Madden 15 Review
|ESRB rating: T
release date: Aug 26, 14
|» All About Madden 15 on ActionTrip|
If EA didn’t release a new Madden game every year, I think the world would collapse in on itself, left would become right, and dogs and cats would start living together. You know, mass hysteria. We can count on an annual Madden release almost as much as we can rely on a watch to tell time accurately or a new Call of Duty game to release. As such, the big question is, why buy a new Madden game when another will be out just next year or the one from last year still works fine and dandy? Sure, you can always point out that the new Madden has the updated roster, but that’s hardly a reason to buy a new version unless you’re a die-hard football fan. And if you are, chances are you routinely buy each and every Madden no matter what, and you do not care what this review says anyway.
Good news is, if you are such a fan, you’ll be greatly pleased with what this year’s Madden has to offer, so your money will most certainly not be wasted. More good news for those who love Madden, but not enough to buy it every year: you’ll be just as pleased with the changes, particularly with how much EA has improved defense.
I’ve received several press releases in regards to Madden 15’s improvements with their defense system, all claiming that the defensive maneuvers are far more intuitive than they have been in years past. Since nearly every Madden iteration claims to have more intuitive gameplay than in the past, I can safely assure you that this promise is not only fulfilled but it’s also something you have to play to believe.
For the first time, I really feel in control over my defense. I can both call defensive plays and ensure that they come to fruition. In the past, it’s always felt like when it comes to defense with Madden, you call the plays and hope to God your tackle can actually tackle or your line can read the quarterback when he changes up the formation. Now my defense can finally tear through offensive blocks and effectively hunt down the quarterback when he sprints out of the pocket. I can also change the camera angle to optimize my view, either from a certain defender or from ball watching, to complete each play. This way, I can make sure that my prime sacker does his best to reach his target or never misses a fake.
One mode I completely missed over the last couple of Madden iterations was the Franchise Connection mode. Somehow this never once registered on my radar, and I enjoyed this portion the most. Players can opt to play as a player, a coach, or a team owner as they battle through a season. You can create one, play as a current player, coach, or owner, or choose a legendary player, coach, or owner. Setting up my character really felt like I was playing a football RPG, and I have to say, playing as a coach or an owner was far more stressful than playing as a football player. As an owner, I constantly stressed over fan opinion, if my staff was doing anything worth a damn, or if I needed to fire my coach. As a coach, I feared losing my job after a loss, keeping my team under control, and how well I would work with staff. I had more fun playing in this manner than I did the traditional versus mode. Forget dealing with the defense camera and trying to rely on my personal skills to outscore the CPU; dealing with the cutthroat politics of coaching and ownership is far more exciting.
..... .... hut
Hut hut hut hut hut.
I also wasn’t aware of the Madden Ultimate Team mode, which essentially is a Magic of the Gathering for football. Players collect and trade packs of football player cards to build their ultimate football teams. It’s a little like Fantasy Football meets a trading card game, and as such, did not pique my interest at all.
If it’s been awhile since you picked up a Madden game, you might want to give Madden 15 a look. It’s definitely grown beyond what most people think of Madden NFL games. The traditional Madden portion is definitely getting closer and closer to the real thing, (Except for the opening intro featuring the Seahawks and the Panthers in the 2015 NFC Championship...Seahawks and Packers maybe, but Panthers? No way.) but it’s the Franchise Connection that really outshines the typical expectations for a football game. Well, except for Bloodbowl, but it’s hard to outshine a game that mashes up football and Warhammer. Just don’t try.
8.0 Very Good
Vast, noticeable improvements to the defense and the Franchise Connection will definitely appeal to those who don't enjoy traditional sports games;
Not a great game for those who don't know football or have never played football, and sometimes it seems like the game focuses more on the cut scenes with replays that it does seamless gameplay. However, that�s kind of like live football these days anyway.
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