Review by bangothebuck
A fun experience with issues that need fixing.
Madden has been the standalone NFL Licensed football game for quite some time now. It has become evident now more than ever that it needs so friendly competition. Madden 25 is not a bad game by any means but the gameplay itself is what needs to be worked on. Without a real competitor to match up against Madden, and EA, has had the luxury of being able to rehash the same game year after year. It would be unfair to expect extreme innovation year after year but the same little problems have been embedded in the experience for the past few years. Having said that what Madden 25 lacks in polished gameplay it makes up for with a great variety of game modes and additional features.
Lets start with Connected Careers, which may be the best mode in any sports game. With the ability to play as a player, coach, or owner Connected Careers allows you to play how you want. As the owner you can focus on the financial aspect of things. You have the ability to change the prices of tickets, merchandise, and even concessions. If you dont like your stadium, then build a new one. If you feel like moving cities then you can. Playing as the owner allows to build a team the way you want and see if you can make the right moves to put a winning product on the field without even playing a down; of course you still can play all the games if you feel so inclined. If you are less financially motivated you can play as the coach. Playing as the head coach gives you the traditional franchise mode. With the same abilities of signing free agents, scouting college prospects and partaking in practices that we are used to getting. If you want to see if you can make it just as an NFL player then you can decide to do that as well. As a player you only play your position, if you choose to be a running back you dont even get to pick the play. This can still be a fun experience as it allows you to see how good you actually are without any kind of crutch or safety net. Of course all aspects of Connected Career can be made even better by playing with a group of friends. It truly is the perfect single and multiplayer experience and does it better than any other sports game.
Next is Ultimate Team. In Ultimate Team you pick one player from any team and they are your captain, after that you get a pack of random players. Think of it as a fantasy team but you dont just get to pick you who want, you have to earn them. There are various ways to unlock different players. By completing the passing tutorial I unlocked Peyton Manning, and Joe Montana. The catch with unlocking these great players is that they are only ranked at around a 75 overall. This is done so that players cant just create a team of Hall of Famers and mop the floor with others right away. While this mode is fun I prefer the Connected Careers experience.
Another great mode in Madden 25 is called Madden Moments. I know this is not new to the series but that does not keep it from being great. Madden Moments allows you to reenact key plays, drives, quarters, and games from the NFL Season. These events are taken right from the games we watch every week. Being able to play out real life scenarios just adds to the immersion of the overall experience.
Even with all of the great game modes that Madden has to offer I am afraid it still has a lot to work on when it comes to actual gameplay. Some of the lingering issues that have plagued the series for the past few years still remain present. The wind is still pointed in the opposite direction on field goals and kickoffs. The inability to challenge plays that should be challengeable is frustrating to say the least. I often found myself falling over because my own teammates would run into me. With a physics engine that preaches realism I was baffled at how frequent it is to be tackled by your own linemen. Also there are frequent odd events that cant be explained with any other word. I have seen a quarterback throw the ball and have it fire back 80 yards in the opposite direction for a safety. There are frequent injuries that occur but the players that appear to be injured are back in the game on the next play. Even with those issues the game is far from broken and is still fairly enjoyable. Anyone who has played Madden can tell you that the gameplay needs work; Madden 25 reinforces that opinion more than ever. Having said that where Madden lacks in gameplay it makes up for in a variety of fun, user friendly game modes that anyone can have a blast playing.
Product Release: Madden NFL 25 (US, 11/19/13)
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