The Madden videogame franchise is one of the biggest in sports. Only FIFA is bigger in terms of sales and popularity worldwide. Here in America Football is king and so is Madden. No wonder EA hypes it so much, even though it has exclusivity with the NFL and no other game company can make one. As the date for a new Madden arrives hype is at an all time high and with football preseason already on its way, fans needed something to lick their fingers. In comes Madden 13 demo featuring 4 teams and a complete game playing time to fully grasp the deepness in the new game engine.
Ever since Madden became the only competitor in town 8 years ago, it seems as though its quality has lowered. Many still remember NFL 2K5 as the greatest football videogame of all time. A game that was released for last generation’s systems! No Madden has been able to shake away all the bad rep its had throughout the years. Flawed gameplay, inconsistent graphics, ho-hum franchise mode, you name it. Thankfully the folks at EA haven’t been resting on their laurels and have been hard at work with this new version of the game.
The first thing you notice when you turn on the game is the sharp presentation. It has to be the best presentation in a sports videogame ever. Not even FIFA can compete with this one as it truly puts itself in a class by its own. The pre game presentation by NBC comentators Jim Nantz and Phil Simms is as TV like as it can, even though graphics still make them look like playdoo figures. As we get in to the game it feels more like a TV broadcast than anything else and that makes the atmosphere as good as it gets.
Gameplay is good. I haven’t played a full Madden game in years because of its lame gameplay and this year’s version isn’t that much different. It’s a little bit faster and smoother animation wise, but that doesn’t always translate to realistic. Playing as the offense is way more enjoyable thatn defense as running and passing the ball make hou fell as though if you are in real control. Defense was a little bit more confusing and as always, i didnt feel as though I really contribute in anything When the play starts. Things happen too fast for me too feel as though im doing something. If someone intercepts or fumbles the ball in almost never feels as if you participated in some sort of way. It all seems to random.
As for graphics, they are really great in some aspects and somewhat cheesy in others. Much like every Madden before it they never seem to get it right. Players some times look as if they belong in NFL Blitz, very cartooney. Eli Manning looks like a monster in the demo while he is very wimpy looking on tv. There is also this new physics system similar to what Fight Night has been doing for some years now and FIFA introduced last year that doesn’t seem to work that well. Tackles dont seem to happen as realistically as advertised and big hits are rare. Most animation’s flaws can be seen in the creative replays after the play. The smoothness of the ball spiraling one direction towards the receiver only to magically change its direction turns realism of in a second. If you are going to feature this close ups, you better do it right.
Overall the game is fun. If you take these obvious flaws and arent as critical as most fans of the game are (and why wouldnt them? EA eliminated Competition they deserve critisism) you may have a good time with it. I know most fans will force themselves to like it, they need their football game fix and there’s nothing more on the market to pick from. To be fair, Madden is a good football game with high production values. Presentation makes it look like a real broadcast but once gameplay starts you can always tell its a videogame as its graphics and animation don’t look real enough. Full review next week.