We’re back into the sporting game again today and one which we’ve let slide a little for recent years as we take a look into Madden 17. As with most yearly titles, it can often get hard to spot the difference between successive years, with small graphical improvements, changing rosters and not much else.
Of course while we have had some graphical upgrades in Madden 17, there’s been a lot which has gone into it, and which marks it out as a very much new title. Of course AI has been improved, and your players ratings now matter more than ever, as you build a balanced squad which will react better to lay instructions and training.
We also have new special moves for runners, and again the ratings will have a bearing on how well these will be executed, as well as different catching options for your receivers. Luckily, the new features and AI feature heavily in the training camp, so you can get your skills up to speed, especially if it’s been a few years since you last hunkered down for the snap.
By far the biggest change though is the Play the Moment mode. Now we’re purists at heart, and we’ve always played every moment of a madden match and likely as not we’ll continue to when we get the chance. However the new mode here in Madden 17 can cut down game time from around 60 minute to 2o, which is great for those who have a little less time on their hands.
With Play the Moment, the match is largely simulated, and you can see the cut and thrust on the pitch as play moves back and forth, as well as updats on fouls, injuries and the usual up on the big screen. You’ll be called upon to take action (though you can choose to simulate as well) for game changing moments here, skipping the mundane first downs and instead concentrating on critical 3rd down plays, first drives, or defensively vital situations, in order to keep your team on top (or bring it back and claw for those inches in the dying moments)
With the AI improvements and other features new to the title, it’s a much closer game this year, and we’ve found you really do have to keep going to the end, with Al Pacino raging in your ears, as every moment on the pitch really could be a game changer.
The Run Down
Graphics: 9/10: The visuals in Madden this year are spot on and with the exception of long hair (which can look a little “early 2000’s WWE game”) we are quite enamored. Coaches faces could possibly do with a little work but the important stuff on the pitch is beautifully rendered
Story: 6/10: Quite a surprise here to have a bit of story included in the game. It’s not quite got that same story as the new FIFA enterprise, however the Franchise mode improvements and the choices put in your hands really can give a narrative to the season.
Sound: 8/10: Another standard year for Madden, and to be fair EA games in general. The music here is as we would usually expect full of pop tunes which get instantly (and sometimes annoyingly) stuck in your head. the on pitch action is crisp and clear, and the commentary team have frequent updates and enough in their vocabulary to not be repetitive.
Replayability: 8/10: There’s something which does just keep bringing us back with Madden, and it’s been happening for years. There’s always a need for just one more snap, another play, or another drive. This year is no different but that Play The Moment mode makes it even easier to drop in and out
Satisfaction: 9/10: Overall this year is one we’re actually quite happy with. There are enough changes in the title (we think) to satisfy our need for change, while of course keeping the same format. A great training mode can really help you get the most out of the game, and we’re looking forward to getting online more, and taking it to you in the endzone!