Madden finally gets a few things right that we have been asking for, for years. EA finally attempt to make us forget 2K5
Control - You play one Madden, you have played them all nothing new here.
Graphics - Stadiums are rendered nicely as always with great lighting...a little more attention has been paid to the helmet reflections, however most of the faces on the players look busted as always.
Sound - a big improvement on the overall crowd sound as now you can hear individual voices call out during the game....something 2K series has done for years. On the other hand the commentary from Hammond and Collinsworth still sounds (and uses lines) from last year with some of the phrases that repeats (especially the one about the WRs catching the balls in pitch black) but again, I will take this over ESPN radio any day!
Presentation- Kind of a mixed bag but I am liking it more than I hate it. While EA finally gave you a feel like you are watching the game with all of the nice cutaways to the crowd and facts...a few things still needed to be fixed in order for this to be the complete game that 2K5 is.
- In game ticker: Nothing makes you play a little harder than seeing how well other teams are doing throughout the course of your game.
- Halftime show improvements - Ok ok...yeah we finally got one but how about doning a Chris Berman-esque voice over as the best plays are being replayed...worse yet how about all of the highlights are out of order?
- The pregame show - Thank you for putting it in!!! But guess what EA!! Another 2K5 steal that you dropped the ball on! When showing highlights from other games...SHOW.HIGHLIGHTS.FROM.OTHER.GAMES. if a 6 year old game can show you 1 or 2 plays from another game or even from my own, tehn you guys should be able to do it too! Also get rid of Alex...i am sure there are more people male or female that can act as if they are in the game better than her!
- I do like the fact that the AI is more active in signing players and making sensible signings, nothing like going thru a whole season and seeing the free agency just be static.
- Ahhh yeah!! before I forget, the tackling animations look a lot more realistic and so far I have seen 4 5 and 6 man tackles. Slightly glitchy in a few spots but otherwise it's a step forward.
- Franchise mode has improved with team actually signing some players that were needed instead of going a whole season with many free agents just sitting static on the FA wire. Also you can't really rob the AI out of trades and draft picks as in earlier versions
As far as the speed of the game, it does feel like it's slowed down a bit and when you play it long enough, you learn to adjust to the speed of the game.
Some of the little things that I have seen that makes the game a little more worthwhile:
- the chain gang
- refs getting run over
- refs meeting and confirming the TD
- players being carted off after an injury
- so far 3 different crowd screens
- coaches arguing with refs about penalties
- players clowning around on the sidelines.
- better crowd reaction to plays
So, really this isn't the year to be skeptical. It's improved a lot over the last 2 iterations but still has a few more steps now to go before it completely makes me forget about 2K5.
On a larger scale of 1 to 10 I would give this an 8.