EA Redeems itself with Madden '08. The first true next-gen Football game.
Perhaps it was from fear of losing revenue to 2K Sports with their release of All Pro Football that prompted EA to wake up. And wake up they did. This years Madden is so vastly superior to anything out there now. It's in a class all by itself. So many of the little things that were wrong were fixed. A number of the missing features such as defensive playmaker were re-introduced. This is what Madden '06 should have been.
The video stuttering is about 90% gone. The game runs as smooth as silk now. The video clipping is finally down to an acceptable level and the zombie like player movements between plays have been replaced with wonderful chatter and realistic animations. You can tell they worked hard on collision detection this time around. The controls are tight and very responsive. The menus are right on, reminiscent of Madden of old.
The big feature this year is the new weapons system. When a player is in the zone his Icon will illuminate, telling you to beware if he is an opposing defender and get him the ball if he's on your offense. So far it has been very impressive. While playing against the Broncos Champ Bailey intercepted me twice while he was in the zone. I now realize you have to really change your strategy and have a nice variety of audibles to counter these special players. The days of running the same play over and over and over are now gone.
Graphically the game is still nice. The players faces seemed to be toned down a bit, probably to free up some needed memory, but their physiques are now accurate. No more kickers with bulging Balco biceps ala Barry Bonds.
The new animations are also super. From the various spectacular catches to my favorite, when two defenders try to wrestle the ball carrier to the ground. It looks so good you will want to watch the replay.
EA also added a little presentation to the mix with Marshall Faulk predicting the score before the game and video highlights at half time. Also, every play can be viewed again after the game. And unlike NCAA there is absolutely no stutter before the play as the system saves the prior play.
You will also earn ponts after each game to build your championship ring. You will need to accumulate numerous points, obtained by completing a number of on field and off field activities in order to receive the ultimate prize, the level 5 ring. There is also a trophy room where you can view all of your treasures as well as your player stats.
EA has been harshly and justifiably criticized for its last two efforts. Well now its time for praise. This is a super football simulation and it just may very well be the best Madden ever.
My score is a 9.2