10:55 AM - August 21, 2014 by MMChrisS
Up until last year, playing defense was about as fun as watching grass grow in Madden. Perhaps I am overstating things a bit, but the simple truth is that Madden was only really fun on one side of the ball. Defense was a burden you bore to get to the next offensive possession.
Not so this year.
Defense this year actually has compelling components to it and, dare I say it, it's actually kind of fun. Playing as a defensive end and trying to get around an elite OT is a challenge I've long waited for in Madden. The big thing defense is missing is a set of dedicated DB/WR interactions you can utilize while playing as a member of your favorite team's secondary.
I did notice that rushing the passer was a little too easy on default settings, so I did have to employ some slider tweaks. The good news is sliders are effective at curing many of the little problems you will run into in this game, so many will get a game they really love with time.
Here are three ways I've found defense to be much improved:
- Tackling isn't a simple button mash anymore. There is a moment in every approach of the ballcarrier that you have to decide if you want to risk missing out to deliver a bit hit or not. I've missed tackles due to this, so there's a real risk/reward you have to employ while trying to tackle the ballcarrier.
- The DL mechanics are simple, but they work. Rushing around the end with an elite pass rusher and trying to beat an elite OT is a wondrous experience. It adds intrigue to each play for sure, although I do hope in the future the player-to-player interactions become more dynamic to show this battle unfold each play.
- Playing as a LB or DB is more fun, not all the way where it should be. If you prefer to play as a LB or DB, it's certainly more fun than it has been to play in Madden, especially with the new over the shoulder camera angle. Shedding blocks makes playing as a LB'er much more of a timing based thing, almost like a mini-game in and of itself, but you'll feel weird in pass coverage almost guaranteed. The controls certainly work, although you do get the feeling there is another layer you aren't getting to fully explore at this level. Compared to last year, we've definitely taken a noticeable step forward though.