Review by soulassasin2095

Reviewed: 08/28/07

How Next-Gen Fotball Is Supposed To Be.

Over the past couple of years the Madden series has been very lackluster at best, but with EA being the only holder of the NFL license people have been forced to go to Madden for their football gaming needs. This was the case until this year. With the release of Madden 08 EA has finally put forth a solid effort and released an enjoyable, entertaining, and new Madden.

The most notable of the new features would be the gameplay. With the new weapons system it adds a whole new element of strategy to the experience as you try to create or correct mismatches. Although it is very exciting to have this new weapon system which allows everything from crushing hits, to amazing leaping one handed catches the weapon system seems to have a flaw. Apparently you can only have four weapons on the field at a time. So therefore the player with the lowest weapon rating gets his icon removed, so the mismatch is no longer shown and there is the possibility that they may lose the ability altogether. This is a big problem but hopefully there should be some sort of patch released soon to fix this. Another feature adding to the gameplay would be the new Hit Stick 2.0 which allows you to flick up on the hit stick to make the normal Hit Stick tackle, but now you can also flick down which allows you to dive at the legs making it easier for the smaller corners and safetys to make tackles, or give any player a more effective way of downing big powerbacks.

Another new feature in Madden would be the control over your player. No longer will your receivers catch a ball at the sideline and continuing running out of bounds due to the fact that they are stuck in a catching animation. As soon as the ball is caught you have full control of your player allowing them to make quick cuts and jukes. Another new animation would be the new gang tackle system, making it a much more realistic experience. Not only are there gang tackles but they have also added new mid air collisions. Now any receiver diving across the middle to make a catch can get destroyed in mid leap usually causing a dropped ball or even a fumble, which is another great feature and it also looks freaking awesome.

The running game as also been improved. The blocking is more realistic and effect and now when the HB runs into the back of his O-Lineman he doesn't just get stuck there, he pushes and fights through just like in a real game. While the new improvements are great there is also a fumbling problem leading sometimes to four or five fumbles a game.

The game modes have also been given a face lift. Owner mode has been returned to Franchise mode and although it's nothing like it used to's still nice to have. You can now scout players allowing for you to have a more effective draft day, and the problem with last years game with all the rookies being DE's has been fixed. The new Gem and Bust system is also good. Allowing late round rookies to play much better than their skills would allow them to. It's a great way to recreate a Tom Brady situation during your Franchise. Superstar mode has nothing more to offer gameplay wise, but it does allow you to play as any of the NFL Rookies drafted this year.

Another flaw would be the lack of presentation. This has been an ongoing problem in Madden. They gave a shot at it with the Marshall Faulk pre-game analysis but it pales in comparison the the presentation the 2K series used to have.

The online experience year is solid, although very slim on features. Lacking any sort of tournament mode only allowing the simple ranked or unranked games. Although, the new news reports every 20 minutes are pretty cool and a nice little thing to throw into your online experience.

Overall, Madden is a very solid effort from EA. With an all around gameplay upgrade, and an innovative new weapons system it's the best Madden to come on in years. But while great, it's still far from perfect and hopefully this years mistakes can be fixed in next year's game.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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