The National Football League is arguably amongst the most popular sports leagues in the world, and with its popularity rising all over the world Madden NFL 13 comes out at the perfect time. With realism at the forefront of the game for years, this latest iteration has a lot to live up to. Is worth getting or should you stick with Madden NFL 12? Read on to find out.
Game: Madden NFL 13
Developer: EA Tiburon
Publisher: EA Sports
This is where the game is far and above any other sports game out there. It is hard to deny that the presentation and graphics are where Madden excel. Player models are superbly created, with a host of current, alternative and even retro kits to choose from. Even the player faces are fantastic too. The presentation of Exhibition matches and Connected Career bring an immense amount of realism to this title and it is a key factor in Maddens success. Perhaps with only a handful of teams to focus on, EA may have had more time to work on the presentation, giving teams multiple kits, helmets, boots and so much more, but this is most definitely a good thing as you won’t find another American Football game with better realism and presentation. The presentation just before a game, showing the players in the pre game videos, to them warming up to the guys lining up on the field, is all as good as you can get. Let’s face it, realism is what we all crave, we all want to play a game that makes us feel we aren’t playing a game! That is what Madden feels like with it’s 2013 edition. Another fantastic feature is stats in game. When a player is highlighted by the commentary, they give the players stats from the season and highlight his attributes, another addition that has made the transition from TV to game.
With Jim Nantz and Phil Simms in their booth talking about the upcoming fixtures to the crowd supporting their teams, the realism is superb and by far the best part of this game.
The menu’s too are set out so that everything is accessible and easy to find. Laid out in a unique panel format, select the option you wish to choose on the home screen, or cycle through a quick select toolbar at the top of the screen using the right or left analogue stick. Once selected, you are presented with a sub menu to then select the next step towards where you are trying to get.
The sound in this title goes along with the Graphics, another great addition to immerse yourself with the realism of the game. The music is fitting to the NFL and the in game atmosphere is identical to actual NFL fixtures.
The commentary this year also is excellent, picking up on every detail of the matches. EA have done a fantastic job capturing the feeling of a live NFL broadcast.
Gameplay in this years edition of Madden is up their with the best. The smooth gameplay makes for enjoyable matches. Plays are set up so they are easy to access and select and with the addition of Total Control Passing you can pick out your team mates with pin point accuracy. Lay out their runs and select who you want to pass to by selecting either O, Square, X or Triangle. This is music to the ears of Quarter back wannabe’s who want to make their mark in the game. On the other end the brand new Infinity Engine helps you stop this occurring on the other team. With true physics bringing crunching tackles that look even better than before. When selecting your option for a game, you can choose your Play call style, selecting either Conventional or GameFlow. GameFlow bring you “Quick play calling with conventional options” while Conventional gives a “Conventional 3-Box Play Call”.
One major flaw with the game however is the lack of a tutorial mode. For those who may not have played a Madden NFL game before will have to learn the hard way. There is a practice mode to practice your plays etc, but nothing that will actually teach you how to play American Football. This is a massive mistake, it will almost alienate countries where the sport is not as big, even if it is growing in popularity. With out a tutorial mode players are left having to play exhibition games and learn on the go. While this may not be a bad idea, gamers will learn the game, but not necessarily the rules and will go through the game with out actually knowing what they are doing to receive the results they get.
This year EA have brought us “Connected Careers”. A brand new way to go through a online or offline career as a player or coach. You can either choose a pre existing coach or player from the NFL roster or create your very own, wether that be a reincarnation of you or a completely fictional character in which you wish to mould to be the person you never could! Game Face allows you to insert your own face in to the game and if that isn’t quite up your street then you can create a face from scratch!
Connected Careers even let’s you choose your backstory as a player. You can be High draft pick, which brings a lot of expectation, but let’s you start from the top. Be a Low draft pick which doesn’t quite give you the expectations of the high draft pick but still allows you to reach the top if you play right. Or be un drafted, which allows you the time to progress but will take more time to reach the top. As a coach your backstory is slightly different, you choose between the type of coach you wish to be. From Team Builder, a coach capable of creating a team whilst being shrewd in his tactics to do so, to Motivator, a coach players love and want to play for. And finally Strategist, a coach who thrives on tactics and being innovative.
Play Connected Careers online and you will be playing along side 32 others who will either be playing with you on a team or coaching you to victory. This allows for a lot of variation with in Connected Careers and a lot of longevity. There is also the Gridiron Club, which allows you to “relive the most exciting real-life moments throughout the NFL season as they happen”
Any sports game has longevity. The wealth of teams and modes allow this title to follow that trend. Unlike games with specific stories, a sports title will aim to last you at least for a yearly cycle. Nothing is different year, Connected Careers can keep you occupied for a very, very long time, if you not as a player, created or real, than as a coach, again created or real. Try each one with each different backstory and you have even more to play through, and play the mode online and the time spent playing is endless. Bring round friends and the fun carries on. This game has tremendous replay value.
A big issue with the game is it’s anti-friendliness to brand new players to the game and sport. It is a big problem when people who want to enter in to Football feel like this game can’t help them do that. However, other than that stumbling block, EA have released yet another stunner of a game. It brings a surreal amount of realism which is sure to attract gamers who love the NFL.