Playground Games PlayStation 4 PlayStation 5 PS4 PS5 Saber Interactive

Wild Card Football Review (PS5) – Gridiron Fun

Wild Card Football PS5 Review

Wild Card Football PS5 ReviewFor as long as I’ve been playing video games there has always been a draw to American sports titles. Games like EA Hockey, Xtreme Games and NBA Jam kept me and my friends endlessly entertained with some epic couch co-op fun. The full blown Madden games regularly drew my eye as they always showcased great visuals but they were never a must have purchase for me.

Wild Card Football from Saber Interactive takes all the drama and spectacle of American Football and flips the rules in a very interesting way.

Wild Card Football (PS5) – Gridiron Fun

At its foundation is an arcade styled seven-vs-seven American Football game but it’s the game’s “Wild Card” mechanic that makes it truly wild. Players have a hand of four cards to choose from during plays. These cards come in three main types – Modifiers, Rulebreakers and Specials.

Playing these cards come with their own cost of depleting an energy meter, with each player having a maximum of 10 energy points per down. Once out of energy points and a player cannot play a card.

This unique game changer adds some extra strategy to the plays as choosing not to play a card may sometimes benefit in the long run. Holding back some energy points for crucial moments might just be make or break. Some cards add buffs to your player stats, some add de-buffs to your opponents while others downright change the rules. If you’re after just a straight up game without the wild cards there’s the option to turn them off.

The visuals on display are top notch with players looking and moving great thanks to player-accurate caricatures that are brilliantly designed and animated. While the game does not feature any of the official teams from the NFL due to not having the licences, it does have a licence with the Players Association so there is a massive roster of pro football stars and also legends in the game. Some may find the lack of real team names a gripe but I think it’s cool that the focus is on the players.

The visual presentation through out is slick responsive and easy to navigate and the team have done a really nice job for on-boarding new players with a well constructed tutorial during your first game.

One weird element with the UI though is that in season mode when choosing a team the stats are not displayed so you’re none the wiser to the attributes of the team you are picking. An oversight perhaps which can hopefully be addressed with a patch.

Gimme Some Colour Commentary

Where the game doesn’t quite live up to the potential of its gameplay is with the audio. Yes, the soundtrack is decent and the sound effects are pretty good, but it’s the game’s lack of a play-by-play commentary that hurts it the most. Sure playing with friends and having voice chat banter will mitigate this issue but it’s the single player modes where this is missed the most.

Think of the aforementioned NBA Jam and what stands out in that game is the iconic commentary from Tim Kitzrow. It brings that gameplay to the next level by brilliantly accentuating its over the top action. Should this game get a sequel then it absolutely needs to have play-by-play commentary. It’s a must to elevate the single player…. and by all means hire Kitzrow to do it.

While not for me the game does feature an “Ultimate Team” style mode where you open loot boxes to try crafting a custom team of mega stars. The mode offers some great customisation options for those who are interested in that element. Best of all gamers will be happy to find that there are no micro transactions here. Furthermore players looking for a deeper experience can get into creating their own playbooks. It’s nice to see different types of gamers being catered to.

If you’re a fan of the sport and looking for a fun way to challenge your pals online then Wild Card Football offers a nice alternative to the Madden titles. Its over-the-top gameplay and strategic card playing can lead to some fiercely contested battles. I can see this being a fun go-to party title for the big lead up to the Super Bowl. Likewise if you are just a casual fan of the sport then this is a very easy pick up and play to try your hand at some plays.

Wild Card Football is now available for PS5, PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.

Review code kindly provided by PR



The Final Word

If there is one word I could use to sum up Wild Card Football it would be Potential. It's a lot of fun and with some refinements it could be a very compelling annual must have for fans of the sport.