Madden 11 Final thoughts.
Football season is upon us and I like most avid football fans have spent the pre-season getting ready by playing Madden. There is a lot to like in this game and a lot to be improved so lets call a half back dive and get right into the thick of it.
Graphics- This game is quite possibly the best sports game to grace any system. Amazing life like touches like one handed grabs or diving catches. The elements now truly impact the game and are not just eye candy. Players will lose their footing and slip in snow and rain. I was shocked when my wide receiver slipped making a cut, got up, and caught a pass for touchdown. Players even leave their footprints in the snow as they move around. Stadiums look extremely real and I was impressed with the new Dallas Stadium
There is very little to say against the graphics, but I do have one minor complaint. Some times the replay camera and side line shots get a little messed up but it has no bearing on the actual game play.
Running Game- One of the biggest selling points by EA was the new run blocking system. They have beefed up this often over looked part of the football video game. Offense Linemen actually try to create holes for you. In addition they hold their blocks much more effectively. It’s very rewarding when you knock out a 70+ yard run when you follow a play as it was designed.
On the flip side of this, the running backs are almost over powered. It’s rare that you stop a guy on his first hit and often they will break 4-5 tackles while picking up big yards. It’s not unusual to see a running back average 7 + yards per run for a single game. The new system turns average backs into Chris Johnson.
Challenge- I have spent many years playing the Madden franchise and I always play it at the All-Pro level. In years past I’d go undefeated and easily win the Super Bowl. This year however I lost 3 games, and was glad to do it . It’s no fun dominating and a lot of fun when most games end up being close.
What makes the games end up being so close is a complete lack of defense. There are to many times where teams are just unstoppable. You win games 42-38. As someone who appreciates defense, I get disappointed when the only way to stop a drive is with a turn over. With the revamped run game and overly accurate quarter backs this is a scoring lovers dream.
Controls- As always with Madden the control scheme is tight. It’s a familiar set up to those that have played the games and easy to learn if you haven’t. They are right on par with what you expect except from EA.
Some issues that are there include your QB getting stuck after you hike the ball. I’ve found that by releasing the control stick and then trying again, he does move but by then your already sacked. Also for some reason they decided to revamp the pre-play controls. I find it less intuitive and your rarely given enough time on defense to even do anything with it.
Fun Factor- Madden gives you plenty to do. You can take control of your favorite team and guide them through the seasons and off -seasons. If you like playing other players, on-line is a breeze. There is also the ultimate team mode which combines card collecting and online play into a interesting concept but not one that I care to much for. This year there are Madden Moments where you can replay important parts of last season and try to recapture or stop the outcome.
Online franchise may be the biggest downside of this version. Unlike it’s sibling, NCAA football 2011, the online franchise is severely slimmed down. It’s hard to understand why they would make such a vanilla version. There’s no salaries, no trade restrictions, you can sign anyone, and no draft. What’s the point. You might as well just play head to head against your friends if that’s what you want.
All in all it’s a very good game and one I would recommend to any football or Madden fan. A few of my complaints could be easily fixed and hopefully will be with next years incarnation. Happy gaming pigskin fans!