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Release Date and Latest Info on Longshot Story Mode

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This year, the hype around the newest Madden release from EA Sports isn't all about updated rosters and player ratings.  

Which isn't to say the top-rated stars and debates that go along with it aren't interesting—but new features in Madden 18 such as the highly anticipated Longshot story mode have fans grinding through the march to release date unlike any of the past few years.  

Said release date is August 25, or a few days prior for those who preorder. Those who have endured the wait will get access to better on-field play, graphics and a slick new styles system spanning Arcade, Simulation and Competitive classifications. Ultimate Team also makes a return, boasting a co-op venture called MUT Squads. 

They are all notable improvements, yet even the news of three-player co-op making its way to Madden has managed to fall behind a story mode that looks worthy of a Hollywood script: 

Madden fans have clamored for a story mode like this for a long time after seeing the extensive stories 2K Sports puts into its NBA 2K series each year or the offerings put forth in MLB The Show's Road to the Show. There's something special about creating a player and going behind the scenes, swapping text messages with stars like Carmelo Anthony and talking to general managers. 

EA Sports has taken notice with something everyone can get behind—a comeback story. 

Longshot story mode tells the tale of Devin Wade, played by J.R. Lemon, a former 5-star quarterback making his way back to the gridiron after a three-year hiatus, hoping to hear his name called during the NFL draft. 

As EA Sports detailed, the mode will feature a colorful cast of characters around Wade, ranging from a mentor like Cutter Wade (played by Mahershala Ali) to Dan Marino. 

The forces behind the mode want the story to resemble something players would hit a theatre to see. 

"There's a human story here," creative director Mike Young said, according to Polygon's Samit Sarkar. "It's not just locker rooms and GM offices and sideline volatility—it is a lot about a person's emotional journey away from the field."

Video game fans familiar with renowned stories such as those put out by the Telltale series will be happy to hear Young list those franchises as inspirations during an interview with Games Radar's Ben Wilson, while also noting the game mode could have multiple endings depending on a player's choices.  

Also like Hollywood, the door seems at least slightly ajar when it comes to a sequel, as Young told Wilson: "[For it to continue in future years] we have to have success, and the fans have to say they want it. Imagine this is the pilot. If the fans love it, I would love nothing more than to continue these characters. That being said, it was written in a way that this feels like a complete journey, like how Rocky could have been a one-and-done movie."

Technically, Wade's story doesn't have to end when the credits roll, though, not with executive producer Seann Graddy telling Uproxx's Jason Nawara the following: "Go into Franchise, create a player and then select an undrafted or a late-round quarterback that is a mobile QB, the default player we set up for that scenario is, in fact, Devon Wade. So, you get his name, his background. You get his look. It's him. And then you can actually go into any team you want."

From the sounds of it, the wait for a full-blown story mode in Madden will turn out well worth it. EA Sports, like crafters of other major sports franchises, has the firepower to go out and make something special while reeling in big actors and ideas. 

Wade's story is a new, bold direction for the franchise—and for fans who've waited this long, it might signal the beginning of something special on a yearly basis.

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