Homefeatured“Madden 12” videogame improves on last year, hits hard
August 28, 2011
“Madden 12” videogame improves on last year, hits hard
Let me say this right off the bat: the new Madden football game looks really, really good. EA Sports has really upgraded the camera angles and pregame stadium shots and made pregame introductions more a part of the festivities.
I loved how the sun would set in late afternoon games or how the weather would change, how fans would file out in a bad loss at home. I also noticed little graphical details. Players moving and reacting more like their real-life counterparts. It’s subtle, but it’s there.
These are all welcome changes, but as makers of the big smartphones are finding out, it’s hard to make huge improvements to a good franchise every year. One day, maybe it’ll be better to just release updates for, say, $19.99, but right now Electronic Arts is getting $50 or $60 a pop for its most popular sports game, so why change?
Is Madden 12 amazingly different than Madden 11? No, but it’s better and better enough to warrant an upgrade. New this year is the Dynamic Player Progression system. What’s all that? Well it makes the game more realistic. Your player’s ability is affected by the amount of punishment absorbed (so no more just ramming your 5 star running back at the line again and again). It’s also affected by how the game is going or how well your player is playing.
The computer AI seems to be well adjusted for this, too. So if a player starts going in the tank, he’s not going to make the clutch play for you. I’ve even found this to be true of players you take control of. And star players will do better in tough situations than young or unproven players, even high priced rookies. I can’t tell you how much realistic this makes Madden this year.
Now, I asked my 7-year-old videogame buff for his opinion of Madden — and this kid usually smashes most sports games on the highest difficulty level. His response?
“Daddy, Madden is hard.”
Go to the All-Pro setting if you dare. Franchise mode is not a guaranteed trip to the Super Bowl anymore. There’s more behind-the-scenes work to do to succeed, like more scouting, more roster options. If you want to get heavily involved in the minutiae, you can. Better, you can start one way and change during the Franchise season if you want more or less.
I loved the announce team of Gus Johnson and Chris Collinsworth. I still think commentary can get repetitive, especially when you get into season modes, but with the new presentation, the new player reactions and the more realistic game play, EA Sports has managed yet again to pump new life into a tried and true winning franchise.