New Year, Basically the Same Madden

Another year, another Madden. For some people, the release of the popular video game Madden 16 is one of the most exciting times of the year as it is time to build a dynasty and win an unreasonable amount of Super Bowls with their favorite team. For others, a new way to get their dose of football or casually kick back and play with some friends. No matter who it may be, whoever gets this game is recycling their money in yet another Madden that isn’t much different from the Madden in recent years.

The overall look and feel of the game

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This year’s cover featured Odell Beckham Jr, a rising star in the NFL coming off an amazing rookie season.

as you interact with the menu and various pages looks new and refreshing. It is smooth and easy to navigate. Flipping through the menu all the usual game modes are seen, from franchise to Ultimate Team. A new mode called “Draft Champions” was added this year and is actually interesting and very fun as it allows you to draft one of three players in 15 separate rounds to help build your team to go play other teams. That was new and appealing.

Visually, the game is amazing, just like it is year in and year out. The look and graphics of the game are always top notch. It looks almost real as everything from the grass stains to shiny helmets are seen. The main problem comes again in the animation and small details. Every year the same problems are talked about and nothing seems to change. The players walk like they have a stick running through their body, the expressions look cartoonish, and the weird tackling physics don’t look natural. Every year a selling point is the new tackling animations or the physics engine, but every year the tackling and hitting doesn’t meet the expectations set by the game.

Another problem that was seen and is very irritating is the small details that would make the game so much more enjoyable for everyone that are bypassed every year. One of the biggest details is the commentary during games, it is off and doesn’t make sense. Most people will be finding ways to mute it soon.

There are many positives to take away from the game. Depending on how you look at it, it is the same Madden we have all been playing the past few years. When it comes down to it the feel and gameplay is different than that of, NCAA football, the only other popular football game in the market. EA Sports did a great job of making this year’s Madden more interactive during normal gameplay. They have added another concept in the passing game in that you can press a certain button that will force your receiver to secure the catch first, turn up field, or aggressively go make the catch. Similarly you can do the same in pass coverage, attack the ball or be conservative and break it up. They all have their own risk and reward factors and that adds a new element to the game it previously didn’t have.

In the end, if you are a diehard Madden player these lack of changes and persistent problems from year to year don’t matter. We shelled out $60 for almost the same game as last year, but we can’t help it. It is one of their better Madden games in recent years but I can’t fault the average football fan for saving that money for nosebleed seats at their favorite team’s next home game.

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