Madden NFL 12 Review

It has to be tough being an annual sports-game developer. If they make a really great game they’re faced with the challenge of making it even better next year. If they change too much they could potentially turn off fans of the last game, but if they don’t change enough they could be criticized for shipping the same game with a roster update. It’s a real “damned if they do, damned if they don’t” situation. Madden NFL 12 tries to conquer this feat, but can it surpass its highly praised predecessor?

Madden NFL 12 still attains that solid Madden gameplay, but EA Tiburon have made a few minor changes to the gameplay. The first one you’ll notice is that during kick-offs and before a play, you’ll be looking at the field from the sidelines. This is actually quite annoying when kicking the ball, but thankfully it’s not much of an obstacle as you can go back to the classic Madden view at a press of the button. Other times you view the action from alternat perspectives are during field goal and PAT attempts.

Although the play mechanics are solid, the game is rife with technical issues. You can’t go a full game without having the bench, players, or coaches appear out of nowhere and the commentators are often a full play late with their casting. Along with being slow to comment, they can also be incorrect or off-topic from time to time. And curiously, during the time I played the game, I would occasionally hear a loud pop. I switched to a different television to see if the problem continued to occur and unfortunately, it did. Thankfully though, there is little to nothing wrong with the most important part of the game: what’s going on on the field. The frame rate does drop a little at times, but the gameplay is largely unaffected.

The game’s presentation lacks enthusiasm. When participating in the Super Bowl, you don’t get a feel for the excitement of one of sports’ biggest events. There are a noticeable amount of empty seats, and besides a look into the locker room, it feels like any other game until it’s over. The game at times feels like it was more a product of labor than passion. This hurts the game as it doesn’t suck you into the sport like other EA Sports products do. The choice to get rid of the coach talking to you during the game is definitely missed. Although the game’s presentation may not be its strongest point, it still looks beautiful. From the players to the weather, the graphics are finely detailed.

The game may be short on enthusiasm, but what it doesn’t have there it makes up for in content. There is enough in this game to last the most avid fans more than a full NFL season. Unfortunately, the vast majority of it has been added to the Franchise mode. Dynamic Player Performance makes players perform like their real-life counterparts based on consistency and their confidence coming off each game. Players with higher consistency will see smaller changes in their rating, but others could come out one day and play terribly then fantastically the next game. This adds a new sense of realism to the game and encourages you to play harder and better each and every game regardless of the importance.

Other new features in Franchise mode includes Cut Days, which lets you try out a roster of seventy-five players and make cuts during the pre-season. You can simulate through the entire process, but for players who want everything out of Madden NFL 12‘s franchise mode, this will give the game added depth. Free Agency bidding has become a more intense experience, as you have to out-bid other teams to acquire key players. All of the features have made Franchise mode richer and more complete than previous installments, and I’m sure many players will appreciate the new additions.

Playing Franchise mode, you don’t need to pay attention to a lot of the new stuff if you’re not a die-hard football fan, but it’s a definite plus for people wanting the absolute most out of this game. The game as a whole caters well to hardcore and casual players. GameFlow makes a return for those who just want to play, but Conventional play is still there for those who want to set their game up how they please. I wouldn’t call myself a hardcore player, but I still preferred having control over my plays. I found that it was hard to understand what exactly was going to happen when I played GameFlow.

Madden NFL 12 is a solid football game, but it lacks a lot of what real football has. Enthusiasm and excitement are missing from this game. It’s disappointing because this could truly be a great football game if they were present. Despite all of its little issues and the updates’ Franchise-mode focus making it difficult to justify the $60 price tag, fans of the series will still be able to welcome Madden 12 with open arms. Interested newcomers, on the other hand, should tread carefully if they’re considering to commit to a purchase.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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