VIDEO GAME REVIEW: Madden NFL 15

Rating:

There are three things guaranteed in life: death, taxes and the newest Madden coming out at the end of summer. Just released in the 26th and latest installment of the franchise is Madden NFL 15. Currently the game is only available on the big four platforms (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One).

As always, the game was developed by EA using their next gen gaming engine, Ignite, which makes the graphic details look just amazing. The cover features defensive back of the Seattle Seahawks, Richard Sherman. Having a defensive player on the cover is a statement that this latest edition of Madden is going to have some big changes to the game, mainly defensively.

(Photo credit: http://www.easports.com/madden-nfl)

(Photo credit: http://www.easports.com/madden-nfl)

Speaking of Richard Sherman on the cover, it’ll be interesting to see how he fares this season against the Madden Curse. For those not in the know, the cover athlete usually goes on to have a pretty bad year.

Since the game’s inception Coach Madden had graced the game’s cover. In 1999 athletes began appearing on the cover with him or completely replacing him. For instance, in 2000, Barry Sanders was shown in the background behind Madden and he abruptly retired before the season even began.

Not convincing enough? Ok. Being the cover athlete in 2002, Daunte Culpepper went on to have one of his worst seasons ever, including throwing 23 interceptions and tying the NFL record for most fumbles in a single season.

Want more? In 2009 Brett Favre, as a Green Bay Packer, was given the cover in honor of finally retiring. He quickly came out of retirement and ended up joining the Jets that season and was set back by accusations of sexual harassment and poor play.

Still don’t believe me? In 2010 the cover featured two athletes, Larry Fitzgerald and Troy Polamalu. Fitzgerald had a decent enough season while Polamalu sprained his MCL in the first half of the first game of the season and missed the next four games. Then after returning, Polamalu played in three more games before injuring his PCL and missed more games as a result! So good luck to Sherman this season!

As far as the game is concerned, all of your standard game modes are still here, such as Connected Franchise (a career mode that can be played either online or offline and play as an owner, coach or player), Exhibition Match (online or offline), Ultimate Team (a fantasy style career mode where by accumulating points you can purchase random packs of players to make your team better) and skills trainer (a tutorial that teaches basic through advanced skills).

Like every year there are some new features that EA brings out. Some of the features for this year include Player Sense 2.0 (an improved and enhanced computer AI that acts drastically more realistic), enhanced graphics and an improved presentation (which will make the game look more like an actual NFL broadcast), a new play calling system (which gives you immediate feedback on how your plays are resulting to different presented scenarios), all new tackling mechanics (allows more different types of tackles), War in the Trenches 2.0 (new rushing mechanics and abilities) and Catch Variety and Pass Inaccuracy (effects QBs that throw short and long passes).

I rank games based on a 25 point scale, which focuses on the following five areas: graphics, plot, music, game play and replayability.

The graphics and details are amazing for Madden NFL 15. So much so that you can see details down to the players tattoos, so I gotta give it 5 points.

The game doesn’t have much plot to it, but that can be expected for being a sports game. The game is straightforward. It has neither plot twists nor any holes and for that reason I’ll give it a slightly above average 3.5.

In the music category I gotta give an average 3. EA used to have an original intro song recorded specifically for Madden each year by artists like Xzibit or Ludacris. Then they began to make albums of already or soon to be published songs that would be played throughout the game. Usually the songs were a mix of rock and hip-hop. But now all that is gone and it features music that you would most likely hear on a broadcast of NFL Films.

Game play feels as natural and fluid as it’s ever been. Though it does seem have a lot of replays that are not that easy to skip, so I give it 4.5 points.

And finally replayability, I give it a 5 because there are so many different ways you can replay the game and get different results.

So in total I gave the game 21 out of 25 points. Having not purchased Madden for the last couple of years I’m definitely pleased I picked up the newest edition.

If you get a chance to pick one up for Xbox One and wanna give it a go you can find me by my gamer tag on Xbox Live as TheBigLibrarian.  Good luck, you’ll need it!

(Photo credit: http://www.easports.com/madden-nfl)

(Photo credit: http://www.easports.com/madden-nfl)

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Creator and host of the podcast Beer, Bros & BS, teller of stories, drinker of beers, reader of (comic) books, watcher of sports, devourer of food, mostly entertaining. From Miami. Follow me on Twitter & Instagram @thebiglibrarian.

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