Last year's demo for Madden NFL 10 seemed to have caused as many grumbles as it did cheers from fans of EA Sports' long-running NFL series. Part of the problem had to do with the fact that the demo was split into two--one demo was available to everyone and another was available only to those who preordered the game. The demo for the preorder crowd was a much more full-featured representation of the final game, while the available demo featured one-minute quarters, creating an uproar among the kinds of people who get riled up about all things Madden-related.
Apparently all that hand-wringing and whining has resulted in some changes to this year's Madden demo. Due on July 27 on both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, the Madden 11 demo seems like it will be more in line with what football fans have come to expect from demos in the past. Here's a look at some of the demo's highlights:
Teams: Indianapolis Colts vs. New York Jets
Stadium: Jets Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
Time/Weather: 1:00 p.m./clear
Skill Levels: Rookie, Pro, All-Pro, All-Madden, Five-minute quarters
As any demo should, the Madden 11 demo will show off a number of the game's big features, including the new gameflow and game-planning features. According to Madden 11 designer Yuri Bialoskursky, you'll be able to create a full game plan from scratch before the game begins, just as you will be able to in the full game; the only restriction will be that players will only be able to choose from the Jets or Colts playbook (in the full game, you'll be able to choose from all 32 team playbooks). In addition, the gameflow feature (which selects plays for you and features offensive and defensive coordinators describing plays in your headset) will be optional--you'll also be able to select plays the traditional way, just as in the full game.
EA Sports has made much of the decision to bring CBS commentator Gus Johnson into the booth (alongside returning color commentator Chris Collinsworth), and unlike last year's demo, which featured no audio commentary, Johnson and Collinsworth will be in full effect in the Madden 11 demo. In addition, the demo will feature a taste of the upgraded audio presentation, with stadium music and team-specific chants (in this case, expect to hear a lot of "J-E-T-S! Jets! Jets! Jets!")
EA is tossing a few bones to Madden fans who play the demo as well; if you create and save a game plan in the demo, then you'll automatically unlock the "master strategist" achievement/trophy once you pop in the retail Madden 11 disc for the first time. In addition, demo players will get access to a unique Madden Ultimate Team card (Jets Stadium, complete with a defensive boost). Madden Ultimate Team was a new mode added via a title update in last year's Madden. For Madden 11, Ultimate Team will be packed in with the full version of the game. In addition, all AI and gameplay sliders will be available to tweak to your heart's content in the demo. Finally, there will also be a handful of videos outlining some of the new features in the game.
As for that Colts and Jets matchup, alert readers might remember that this was a result of a fan vote that began back in March. Saints fans might be upset that their team isn't represented in the demo, even after winning a Super Bowl. But hey, The Big Easy's got Drew Brees on the Madden 11 cover and an NFL championship on its collective resume. Sounds like a pretty fair trade.
Look for the Madden NFL 11 demo on July 27 on both the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. Madden 11 will be released to store shelves on August 10.