Is Madden 12 The Best Football Game Ever?

September 9, 2011

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I know I asked the question, but I don’t even know that I can answer my own question. It’s very difficult to make an argument for anything being the “best ever”, but I do have to say that the makers of Madden made some SIGNIFICANT improvements in this year’s game.

Gameplay-wise, I think the biggest improvement is the all new collision system. The game is also “smart” enough to take the size of different players into consideration. If Darren Sproles gets hit by Brian Urlacher, chances are, he’s going to be hit backwards. The new system flows very well, using a players momentum in tackling. The days of 8 defenders suctioning onto a running back (or any offensive player for that matter) are over. Gang tackling, better and consecutive hits make the game much more realistic.

In previous versions of Madden, certain pass plays were always extremely easy. Slant across the middle, catch just about every time. Zone defenses seemed extremely easy to beat. Now, Madden has some enhancements that give defenders a clue on what their assignments should be, and it works! My first time playing the game, I immediately fell back on the same plays that I always use, and to my surprise, they weren’t bread and butter like usual. Good! Anything that makes the game more challenging.

Visually, the big change being promoted is 3D grass. Honestly, I can’t tell much of a difference. The graphics are indeed better this year than they have been in years past, but as far as being able to tell the grass is 3D…come on. Maybe it’s really there. But to me, that doesn’t matter. What does matter, is players kicking up grass, dirt, snow, etc, when running on the field. Actually seeing the elements is pretty cool, and you definitely can this year.

Play calling has been given a huge upgrade this year. Rather than cycling through every single play in your teams playbook, you can choose the game flow system, where a select few plays will be displayed and you can pick one. The plays to seem to line up pretty well with your teams situation (1st and 10, 3rd and 2, etc) from what I’ve noticed while playing. It does shed a few minutes off of your game time, meaning 1 game might take 45 minutes instead of an hour, but still pretty cool.

The Franchise Mode also received a big overhaul, adding in expanded rosters and also roster cuts during the pre-season, allowing you to trim your roster of bad contracts and obviously adding more realism. I haven’t made it to an off-season yet, but free agent bidding should now be much better than in the past. And maybe the coolest thing of all…if you’re in season 6 (or whatever season) of your franchise and you’re tired of your team, you can now switch to another team without needing to completely restart your franchise mode. I haven’t done this, but still seems very cool.

Overall, I love the game. On a scale of 1-10, I’d give it about a 9.5, simply because giving any game a full 10 is just hard to justify. But don’t let that deter you. This game is fantastic and I highly recommend it to any football fan.

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