Madden 11 Review
For those who have played Madden in the past, know that there are very few games that are as complicated. With this installment into the Madden franchise, it seems as if EA Sports has realized the complicity of their game and tailored Madden 11 to be more accessible to the players. Will the step back in complicity effect the overall feel of Madden? You’ll have to read on to find out.
In previous Madden’s, games could anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour to complete. Today’s gamers are used to everything being done instantaneous and right away. EA Sports looks at all the previous data they had and saw that only a few plays out of the massive playbook were actually being used by games. The solution to this problem is the new Gameflow feature. Gameflow allows the computer to call all the plays for you at the press of a button. Now this feature is customizable, giving you the option to tailor the plays called depending on the situation you’re in. If you like to go long on 3rd and short, you can set the computer to make sure that those plays are made priority in those situations. All this helps contribute to a shorter game time. It doesn’t cut the time is half like the commercials say, but shaving 15 minutes off the clock does make a difference. Some of the plays are called a little too often but you always have the option to go to the full playbook. Madden 11 has an offensive and defensive coordinator that will give you information on each play. They tend to get repetitive and you’ll probably end up turning them off.
Ultimate Team card game makes another appearance in this year’s Madden 11. It’s basically fantasy football with playing cards that you can go up against the computer or another player with. Win or lose you get coins that allow you to buy new cards with uniforms, coaches, and play books. Last year they added co-op gameplay for you and a friend, this year they’re taking it a bit farther allowing you and 2 friends to take on 3 other human opponents online. The only catch is you have to choose a set of players to control. It’s nowhere close to Fifa’s 11 on 11 player action but it’s a step in the right direction. Other features include and on and offline franchise mode, “Madden Moments” where you get to play some interesting situations in football history, NFL superstar where you get to create and control the star and try and take him to the Hall of Fame, and a good online match making system so you don’t get stuck playing anyone too advanced or beneath you.
Last year’s Pro-Tak system was just awful. Using the angle of contact, momentum, and player ratings, you could squeeze out an extra yard or two, or get pushed back. Madden 11 developers took a play out of there college counterparts and used the locomotion feature from NCAA 11. Now the tackling and running have gone on to new levels. All special moves like Jukes and spins have been tacked onto the right analog stick while the turbo button has been turned off by default. Stick movement and reaction timing is perfect. Once you get used to planting and cutting, you won’t need the right analog stick to break tackles. Running backs do seem a little over powered in the game since they seem to overcome impossible odds and break free more often than none. The passing game hasn’t changed. You have to stay in the pocket to complete passes. Stray outside or back peddle too much and your QB will go 3rd string and start missing wide open receivers. The default injury setting is way too sensitive. You should turn it down or you might not have enough players for the Super Bowl, granted you make it. Everything else handles just fine. The game has been molded so that you can enjoy more gameplay rather than having to think about which buttons do what. The most important improvement I would say is how receivers handle the sidelines.
When it comes to presentation, the Madden franchise takes them in small steps. The only way to really see the improvements is to play past installments. Madden 11 has improved by adding player moments before, during, and after plays. The lighting has been fixed and the facial design has stepped up. You can clearly see the graphical improvements in this year’s edition of Madden. Gus Johnson’s play by play isn’t the same and as fluent as it is on Sunday mornings. A lot of his commentary seems patched together at times and the specific team chants sounds like they were recorded with only a few guys.
Just like all sports games, there is one released every year and there are usually little to no improvements when it comes to graphics and gameplay and can be easily tuned out come review time. Madden 11 seems to set itself apart from the rest. It rectified annoying issues like receivers and catching passes out of bounds, and the presentation has received a good fine tuning. Sure the new gameflow feature needs some work but it’s a step in the right direction to turn the non-hardcore Madden players into loyal fans of the series. Add this will the great running and passing and you have an NFL game that nobody should pass up.
AnalogHype Rating: 9.3/10
Buy, Rent, Demo: Buy