Madden 15 is the latest title to join the EA Access Vault. Currently the program is only available to Xbox One owners but will the latest edition to the Vault convince you to subscribe? At £3.99 per month or a full year at £19.99 and NBA Live 15 recently joining the program I must admit to being sorely tempted in joining!
It's still Madden Season for EA Access members – Madden NFL 15 is now in The Vault for all members. Go play now! pic.twitter.com/fKnNjAPCW0
It’s great being a Seattle Seahawks fan at the moment, we’re Super Bowl champions, we got off to great start in our first game (though we lost our second) and generally things are pretty good, so it was great joy that Madden 15 fell my way complete with the Legion of Boom gracing the home screen.
After really enjoying Madden 25, I was looking forward to seeing the updated rosters and how the new gameplay features would improve upon the last game. The biggest change you’ll notice if you have played the previous games is that the defence had has some great change made to it. Being able to swap the camera round so you have the defence in front of you is great because you can get a much better of view of what’s going on with your team. For those with quick reaction there is a mini game that involves pressing the right trigger when the play is made and you feel the vibration, which can help give you that extra time to go for the QB, if you get blocked you’ll have one more opportunity to get past the offense by pressing the corresponding prompt that comes up on screen.
I didn’t notice any real change in terms of the offence, but there is a subtle new feature that can prove quite useful, Tempo changes allow you to alter the how quickly your team responds to the play clock, trying to wind down time to protect a win? Then you can ‘Chew the Clock’ to hold breaking your huddle until as late as possible, the opposite gives you the option to have no huddle and get through your plays as quickly as possible. The playcalling as had some interesting changes made to it to, especially if you like your stats. While choosing your next play you will get to see some historic data showing things like how many times you have called the play or the average amount of yards gained by the community using that play. As in previous games the playbook is full of combinations of plays based on formation, player types, or if you want to play it safe you can go with the Coach Suggestions.
As much as I love to watch the football and to play Madden I’ll admit that I’m trying to learn the different plays and even some of the terminology, and if you are in a similar position I fully recommend spending some time with the Skills Trainer in Madden 15. You’ll play through all sorts of drills teaching you the basics of tackling right up to learning how to read different plays, if you are prepared to take your time learning your way through this mode you’ll be a much better player for it. There is also a great new mode called gauntlet, which will give you challenges to try and complete. They start of quite simple, making a specific type of play while outnumbering the defence, but every 5 levels you’ll come across a ‘boss’ level which will throw you a complete curveball like trying to score a 90 yard field goal in hurricane speed winds, or running through a media scrum while your team try to tackle you. It’s very much luck of the draw as to what type of challenges you’ll come across, and you’ll have 5 lives so there is some room to make mistakes. The best I’ve managed is level 24, but I’m confident I could beat it if I practiced!
Visually the game is as good as you expect from an EA Sports title, the stadiums look great and the crowd finally look like a crowd of individual people. The lighting effects are superb, it’s most noticeable on players wearing visors and when it’s raining but overall the presentation is excellent. There are still glitches with players, the ragdoll effects are still odd at times and Tiny Titan has made a name for himself in the past few weeks, even getting a game mode out of it. It doesn’t have any negative affect on the gameplay which is the most important thing, but tis something that will need addressing for the next Madden release.
Madden Ultimate Team returns to Madden 15, for those that don’t know this mode allows players to pick their team, collect their favourite current and past NFL players, and upgrade their squad to create their fantasy team. You can purchase packs of players, coaches, playbooks, stadiums, and more with coins they earn by competing with other players online or by completing single player challenges. EA have given the mode a spring clean to make things easier to navigate and make things a bit simpler for newbies like me. When you begin MUT you’ll choose a team to determine your home and away jerseys as well as the stadium before choosing a play style for the team. Play Style is a key element of MUT team construction. As you gain more players that fit your chosen Play Style, your team will receive a ratings boost to certain stats. Much like FIFA Ultimate Team this is one of those modes that will make you lose hours of your life and it’s great.
All the old modes such as the Connected Franchise and Head to Head play are still there and are well worth your time. Year on year Madden has got better and better and this year’s effort is the most enjoyable and accessible yet, the skills trainer is excellent and MUT is a whole world of fun. If I haven’t done enough to convince you how good it is why not check out the 6 trial on EA Access, you might surprise you self!
The Xbox One now supports preloading of Digital titles and has kicked things off with Madden NFL 15, if you head over to the Xbox Store you can purchase the game and it will start to download but won’t be available until 12:01am on Friday morning.
Payment will be taken straight away so you will need to contact Xbox Support to cancel the pre-order. If you are signed up to EA Access you can play 6 hours worth of the game now. Just head over to the EA Sports hub and the 14gig download will be waiting for you.
Winning the Super Bowl clearly wasn’t enough for the Seahawks’ cornerback Richard Sherman but now his life should be complete having won the fans vote to become the cover star of Madden 15.
Electronic Arts once again turned to fans to decide who would be the game’s cover star. 16 players in all were in contention. The final two players were Cam Newton, quarterback for the Carolina Panthers and Sherman, this was the second time that Newton has lost out on winning the cover vote.
Sports games don’t really need an announcement; fans of the franchise all know they’ll be coming out eventually. But, that hasn’t stopped EA from letting us known that the next game in their NFL franchise, Madden 15, will touchdown into shops this coming August.
The trailer below stars Panthers LB, and reigning defensive player of the year, Luke Kuechly transforming.
We’re assuming that EA are going to go down the same route that saw Vikings RB, Adrian Peterson, take the cover of Madden 25. But, it could be a nice change to see both the defensive player of the year, and offensive player of the year lining up together. If EA are going to do this, expect to see the legendary arm of Denver Broncos QB, Peyton Manning, being displayed in future Madden 15 trailers.