Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Madden 25 - Final Round Review

Gridiron is the biggest sport in the world… of America.  Since 1997, with the first Gridiron game in the Madden franchise (Madden ’98), there have been some incredible innovations and technological leaps turning the Madden franchise into what it is today.  Sadly, though, in the last few years it seems they have failed bring any new innovations to the table.

Madden 25, celebrating 25 years of the Madden franchise, just doesn’t cut it.  EA Sports always promise new and improved graphics and features, and they never seem to flesh out properly.  Whether it’s the shadows that look fuzzy because of the new designed grass textures, or when players simply walking through their teammates on the sideline, it’s amazing that these are still issues.   After more than a decade of “new and improved” gameplay you’d think they’d have this down.

Now I’m not saying it’s a bad game, there is just nothing new on offer.  Madden 25 another solid NFL game; with a few old features rehashed, the Mini-Games removed, and adding in a horde of unneeded and unwanted features.  Some of the newer features are nothing more than new animations and a few re-mapped controls to “streamline” the Audible system.

Madden 25 has incorporated a rather solid Manager mode, allowing you step into the shoes of a Team Manager.  The system does work, but is unnecessary as a full Game Mode when it could have easily been an option in Career mode, and Career mode offers nothing the earlier Madden games didn’t.
There is no need for Madden 25 to be the best in Character Creation, Franchise Management, or Online Fantasy Teams, as there is already a tonne of games and services that do these things better than Madden ever will.

What I would to see in Madden 15 is a properly polished game, complete with solid graphics and physics both on and off the field. The 2D crowds have gotten to the point where it is impossible to not notice; not to mention the helicopter view of the stadium and its badly rendered car-park features, such as 2D trees and cars complete with terrible shadow effects.

Taking all things into account, Madden 25 really drops the ball in it’s the Presentation.  The Main Menu is cluttered and looks like a 1940’s NFL coach’s play book.  The design is badly mapped and even the controls don’t respond as they should.  Since when does pressing Left mean I want to go Up?  Not to mention that the Main Menu re-maps itself, meaning things are not always in the same place; navigating this labyrinth of different sized blocks can become maddening.

With all this said, Madden 25 is still a fun and playable game.  Unfortunately though, this is the case most Madden titles, and there is little point in upgrading if you own a previous version.

Final Round Rating  –  6 / 10

- Frank van der Merwe 

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