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GAME REVIEW: Madden 10

john-madden

 

Developer/Publisher: Electronic ArtsPlatform: XBOX 360

Players: 1 - 4 (Online)Release Date: 8/14/09

Rating: A

 

It’s that time of the year again, and for gamers we all know what that means. Yes a new season of Madden NFL Football is upon us. While this title continues to be the premiere sports franchise across all platforms, over the last couple of seasons many have felt the series hit its apex years ago and EA Sports was just repackaging the same game many times over.

 

Always the fan friendly company, EA Sports has taken these grievances into consideration with the new Madden 10. While the game is still not without its flaws, this as close as you will get to playing on Sundays.

 

Visually this is the most impressive Madden thus far. The graphics ranging from the player animations to even the smaller details (field conditions, etc.) are top notch. This year the big focus was realism though. The overall presentation of the game was made to mirror what fans see from the pregame to the postgame on any given Sunday football outing.

 

 

Gamers will see various new cut scenes from the pre-game warm up; players getting spicy tongue lashings from their coaches, and referees debating close calls. Two aspects of the new presentation style that were poorly executed are the Extra Point show and the overall play by play commentary. Both areas suffer from poor and very repetitive voiceover work.

 

In regards to the core gameplay, Madden feels solid throughout. Noticeable tweaks have been made to its signature engine making the flow of the things more sensible. For instance the actual speed of the game has been slowed down making it more of a simulation versus an arcade feel.

 

This adjustment makes it easier to make on the fly decisions with dodging tackles and finding the best holes to hit offensively. The blocking system is also vastly improved. The quarterback can actually step into the pocket now and go through a real receiver progression.

 

Players who have often struggled against a strong pass rush will find themselves being more productive after the snap. Additionally controlling defensive moves with the right stick feels like a natural fit.

 

 

For years the Madden community has demanded a more in depth online experience. Now they have it; sort of. Online franchise is an opportunity for players to gather with friends or foes to do live drafts, trades, and engage each other during a regular season of play. The online co-op mode doesn’t translate as well though due to awkward camera angles.

 

As with any installment of Madden, there are some setbacks that hold 10 from true greatness. There are some glitches that will become noticeable as you get some games under your belt. The computer AI is still shaky at times with players running out of bounds for no apparent reason.

 

Also with all the new cut scenes you sometimes get some botched sequences due to missing texture (player getting interviewed but journalist has no microphone).

 

Overall Madden 10 is the best looking and most authentic in the series yet. The rich gameplay will keep players on the sticks for hours. While this isn’t definitive football gaming experience, but EA is well on their way.

 

Madden 10 Official Trailer:

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