Madden ’13 is whole new ballgame
Published: Thursday, September 6, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 6, 2012 00:09
The historic Madden franchise has opened the football season with a bang. The latest edition Madden ’13 was released on Aug. 28 and fans quickly realize that major improvements have been made.
The simplest game is an exhibition where the player is immediately greeted with an upgraded play-by-play tandem. Gone are the confused ramblings of commentator Chris Collinsworth. In his place are the comforting voices of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms. The duo do a great job of making you feel like the game is being broadcast nationally, including pointing out when the defense shows blitz and speaking according to the action on the field.
The gameplay itself has vastly improved. The new passing defense is much more realistic, it’s no longer as simple as having the receiver make one cut in order to shake the cornerback. The passing offense hinges on precision and timing, it also requires much more stability from the quarterback, if the feet are not planted properly the throw will be off target and consequently intercepted. The physics of the game have improved as well. In older versions of the game you could often see a player seemingly walk through another player. In ‘13 the players bounce off of each other even after the whistle has been blown. Now you cannot simply run past a lineman while he is engaged because he will tackle you.
After you beat your roommate, you have the option, in the post-game menu, to post the results on Facebook or Twitter, so all your friends know of the dominating performance you just had. That is not the only step into social media that Madden has taken. They have also added a free version of Madden on Facebook, iPhones and iPads.
A quick glance at game modes may confuse die-hard Madden fans. The Franchise and Superstar modes have been removed. In their place is a new all-inclusive mode called Connected Careers. This mode allows you to choose a player or coach and you have the choice to create a new person, use a legend or a current NFL personality. This game mode is similar to the ones it replaced; only it is much more in-depth and realistic. The game allows you to truly take control of a player’s career or a franchise. You can play offline and make crazy trades to load up your team, or you can play online and play the games against other user controlled teams.
The most popular game mode is the online gaming. Rather than being hidden in last year’s menu, the online icon is in the very center of your screen making it easy to jump right into the action. As long as your rosters are up to date you can immediately set up an online game with a friend or a random opponent. The game play is a lot smoother this year and there are far less interruptions in the game.
The only downfall, perhaps, to the new game mode is that the fantasy draft, which was a cult-hero among Madden players, has been removed. Many players enjoyed the fantasy football element while receiving a random team that would force them to overcome challenges and play with superstars.
Another game mode that has been revamped is the Madden Ultimate Team. This is a flashback to the days of collecting player cards, combined with the growing game of fantasy football. It allows you to purchase player cards and put together your dream team.
This year’s Madden scores on almost every level. These improvements were a great sign for fans who were disappointed when last year’s release had almost no changes. With the improved game play and user friendly interface, ‘13 blows away last year’s game and proves once again why Madden is the brand that dominates the industry.