It’s everyone’s favorite time of year again. Another NFL season is right around the corner. This time of year generates a tremendous amount of buzz and hype for the season ahead, especially for NFL fans that are also gamers.
That’s right, it’s time for another installment of Madden. This year’s game, Madden 25 or as most will refer to it, Madden 14, looks to revamp the series and have a huge impact going forward among the sports gaming community. With the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 ready to be released around the holidays, many cannot wait to see how Madden plays on the next generation consoles. Unfortunately we will have to wait so let’s dive right into what the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions have to offer.
With its little brother, NCAA Football 14, coming out before Madden, many gamers were able to see the updated Infinity Engine and the new spread/read option mechanics of the game; which are nice upgrades but still have many flaws. The idea of having an Acceleration Burst/Stamina trigger is a great addition to the game mechanics as it gives you a true authentic feel of what happens during plays. Each hit, juke, or sprint causes you to lose stamina which will hinder your ability to break tackle after tackle. In previous games you could run over or juke the whole team without penalty. Losing stamina will cause you to move slower, not make quick cuts, and even increase the chance of fumbling. So it’s best to use that stamina gauge strategically.
The negative of the Infinity Engine is the rag doll like effects it has. Players will be twisted and contorted without much penalty. Also players seem to bounce off of each other like pinballs. Not really the most realistic looking player animations but it’s the best we’ve seen so far in a sports title that’s this fluid and fast paced. So the Acceleration is a plus and the animations are a negative.
Running is back!!! The past installments of Madden have been beyond pass happy and to be honest a major turn off for myself and many other fans of this series. We want an NFL experience, not a 7-on-7 drill. EA has also improved the offensive Linemen AI (Artificial Intelligence) to make a better running game experience. In past games the linemen would never pull to where they were truly suppose to go but would rather go to a general area and half the time wouldn’t block anyone. In Madden 25, a Power play actually works and it actually benefits you to follow your pulling guard; they look inside for linebackers finally. Thank you EA, it’s about time.
Passing has been toned down quite a bit. It’s not completely nerfed but it’s not as easy as recent Madden games. Sure I can still get chunks of yards whenever I want and the Seam route is always open because of pre-determined AI movements based on the coverage but it’s not as easy to bomb it down the field. With an improved defensive AI, the CPU (computer opponent) will actually intercept the ball regularly. So now you have to make good decisions and play quarterback a little more sound like a real Quarterback does.
A new addition to the series, and I use new sarcastically because it’s been done before, is Owner mode. Owner mode is what it sounds like. You can pick a current NFL team, choose a stadium, choose to move the team, create new jerseys, and build a team from the ground up. You run the show. The goal is to increase your income and win. So everyone should be getting in touch with their inner Jerry Jones. It’s a neat feature but it’s more of a piggy back off of Ultimate Team (mode where you receive players for your team based off digital cards) with a business side of the NFL. Plus this was already done in Madden 2004 in Franchise mode. They just didn’t go this far deep into the business side. I find these modes to be tedious and annoying. I want to play football or coach, not be Jerry Jones. The cool part though is that you can link your Connected Career (Franchise and Superstar mode combined) with Owner mode. So you can play all three modes at once. I will leave a link here for the full in depth look at Owner mode.
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