Madden 25 Review

Madden 14 25 is the anniversary celebration of a quarter century of football video gaming. It’s been a great generation of sports games. Have consoles limited the growth of this franchise. Graphics are at already unbelievable levels, games like Madden have features and modes for days. How do you advance the franchise that has changed gaming and sports games forever? Slowly, I guess. I don't have the solution or ideas so its not fair to hit EA too hard for this, and I was never one to say "its the same game with roster updates," but the last two games are so similar it makes me think.

Is EA waiting to go graphically to another stratosphere with the 4th gen systems? Did a split release (one for PS3 and PS4) hurt in anyway? We will see soon but this release was kinda blah. I love the game play still, but this 25 didn't build on anything.

The one thing EA has been working on more and more recently is the in-game presentation, visuals, and sound. They are all are stronger than ever. Pre-game featurettes, play by play from Nantz and Sims and in game cut aways all increase the broadcast feel of the game. Less repetition in player movements and broadcast stories keep it fresh. But TD dances are overly canned and forced.

But how it actually feels to play it, and Madden 25 takes its already-great formula and improves on it with the second year of the Infinity Engine. It creates a level of connection with the players you are controlling that makes the experience as rewarding as it’s ever been. As a ball carrier, not only can you juke or spin, but there is now a precision feature that allows you to time these moves perfectly and enhance their effectiveness. Its hard to tell what the precision modifier is doing sometimes, but the ability to juke with the left stick is a big add and allows for smoother movement and sharper cuts.

The newest mode, Connected Franchise, is like a combo of Be A Pro and Franchise where players can choose to be a single player, the coach of a team, or the big shot owner of the franchise. With each of those choices comes a set of goals, tasks and responsibilities. 

If you choose player, you can create your own player, be a current NFL player or even play as a legendary player and attempt to rewrite their career in the modern era. As a coach, you control the entire team in games and have all of the options that have come in standard franchise modes. Finally, as an owner you get control of franchise operation and income generation. While the games will still be user controlled just like in coach mode, owners can make changes to the prices of tickets and in-stadium amenities, control the payroll and the staff, deal with the media and the public, oversee changes or complete renovations to stadiums, or uproot and relocate the team to one of 17 locations.

Two big downsides to the game, the menus and music. The pre game menus look nice, yes. But the are slow to load and clunky to navigate. As for the music, the same three-four songs play in every game and stadium and the menus have a NFL Films sounding song that plays over and over. Madden was always known for the soundtrack, so where is it?

I don't know what to think about this year's Madden. The O-line finally blocks well, but the game doesn't have big changes. Are big changes actually bad. What am I looking for out of the game anyway? Do the next gen releases put the game back on track with big advancements? Will those just be graphically? Is the game too perfect, EA has known that for a while, that they don't change it? All I know is that it still works and is still the best sports game and the best sports franchise ever.

PROS:
+ Fluid, impressive gameplay
+ Improved blocking schemes and AI
+ Beautiful graphically
+ No big change to the game

CONS:
- Laggy menus and sub-menus
- In-game Music
- No big change to the game

GRADE:
A

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