Madden NFL 12 review
- Posted September 1st, 2011 at 16:53 EDT by Adam Dolge
- 5 Comments
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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.
- The NFL broadcast presentation
- Improved animations and real player style
- Online communities
- The lack of major changes to the series, including game modes
- Graphical-related pop ups and errors return
- The commentary, which is practically broken
For a lot of Americans, the start of the football season (and, yes, I mean good old fashioned American pigskin-style football) is better than Christmas. A lot of those diehard football fans are the crowd that buys each new Madden game that EA Sports puts out year after year. For those fans, this reviewer’s comments are simple: it’s about the same as last year, the commentary is noticeably poor, the AI is much better, the animations are improved, but overall it’s a lot like every other Madden game. Let’s face it; most Madden fans don’t expect many changes year to year, simply because EA Sports doesn’t deliver much in this respect. However, even the smallest of tweaks are likely enough to keep sales of this popular sports title quite high.
The most noticeable change to Madden NFL 12 is that presentation values mimic Sunday’s NFL game time. New camera angles work really well for that broadcast shine, while getting a player’s perspective during the coin toss are nice little touches. This works particularly well with a cold adult beverage and some greasy nachos. Unfortunately, EA Sports missed an opportunity to delve even deeper into this game day presentation. The commentary is downright terrible. It’s not so much what the duo (Cris Collinsworth and Gus Johnson) has to say, it’s when they say it, and the fact that they sound like robots. They are both good commentators, but this year’s effort feels broken. This doesn’t kill the game, but it does kill that almost-believable-Sunday feel. You’ll notice that sometimes they are still talking about a QB sack well after the following play. It just doesn’t work this year at all, and to make matters worse, there are other sports games that do a much better job at the commentary.
The animation and control system are really tight this year. You have a ton of control over your player, which is perhaps the landmark addition in Madden NFL 12. The collision system is quite solid this year, and you’ll get a sense of how hard it is to knock over a lineman compared to a little running back. The AI also sees a great overhaul this year, meaning some of the best changes to the game happen on the field in the heat of the action. Your teammates create holes for your running back and your opponent’s quarterback generally doesn’t make stupid passes to heavily marked receivers. This may be one of the toughest Madden games in years, and that’s certainly a welcome change from prior entries. Actual player styles vary, sometimes with subtle results, but real diehard NFL fans may be able to pick their QB’s scramble without checking out their jersey.
The faster play style returns this year through Gameflow, but not without some small changes. You can now pick plays that are conservative, aggressive, or stick with the gameplan. It’s a blind call, though, and hardcore fans probably won’t be bothered to even work with this system. For the casual player, it’s a system that works fairly well, but getting a bit more detail about the play’s formation would help. There aren’t huge additions or changes to game modes outside of Franchise. You’ll get free agent bidding wars, a new rookie scouting system, a free-agent building system, cold streaks and hot streaks, and expanded rosters to give you plenty of customization. Luckily, EA Tiburon does a good job of keeping it simple for the casual football fan. You can automate just about everything, allowing you to focus on the field, not the management.
Be a Superstar mode is pretty fun, largely based on the new progression system that plays out like a mini role-playing game, complete with skill point customization. Online didn’t get a big boost this year, that is, except for the new communities. You can join up to 2,000 players, compete for the leaderboards and team up with fellow members to play ranked Team Play against other communities. It’s one of the strongest additions and something that will keep the diehard fans busy until the end of the NFL season.
There are some great additions to the broadcast-style presentation, online communities, the AI, animations, and controls. This is enough to mark-up Madden NFL 12 as ... (continued on next page)
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- 2:42pm EDT - September 1st, 2011
Lack of major changes? Did you even play the game? Franchise mode has been completely overhauled with 10+ new improvements to make it mirror closer to real life football. Tiburon has made big strides in Madden Ultimate Team by allowing players to trade with one another now as well as the implementation of Legendary Cards. Furthermore, EA Sports Arena has been added to the franchise as a way for players to bet real life cash over Madden online.
These are just some of the fundamental changes to game modes that were made. This does not include the fact that suction blocking, tackling and ball gravity have been completely removed from the gameplay or that defensive A.I now picks up on route running in a completely new way by playing their zones better.
It makes no sense to allow a non-Madden enthusiast to review a hardcore title like Madden. Your inability to tell the differences that were implemented this year is disappointing to say the least. This review is shameful at best, sorry.
- 5:56pm EDT - September 1st, 2011
at 1 I aggree there are major changes to the game. I believe they have put alot of attention to the madden ultimate team mode to make it better for casual and not just hardcore. The game in my opinion is so realistic you can enjoy this game if your hardcore gamer of madden or a causal gamer this is a top notch video game and not just another shoveled product.
- 6:34pm EDT - September 1st, 2011
I definitely think this game was GOOD, just not great. I actually am a Madden fan, and when I say major changes, I want to see something really ground breaking. As I said in the review, I really loved some of the more mechanical stuff, like animations, franchise mode overhaul, hit detection, etc. I think the score and justification are accurate, but I can see if you really love Madden that you would want a higher score. Again, I am a Madden fan...I'm actually a fan of all sports games (I think I'm the only one the staff that can claim that).Still, always appreciate your feedback- honestly.
- 6:42pm EDT - September 1st, 2011
I'm clueless as to what you expect EA Sports to add to their game modes that would be "groundbreaking." The company can only utilize what they're provided with via the NFL. They can't just make up additions to include to Franchise that would have nothing to do with the NFL.
Hell, they even added NFL.com Fantasy Football integration on a massive scale this year.
I'd be really interested in seeing what you would consider "groundbreaking" at this point in time, Adam.
Also, your negatives specifically state a lack of changes to game modes -- but Madden 12 focused more on adding to game modes and providing several new game modes than ANY Madden before it. I'm lost on what else you'd be expecting.
This will permanently ban this user and delete all associated comments. This action is irreversible, are you SURE you want to do this?!