It’s a football game. You can play a single game or choose to do a full season. There is also the option to build your ultimate team. If you want to play some non-game scenarios and learn the controls better then you can play the skill challenges that are available.
I haven’t played the Madden games in some time and they have gotten way too complicated for my tastes. I like it being more simplistic when it comes to the gameplay. I hate to say it but I just want the simple juke, jive, dash, and stiff arm on offense. There is an option to do an enhanced version of each move but to balance that out your player moves slower while you are setting up for the move. Then there is the game options themselves. The menu screen is so busy that it gets confusing as to where you need to go to even start anything. You have to figure out what mode or game type you want to play. To further confuse you is the team building you can do. At one point, there was a picture like a pack of cards that I think was a reward for something I did but I just got confused and pressed X to continue.
On a technical level the game gets an ok rating. I was somewhat surprised that at this point in the current console life cycles that the graphics were not better. Some cut scenes are actual video and look great. Even some of the splash screens and transition screens look really good. But when they are showing the announcers or players, they didn’t look appreciably better than they have in previous editions.
On a logistics angle, I guess I get annoyed at the little things like the announcers being the CBS crew but then they have ESPN personalities for other parts of the game. I’m more accustomed to when the game originally came out, everything was based on the television crew Madden was working with at the time. I’m sure it’s a marketing and cost issue but I’d like some more consistency between the video game and real game. Then again, I don’t only watch one network when football is on so maybe it’s ok to have these things going on.
There were a few things that did not seem ok. One word: advertising. The game is peppered with ads for the likes of Gatorade and Snickers throughout the game. Not that they are showing you full commercials but they have the logos plastered on the screen and have them tied in like they do on the tv broadcasts. If EA and the NFL are selling more of this advertising space, don’t you think maybe they could cut the price of the game? Think about it, each year doesn’t really do anything ground breaking so they are just using the same shell over and over putting in the new player names. Seems like that should be pretty cheap to do by this point. Another point that irks me comes from what most likely is a licensing problem. Certain players and coaches likenesses are not used in the game. For example, when I played with the New England Patriots, my head coach was listed simply as “New England Head Coach” and looked nothing like Bill Belichick. Eh, maybe there was an issue with rendering the hoodie.
All in all though, the game plays well. I think most of my issues stem from the fact that I need to take the time and learn the controls. That means sitting down and playing the game.
What I really wanted this for was the Sunday Ticket access. For $100 you can buy the anniversary edition at Amazon, which includes the Madden 25 game and a voucher for Sunday Ticket. Don’t worry if you are not a Direct TV customer, you can use the code to stream the content to your computer or mobile device. If you analyze it, the video game is $60 so figure you are paying $40 for Sunday Ticket. That is not a bad deal. No idea if this type of deal will be offered in upcoming years but now I’ll take it.