Summary: Last night's Saints-Packers contest marked the start of the 2011-12 NFL season, a season that was still very much in doubt just over six weeks ago. EA Sports had maintained all along that a new Madden NFL game would launch this year, regardless of the status of real-life football, although the publisher pushed back the traditional release date by three weeks. 'Another year, another Madden game,' EA guaranteed us. That sums it up quite nicely, now that I think about it.
Excerpt: Mike Vick’s had a rough game, and it shows. A paint-scarred helmet and a grass-stained uniform bear the scars of an afternoon being abused by the Packers’ defense at Lambeau Field. Between the half-dozen sacks and countless other knockdowns, the Philly QB looks weary as he steps to the line. Despite the beating he and the Eagles have taken, they’ve dished it out pretty well too and trail by four points with a few ticks left on the clock.
Summary: Given EA Tiburon’s renewed focus on franchise mode this year, I had high hopes for Madden 12. Some of the new features – like expanded rosters, customizable playbooks, and dynamic player traits – are long overdue additions. But many of the other “improvements” take the franchise out of contention. The new rookie scouting gives you little to no info on the vast majority of draft eligible players.
Excerpt: The NFL season came dangerously close to not happening as a result of the lockout. Thankfully that was averted. Madden NFL 12 was scheduled for release whether it happened or not. The pressure of possibly being the only way to get a football fix for the next several months forced the developers to really buckle down and deliver. The result is not a huge departure from last year’s game but rather a highly refined version.
Excerpt: When I thought about Madden this year I thought wow this is going to be the same old dog and probably no new tricks. To be honest the only reason I even thought about purchasing this installment was because I love Cleveland and our hard working running back, Peyton Hillis, got the fans vote to grace the cover of this edition. The one drawback I was expecting from this title was the lack current rosters due to the NFL lockout that almost plagued the season.
Excerpt: It has to be tough being an annual sports-game developer. If they make a really great game they’re faced with the challenge of making it even better next year. If they change too much they could potentially turn off fans of the last game, but if they don’t change enough they could be criticized for shipping the same game with a roster update. It’s a real “damned if they do, damned if they don’t” situation.
Pros: Solid football gameplay, Large amount of content
Cons: No enthusiasm to be found, Several graphical issues, Poor sound design, New addition diminish experience
Summary: Madden NFL 12 is another tight package with improved AI, animations, and online communities. Most of the updates are under the hood, but diehard NFL fans will enjoy the tweaks in 12, even if they are minor.
Pros: The NFL broadcast presentation, Improved animations and real player style, Online communities
Cons: The lack of major changes to the series, including game modes, Graphical-related pop ups and errors return, The commentary, which is practically broken
Excerpt: I have been a fan of this series for 19 years. Although I haven’t had time to play every recent installment to my heart’s content, I’m quite familiar with the franchise’s progression over time.
Excerpt: NFL fans possess incredible resiliency. No matter the win-loss record from the season before, a wave of new hope accompanies the arrival of the next. That spirit used to carry over to the annual release of a new Madden game as well. However, I've since grown wary of buying-in to the hype. The series has settled into a pattern of adding flashy new features to bring players back for another run, instead of improving the core football game.