Madden 25 Review: stark, but flawed, emulation to PS4's anticipated Ignite engine

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Madden NFL 25

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Madden 25 is what Madden fans want: updated rosters, controls, and schemes, but it's not a game changer. Consider this more of a preview for what's coming in the next generation rather than an equated version.

We like

  • Precision Modifier intensifies the game
  • The most realistic defense in Madden yet.
  • Players feel more like actual NFL players

We dislike

  • Major loading times; more than normal
  • Windows 8-esque menus
  • Simplified gameplay contradicts new control additions

See PSU's review on Metacritic & GameRankings

The Ignite engine that's been advertised at every event where Electronic Arts has touted its sports titles has made each game look better than it ever has. The thought of universal functionality with one game engine would make any developer excited, and, with annualized titles like Madden in the fray, fans can only hope that such a drastic change will bring about more substantial ones in the years to come. However, the hopeful Ignite engine is still three months off, since the current-gen version of Madden still sports the frustrating Infinity engine, but it's not without its positives.

Consider Ignite the Infinity engine's older sibling, and Infinity is trying to live up to what Ignite can do. In light of all the expected changes to the game, EA has rehashed the existing Madden formula on current-gen consoles to emulate what's to come. Take the Precision Modifier function for example: while holding R2, you can do much more pronounced moves, such as jukes, spins, and trucks, and the animations look great, considering that players on screen are beginning to move more and more like players on television. One thing that I've always wanted in Madden is the ability to do some of the outstanding things that players like Adrian Peterson, Aaron Rodgers, and Reggie Wayne can do in a pinch, and this is one big step closer to recreating their abilities; though the back shoulder fade needs a lot of work.

One thing that the Infinity engine did to Madden 13 was it made running the ball easy--way, way too easy--and that centers around the way that you can simply move the joystick and have players change direction without any loss of speed or momentum. Sure, real NFL players can do this, but not every time and not all the time. In Madden 12, only players with very high agility were able to move with any sort of inking of mobility like this, and now players are only affected by their speed and not agility. Granted, this increases returns and makes grasping the game much easier for new gamers, but it sure as hell bores the thumbs off me. Hopefully, this is mere ease-of-access convenience to make the last front-running Madden title feel more tantalizing to those who are considering coughing up $60 twice for it and the next-gen version.

One major difference between Madden 25 and 13 is that defenses here are much more conscious. Player mistakes seem realistic, and watching a cornerback reeling to catch up to a streaking wide receiver after biting from a pump fake never looked more realistic. In contrast, linebackers no longer have that magic ability to jump 20 feet in the air and ball hawk like supermen; they're still ball hawks, but their abilities are in the realm of reality. On this note, I'm happy to announce that audibles have been successfully rehashed--on both sides of the ball. No longer are you bound by only having four plays to choose from in a hurry-up offense. Now, you can cycle through each playbook formation and choose four major plays at any time from each one, so playing at a fast pace is much more customizable and manageable.

Also featured in 25 is an auto-target tackling system, which works about as well as Russian Roulette. Players can now stretch out farther to attempt tackles, but missing was commonplace, even when the ball carriers didn't make jukes or fast movements. Luckily, some tackles don't take much contact--much like when my tackler touched the ball carrier only on the shoulder and the carrier went down--so some work in this department could easily hash this out in a future software update.

Game modes are still here. Connected Careers still keeps all franchise modes, including the new Owner Mode, in the same realm, you can play online against other gamers in Connected Careers, exhibition games, and Madden Ultimate Team, but the latter has the biggest change, and I felt it in NCAA 14 as well: online seasons. You now assemble a motley crew of players by gaining cards through buying packs, earning gold medals in the new Training Mode, and completing challenges based on old and new NFL stories, and you take these players to the online season mode; you can still ... (continued on next page)

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  • Related game: Madden NFL 25

    Release date (US):
    August 27th, 2013
    Sports - American Football
    0 of 2,668 Games
    Up 0 places (in last 7 days)

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