There was a time when the release of a new Madden title had NFL fans tingling with excitement. Each release had innovative new ideas, improvements to graphics and gameplay, but not anymore. Just like how NFL players’ performances drop if they do not have a teammate vying for their place in the team, Madden has stagnated through a lack of competition. However, it could be Madden has become a victim of its own success.
Some Madden titles are nothing short of incredible, accurate simulations of one of the world’s most popular sports. The plethora of statistics assigned to each player on every NFL roster makes each Madden game almost as accurate as the actual NFL, so much so that TV broadcasters and sports websites often use Madden for their Super Bowl NFL futures predictions.
All those statistics count for nothing if the rest of the product is not up to scratch. It is akin to having a car with the body of a Ferrari but the engine and running gear of a 1960 Chevvy truck.
Madden 22 Has New But Poorly Implemented Features
Furthermore, players loyal to any series want to experience new features that keep the game fresh. This is one area that Madden has repeatedly failed over the past decade, yes, that long. Do not get us wrong, Madden 22 has some features not seen in previous titles, but the whole package is not enough to push the needle.
Homefield advantage is a concept never seen before in any sports title. Everyone who follows a sports team knows playing on home soil has significant advantages. The players not only know every inch of grass, but they have an army of fans cheering them on. Madden 22 incorporates this with a momentum meter. Score a touchdown or make a big play to push momentum toward your team. Each time has unique perks reflecting their real-life atmosphere, which is a great touch, but the swings in momentum are often wild, so needs working on in future updates.
Another new feature is the ability to be a defensive player in the Face of the Franchise mode. The mode is still, frankly, a total mess, but players are no longer forced to be an offensive player. Sure, the offensive positions garner the most limelight, but there are Madden players who are up-and-coming linebackers, and it is nice to see them be able to play a character that represents them.
Madden has had the NFL video genre to itself for such a long time, and it shows. EA Sports are more bothered about pointing players to the controversial, micro-transactions-driven Madden Ultimate Team, and they make it obvious that this is the case.
EA has sharpened up the visuals and audio, and it looks and sounds fantastic. Some of the animations are still a little robotic at times, but the game looks great overall. Some nice touches to the presentation include short in-game cutscenes announcing upcoming key fixtures against arch-rivals.
But, and here is the but, the rest of Madden has not moved on at all. The new interface is both clunky and ugly, with the latest presentation displayed in a quite unflattering green shade.EA’s biggest problem is it continually tries to create a game for every football fan by building a serious simulation, an arcade mode, and the popular multiplayer feature. It does this every new season with a 10-month turnaround and the lack of development shows.
EA needs to get back to basics and create a Madden title that balances simulation with action, with new features and innovative controls, something it has not done since Madden 03. At least we only have another 10-months to wait to see if EA does this because that is when Madden 23 is likely to hit our shelves.