The framework is here for a great sports game, but lackluster visuals and some unbalanced gameplay disappoint.
Getting back to my earlier statement of Madden 08 not being as good as it's cracked up to be, it simply isn't as fun and innovative as its predecessors. It's becoming more of a sim, than a pure sports game, and even though that ain't necessarily bad, it does mean that it isn't great. Also, the power of current gen systems simply aren't being used. The Ps3 and 360 versions of Madden both look good, but they just don't have that visual flair of NHL and NBA Live 08. Things just aren't bright enough, and both versions suffer.
Unfortunately, for Ps3 owners, it doesn't end there. The framerate is just not up to par. It barely runs at 30 frames, and can't hold its own during those frozen weather games. It subtracts from the detail and superb animations. It really makes the game uninspiring at times, which is really frustrating.
But, hey, I never said that 08 isn't good. It just isn't great. And what's a game without flaws? (see Uncharted, Call of Duty 4…) The animations are excellent, and players are controllable 360 degrees seemlessly. Guys like Braylon Edwards will make one handed grabs, and it just looks phenomenal.
Also worth noting is the addition of the weapons system. If a player has a rating over 92 in almost anything, he will become a weapon, usable on the field in certain situations. If a cannon arm QB throws to a speed WR, against DB's without any weapons, it is a great mismatch, that should be utilized, if you are good enough. Everybody's been saying how much that the weapons system is so invigorating, but I just felt it to be a real tack on.
Training camp still hasn't returned to franchise, which sucks. But the financial mumbo jumbo is more realized than ever. Since when did Madden become about off the field stuff? It's just disappointing.
Overall, this year's iteration of Madden is semi enjoyable. If you love football, and Madden NFL, then there's nothing really nothing stopping you from getting this. It's not bad, it's just slowly slipping away. A great animation system, and a cool mismatch gameplay element are great, but we really just need to return to the core of what made this series the titan it is.