"Madden is stale" is a hackneyed phrase used so often over the years that EA probably strikes it off the list whenever it's time to field criticisms and feedback on the annual football outings. Well, this year it seems as if the studio took that particular criticism to heart because Madden NFL 18 is anything but a stale retread of past outings. The new game will have a narrative story element, and we have the first trailer.

The new Longshot story mode for Madden NFL 18 features two young guys from the south with a dream of getting drafted into the National Football League.

Much like the story mode in last year's FIFA 17 known as "The Journey", this year's "Longshot" will see if the characters Devin Wade and Colt Cruise can make the cut and become players on one of the premiere teams in the NFL.

The reason it's called "Longshot" is because it features a small town country player who was once a huge prospect for the NFL but he ended up dropping off the map after he joined the army for a few years and then came back to pursue a career in football with his friend Colt.

Much like the FIFA 17 mode (and the upcoming FIFA 18 mode) players will have to make dialogue choices, gameplay choices and story choices that will affect the lives of both Devin and Colt, played by J.R. Lemon and Scott Porter, two actual football players who later went into acting. Porter was also one of the stars of Friday Night Lights, the popular TV show about high school football.

Funnily enough, this isn't even the first time that J.R. Lemon has had experience with the Madden NFL series. He previously worked as a mo-cap actor with EA Sports on Madden NFL 10 all the way up to Madden NFL 13. Only this time around he wasn't just doing movements and animation capture for the players on the field, he was part of a four-year-long development process where he and Porter worked on their characters and developed a bond over the time they spent capturing the acting experience for the game.

Much like "The Journey" from FIFA 17, there is a cast of characters who help fill out the story mode in Madden NFL 18, including Oscar winner Mahershala Ali, who came off some powerful work stuff like Netflix's Luke Cage and the films Moonlight and Free State of Jones.

Ali takes on the father figure role of J.R. Lemon's character, briefly getting snippets of his scenes sprinkled throughout the trailer.

One thing the trailer didn't show that makes up a large part of the story mode is that football legends like Dan Marino will also appear, and play some pivotal roles in the game's story mode. Some of these details may have escaped the trailer but they make the cut over on the official website.

Additionally, the choices you make throughout the game will determine the outcome of Devin and Colt's futures, so you'll have to choose wisely. The developers mentioned that not everyone's story mode will be the same nor will the outcomes.

You can look for Madden NFL 18 to arrive on August 25th for Xbox One and PS4.

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