One on August 10, and available now with Origin Access.
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