Thursday, September 8, 2011

Madden NFL 12 Review

A new football game from EA comes out each and every year, and as always, people criticize this occurrence. Quite honestly, some years it actually seems like an entirely new experience, and other years it seems like a glorified roster update. This year, though, rest assured that the game really does prove to be something new. Usually, each year, Madden adds some big new feature, but this year, they really focused on improving the gameplay mechanics overall. This year's edition of Madden really proves to be a decent purchase for any football fans, read on for a detailed description.

So, its obvious to everyone what happens in a football game, so there's no point in describing what Madden is. The major point of this review is to assess the new features and gameplay and give a good description of what's new. With each year, gameplay mechanics are always tweaked, and usually a new feature is added. This year, they really focused on the gameplay part, and decided to nix creating an entirely new feature. The new feature from last year, gameFLOW is still in the game, and this time its been adjusted to be much smarter. 

The biggest changes to this years Madden include a revamp of presentation. Each team's entrances and stadiums have been recreated to the letter, and really represent what they're supposed to. Each year, Madden is feeling more and more like actually watching a game on TV rather than playing a game. To some, this is welcomed, but to others, they truly just want to play a game. Many of the Madden fans generally skip all of this presentation anyway, so its merely cosmetic, but it does look good. The grass is also now "3D" having blades fly up from time to time, and appearing to have much more depth.

The game is much harder, actually, but not in a way that is too frustrating. On previous Madden iterations All-Pro was easily won in basically any situation, with All-Madden being absolutely impossible at times. This year, All-Pro is much more difficult, but it doesn't seem the same in terms of cheating that All-Madden performs. You just need to make smarter decisions and play the game much more reasonably than previous Madden games, making it a bit more realistic. Other gameplay mechanics have been worked, such as suck blocking being eliminated. In general, the overall gameplay just feels much more refined and more like an actual game rather than a video game. 

Franchise mode has received over 100 updates, and really feels much more like playing an actual season than ever before. The preseason games actually warrant being played finally, as you're allowed to have an extended roster and are forced to make cuts during the preseason to get down to the 53-man roster. Free Agent bidding is also new to franchise mode, and offers a fun experience in trying to get the best possible players. Franchise mode last year didn't receive any updates really, so its good to see that they fixed that issue this year. Madden Ultimate Team has also been redone, this time values being adjusted so that its harder to get specific cards, but easier to buy packs of cards. Trades have also been introduced, which makes ultimate sense.

Overall, this year's edition of Madden actually did a decent job in creating a good football experience. Aside from stupid things that are always wrong with Madden, this year seems to be a great gameplay experience. The collector's edition comes with a hand-signed Marshall Faulk card, and about 13 cards for Madden Ultimate Team. If you're interested in that mode, or a fan of Marshall Faulk, get it.

Story – 8.5  
I'm taking this to mean Franchise Mode, not story.
Gameplay – 9
Refined gameplay mechanics leads to a more challenging game.
Graphics – 9
3D grass and improved stadiums and lighting really improved the looks.
Sound – 7.5
A decent soundtrack for the game gets trumped by terrible commentary that falls behind.
Replayability - 10
It's Madden, you can play it forever (until next year).

Overall Rating – 8

1 comment:

  1. I'll wait for next year and hopefully they can build on the improvements they made


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