Football is here and that means a new Madden game has hit the shelves. This year’s Madden 25 is different for two reasons. Firstly, a 25 year anniversary is a big deal; this proves this is one of the longest running video game franchises there has ever been. Secondly, EA Sports is basically releasing two Madden games this year. The current game is running off the Infinity Engine 2 and the next generation console version will be running off of the Ignite Engine. Be sure to check back and see the review on the Ignite Engine game when it is released, as using a different engine can mean the physics, graphics, and all around gameplay can be completely different.
The Madden Franchise has come a long way since the first game which was released in 1988. The graphics have improved, the physics have improved, and if you simulate a game, it almost actually feels like you are watching a football game on the TV! However, this review isn’t for the entire series, or the changes from day one to now, it is for the newest game in the series. When you look at an annual sports game, or any annualized video game franchise for that matter, it is important to note the differences between the new game and last year’s game.
The physics engine has been tweaked so that players are no longer randomly falling over. This may be one of the biggest improvements in this game. Regardless, the only time in Madden ’13 the players ever seemed to fall over was after a play ended and the players were walking back to the line of scrimmage. Yes, this issue detached the game from feeling like real football to me, but it didn’t affect my gameplay.
The engine tweaks also helped to enhance the game for running backs, tight ends, and even scrambling quarterbacks. There are new and enhanced moves, including the stiff arm, diving, leaping over players, and better spins. There is even a new precision modifier that can help to make these moves even more effective. These additions and enhancements to the running game are very hard to notice in normal gameplay unless you spend a lot of time perfecting your precision in the new tutorial mode.
Both the Franchise mode and the Ultimate Team have fully returned from Madden ’13, except now Franchise mode also gives you the ability to play as an NFL Franchise Owner. The new Owner Franchise mode seems to be Coaching mode with some added responsibilities. As an owner you must juggle your fan base, team, coaches, and even hotdog prices, all while trying to make money. If you were looking for an owner simulator though, this isn’t it. This mode forces you to play through the football seasons as the QB/call-making coach, which the owner would never do. The Ultimate Team is almost identical to what it was last year. For those of you who haven’t played a Madden that included this mode it incorporates card collecting and trading into team building and football. This game mode is meant to make you want to play as often as possible in order to build up your card collection and enhance your skills, and it is surprisingly a lot of fun.
Like most games there are some bugs, but also seem to be several logic errors in the game. Most of the errors are not crucial to the gameplay, like an announcer saying “here in the third quarter” when it is already in the fourth. On the other end there was a logic error pointed out by “newLEGACYslip” on Reddit, in which a game that went into overtime was “ended” by a mathematical error that caused a team to win when it was really still a tied game in the new football rules. Hopefully these errors could be easily fixed by a patch or two.
Above is the error found by /u/newLEGACYslip of Reddit.
The graphics are decent. When you are calling plays and playing the game the field tends to look completely fake and the players lack the detail that you would see from stadium seats. However the game can look amazing at times–especially when the game cuts away to show replays or players walking back to the line of scrimmage.
The controls feel great. The controls will feel very familiar to you if you have ever played a Madden game before. If you haven’t, the basic controls are simple, an image of a button will be displayed over receivers’ heads, press one of those buttons to throw that specific receiver the ball or use the thumb stick to scramble.
A Gamer’s Opinion:
Madden 25 is a very fun game and probably the best Madden made thus far, however, I was expecting more change from a game geared towards its 25th anniversary. There was no “original John Madden Football mode” nor were there any significant changes or upgrades to the game that made it stand out far beyond any other Madden game I have played. For those of you who are new to the Madden franchise, this game has everything the other games in the Madden franchise have, and (slightly) more. If are trying to decide whether Madden 25 is worth trading in Madden ’13 to buy, it isn’t–not enough has changed. If you are picking up a next gen console in November I would wait until you get it to pick up this game, or take advantage of GameStop’s $10 upgrade as the Ignite engine that Madden 25 runs off in the next gen of sounds promising.
- The engine behind the run game has been upgraded.
- The Ultimate Team mode is still very fun.
- Not enough feels like it has changed to make a significant impact on the game.
- There is flawed logic, including overtime logic and announcer sound clip logic.