It’s that time of the year again, when the yearly releases come out, we have Call of Duty Ghosts just released, FIFA 14 soon for all those football fans, and finally Madden 25 for all those…other football fans. There are a lot more people interested in FIFA in the UK than there are American football fans, so it’s unsurprising that Madden in the UK doesn’t sell nearly as well as it does across the sea, but still there are many fans of the NFL and the UK’s BAFA (The home of the British American Football National Leagues). For the sake of this review though I will not be calling football soccer, and I will be calling American football exactly that as well, and that’s the end of that.
The Madden series is also celebrating its 25th game if the name didn’t show this, which means that there is a bit of celebration from its first game back on the SEGA Megadrive in the late 80’s, it’s gone from early 2D to one of the most sophisticated simulators for American football. Of course if you followed the series year by year you’re really not going to find that much new in this version of the Game. Sure there are new listing, all the players have been updated we have rookies and veterans on their new teams, but the game is almost the same as it was a few years ago, but if there wasn’t some good changes, there would be no reason to buy the new version!
The most obvious chance between this and the previous versions is that all the players have been updated, players who switched teams or left the NFL are now represented correctly, also any new rookies to join are now also here. Though there is no doubt that a week after this game came out the roster will no longer be correct, It would be nice to have a NFL game that has small roster changes like these updated via patches, but I guess then no one would buy the new version.
One of the biggest features that is being advertised, is the new infinity engine 2, which is the new upgraded version from what was added in 2013, which plans to make all the players act more “real” and get rid of some of the more annoying and strange hits that would happen. From just playing the game you can see the improvements, from the way the players celebrate a touchdown, the way the D and O line hit each other, to the way the receivers catch the ball and run down field. Sure there are still some oddities, when running with the ball receivers can stop on a dime and change direction almost instantaneously, which if used right can make you pretty much untouchable by the AI, and some ball fumbles that should of just been caught. But apart from these, the players look as if, well they are really human players and react as such, it is quite impressive seeing this done on current gen, and considering Madden 25 is also getting a release on next gen, it’s exciting.
Graphically, the game is hit and miss, if you have never played a madden game for a while, but have played other sports games such as NBA, or any game this gen, you may be quite disappointed with the quality on show here. Of course it is an upgrade for what was on offer last year but I can’t help but feel underwhelmed with the graphics, I mean the players obviously look fantastic, which I would be very surprised if they didn’t, you can tell who each one is very easily. But coaches are pretty poor, in some cases it reminded me of PS2 era game’s, but there are a lot of players on the screen at once, more than what other games usually pull off in such detail, which explains why.
Also on the presentation of the game, it plays exactly like a match would play if it was aired, you get commentators talking about the plays and passes, you get to see the coaches reaction if you fumbled or nailed a tackle, and you even get constant advertisements for snickers. It’s very surreal.
There has also been new play books added and new plays, allowing you to pick them on the fly whilst in a match, and adding little touches when you take over a player, though you can just watch the play go through without you interfering. Of course if that is how you like to play, the new manger mode will be perfect for you, allowing you to look after everything about your team, from which players are there, to how much tickets cost when you play at home. It is what I would assume every Madden player has hoped for, for a long time now and it works great, though it isn’t exactly a manger, you’re the manager, PR and advertisement; it’s an all-inclusive job for a simulator. Though this is also controlled via the “Connected Franchise mode” which also allows you to change your team and place offers on players via the Madden 25 app from your smart phone. This works as well as you can expect, but it won’t give you any more of an advantage than anyone else, but if it all starts to become too much, you can switch to back to player mode, and start going into matches again.
With any yearly franchise, there isn’t much that can be improved upon, but where there was room Madden 25 pushes the limits on what current gen hardware can manage and presents a fantastic American football game. From the new improved engine to all the featured modes, it is the best way for those who won’t be getting next gen consoles for a while to get there NFL fix, for all the features and upgrades Madden 25 gets a 4/5.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.