Another year, another Madden.
With the NFL season winding down, many sports gamers already have begun removing Madden from their gaming consoles and replacing it with offerings from other sports. However, as Lee Corso would say: “not so fast my friends.”
Let’s take a look back at Madden 12 and what the latest offering from the boys at EA Sports and Tiburon gave us — and didn’t give us.
Like the Patriots, Madden has a dynasty of sorts and few people can stand the sight of them.
As is the case with all Madden titles, there was a great sense of excitement and hope when the details of Madden 12 were released.
Gridiron gaming enthusiasts were overjoyed with the news that the franchise mode would be (finally) overhauled. Rosters were expanded and general managers had to make difficult decisions during the preseason about who to cut and who to keep. Injured reserve was finally fixed, opening up a valuable roster spot when your starting quarterback inevitably busted his collar bone. Trade and draft logic was improved and were very noticeable from the start.
These additions and tweaks were welcome and well done for the most part.
Sure, there were some lingering problems — teams were still suckered into trades too easily and CPU general managers still had momentary brain cramps while drafting. Overall, though, franchise mode was a step in the right direction in Madden 12.
The 49ers season was a great one, Madden's? Not as great.
Madden 12 also boasted more organic tackles. No more suction blocking and more momentum-based action of the virtual field. The game also set out to improve the immersion factor with TV-style camera angles and cut-aways. These, though, were very hit and miss — and mostly miss. There was something just “off” about the momentum of the players and their interaction with each other. While not as scripted, the feel was less organic than it could have been. Plus suction blocking was still there.
While better than previous offerings, the new camera angles and cut-aways were very bland. Many Madden fans were unimpressed once again by the presentation. The default camera was too far away from the action while the zoom camera was too close. Many longed for the camera angles from previous Madden games.
We're discussing ugly and it's a screen of the Rams and Seahawks, get it? GET IT?!
Ugh. 3D grass. Everything about it was flawed.
On replays, the up-close action displayed the 3D grass, but the field in the background was the old flat texture. The grass itself was poorly done; it was ankle high. No wonder speedy running backs looked like they were running in place, the grass tripped them up.
Play about a decade into franchise mode and the NFL is unrecognizable because of the graphical glitches caused by imported rookie draft classes. It was as if Hulk Hogan had 5,000 kids and sent them all to play in the NFL. The player models and equipment were hideous.
Where were the patches? There were only two. Where were the tuner sets like NCAA? Where was the return game? As we saw all season in the NFL, special teams can win or lose a game. This was not even close to being the case in Madden 12.
Overall, the latest Madden offering was a slight improvement over previous versions. And just like those previous versions, it could have been much better.
As Cubs fans famously proclaim, there's always next year. Maybe.
What are some of the good, bad and ugly things you experienced in Madden 12?