Huge shock! Madden 19 was revealed by EA at their E3 2018 conference. Well perhaps not a huge shock, not even a little shock really, more like a super predictable reveal, but oh well. Nothing new was shown or talked about. but there’s a trailer, so hurray!
Madden titles of late have been remarkably well-built. The improvements to the animations, control response, visuals, and features have made a significant jump in this generation compared with the last. Madden 17’s enhancements to the game are less significant but result in a title that feels familiar and wonderfully tweaked. Indeed this is the most accessible, realistic and impressive Madden so far.
This year’s Skill Trainer is superbly comprehensive, teaching precisely what you want to know about the complicated sport. Whether you’re a new comer or veteran, here you can learn as little or as much as you need. Basic controls to advanced tactics are thoroughly covered as so to prepare you for the savvy AI and players you’ll meet online. It’s a terrific jumping off point to start your Madden 17 experience.
Meanwhile, on lower difficulties you can activate a number of assists – ala Forza – to make your learning curve less steep. Skill moves can be set to automatically be performed depending on the situation, furthermore, a run path assist shows you which direction you’re heading. Additionally, the new Concept Counter reveals which play the offence is making, allowing you to counter more effectively. And of course, as your skills develop these assists can be turned off.
Franchise mode remains the go-to single player component – although Ultimate Team is arguably just as big a draw now. Whether you’re a player or owner, Franchise mode is more accessible than ever. The roster UI has been improved and now features recommendations on who to trade, cut, and sign, making it easier and faster to manage your team. Additionally, helping elevate the slog of Franchise mode is the new Play the Moments feature. Here, instead of having to play matches in their entirety, you only have to play the most crucial moments. Touchdown opportunities, field goals, third downs, etc. are played as normal, otherwise the jumbotron and a chart shows you how the rest of the game is coming along, allowing you to jump in and take control if you feel the AI is misrepresenting your team. It proves a handy time-saver if you’re looking to advance through the Franchise mode with more haste.
Player stats now play a bigger part in the ability to perform advanced maneuverers and use certain skills. Juking is a great example, with players with less the 80 in that skill struggling to perform them elegantly. It add the incentive to look at players’ stats more closely and use their power moves, adding deeper elements to the game overall. Meanwhile, defensive zone coverage has been improved and the ability to swat the ball has now been added, this is alongside improved ball physics makes fumbles, tips and turnovers more of a threat therefore injecting further realism into the game.
Madden 17 isn’t entirely without fault however. Long load times occur now and again, especially in the Ultimate Team solo challenges. Meanwhile, the old three click system is back for kicking the ball, which may feel like a step back, although it does eliminate any frustration the analogue stick flicking may have caused.
However, the tweaks to the game overshadow the aforementioned minor faults. Finally being able to skip cinematics and camera cutaways is a welcome addition that once again aids in the speed of the game. There’s great chemistry with the new Madden commentators, Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis, with the expected generalised comments and player histories accompanying some great play-by-play analysis that feels natural and realistic.
Indeed, Madden 17 takes the strengths of the last two iterations and enhances them with smart tweaks. The game feels more balanced than it ever has, thanks to a focus on realism and vast tactical options. Meanwhile, the handful of new animations are easy to appreciate as you dash up the field and suffer bone crunching tackles with splendid visual fidelity.
Today you can pick up the new 1TB Xbox One console with a full game download of Madden 16 (which releases 25th August), Madden Ultimate Team Gold Upgrade pack and a full year of EA Access for $399. Madden 16 is available with EA Access today so you can have 10 hours of play time until the launch next week.
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.
In partnership with EA SPORTS, Microsoft has now “officially” announced a special Xbox One console bundle to celebrate Madden NFL 15, which will be released at select US retailers on Aug. 26th for $399, and includes a copy of the game at no additional cost. The console is also a standard one, it is NOT white as per previous rumours. (but nothing out yet about the supposed White Sunset Overdrive console)
Available soon for pre-order and in limited supply only, the bundle includes:
Download code for Madden NFL 15 on Xbox One
Standard Xbox One console
Standard Xbox One wireless controller
Standard Xbox One chat headset
Special edition Madden NFL 15 packaging
Token for three Madden NFL Ultimate Team Pro Packs
The Madden NFL series from Electronic Arts has spanned more than 25 years and five console generations. It’s a franchise that’s synonymous with intense realistic sports action, technical innovation and rabid football fandom. Only on Xbox One, the Official Game Console of the NFL, can you play a game of Madden while tracking your fantasy football team with the NFL on Xbox app snapped to the side.
If you’re a football fan that’s been holding out to make the next-gen leap, now is the time to get into the game on Xbox One.