Madden NFL 11 Nathaniel Stevens Hot

http://digitalchumps.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/300x300s/18/57/d4/5663_CMCapture1_128145069780.jpg
Written by Nathaniel Stevens     August 10, 2010    
 
9.6
 
4.0 (5)
0   1   0   0   0
 
Write Review

Videogames

Publisher
Console (if any)
Developer
Genre
Release Date
August 10, 2010
Storage Size
143mb
MSRP $
59.99

EA Sports set a new bar with Madden NFL 10. New visuals mixed with good commentary mixed with other essentials put last year's Madden ahead of the pack. Now what can they do for an encore?

Where do I begin?

While it certainly would be easy to start with visuals and presentation, and even some online goodies, there is one particular element of Madden NFL 11 that deserves to be mentioned above all other things.

The biggest push this year at E3 from the developers of Madden NFL 11 was the new 'GameFlow' system. Many people compare it to 'Ask Madden', but that's not entirely fair. Madden suggests plays for you without rhyme or reason; consider it a 'hint' if you will. GameFlow is more complicated than that, as you do get suggestions from the pseudo-coach on the field, but the coach actually gives you somewhat of an explanation when they're asking you to run a particular play. For example, if it's third and long and you hit the 'GameFlow' option it will probably tell you that the quarterback is probably going to step back and throw the ball, so you have to get in his face as quickly as possible. It will probably suggest you running a blitz and also suggest you staying on your route. GameFlow basically gives you information and helps teach you what to look for or anticipate for when you're running up on particular game situations. By the third or fourth game in Madden I was calling up a Cover 3 defense, but calling an audible at the last minute to blitz the quarterback because the situation called for it; In other words, GameFlow will make you a better player without you knowing it.

nice!

So here are a few other things about GameFlow that are interesting. Harking back to the Sega Dreamcast days when the VMU (Visual Memory Unit) helped to hide all your plays in NFL 2K, GameFlow provides you with a secretive sense of security when you're playing one-on-one against another player. Needing a headset to sport for this option, you can choose GameFlow and have the coach speak directly in your ear, so that your opponent doesn't know what's happening. You'll get advice, you'll feel like you're really on the field listening to a mastermind of the game (unless you're a Browns' fan; then you're screwed -- just kidding.... sorta). Regardless, GameFlow's ability to play through your headset makes it invaluable when you need help reading a particular defense or offense.

Another effect of GameFlow is that it also speeds up the game. When you choose GameFlow it keeps things rolling. So instead of playing a game for 45 minutes to an hour, you get about a 30-minute game at tops. This means you can play more games and means you can keep the season going pretty darn quickly.

Now, is GameFlow useful against human players?  It's debatable. I think that GameFlow works best when you're playing against the computer, but it does have its uses when you're going head-to-head against a real player. I thin that the after effect of using GameFlow in Franchise mode is that you'll want to use it all the time, which is something you don't want to do. I found myself getting burned repeatedly when using it online and actually heckled by Cris Collinsworth for not changing my defensive scheme that GameFlow called up for me (oh, don't get me started, Collinsowrth!). Don't get me wrong, there were times where I was just absolutely baffled by the offense and needed GameFlow to help sort that out, or at least point me in the right direction. Never use it too much when you're playing friends or online (or online friends); it will burn you more often then not.

Enough about GameFlow, let's talk about sorting out plays.

'Game Planning' is a huge part of this year's push in Madden NFL 11. You no longer have to go through dozens and dozens of plays to figure out what you want to do. Game Planning actually allows you to take your team's playbook and pick and choose what you want to run in particular games. For example, if I wanted to limit my run plays and focus more on my passing then I could go in and chop up my playbook and put something together to fit those needs. I wouldn't want too many run plays against the New York Jets (they had the number one run defense last year), so I would take out the majority of my run plays and put in more passing situations. It's nice and easy and it's incredibly useful. I know some of you are wondering how many game plans you can create and the answer is as many as you want.
I found Game Planning to be as useful as GameFlow; sometimes even more useful.

Shifting gears just slightly, let's talk about actual game controls.

game planning

As we were on EA's private booth tour this year at E3 one of the Madden developers was praising how great the locomotion system was on this year's version. The locomotion engine was completely replaced in Madden NFL 11 and more emphasis was put on using the analog sticks more. I'm sure that there are some Madden fans out there that have worn down their controller's buttons using the sprint button, but no more! EA decided to save you $40-60 in replacing your controller by putting most of the focus on the dual stick control. So when you're pressing up to catch some speed or twisting away from a tackle, you won't need to press any buttons to perform these things. For gamers who love their running game you'll especially benefit from this adjustment. The focus on the analog sticks allows for a natural motion that will break a running back away from a would be tackler. It's so much better, but the Madden veterans out there are still going to instinctively press buttons to perform such tasks; I know I'm still kicking that habit.

Changing it up a bit, but still sticking with play mechanics, the A.I. in Madden NFL 11 has improved dramatically, especially with run plays. One of the budding elements of Madden NFL 10 was how much the running game had improved. Continuing the tradition, Madden NFL 11 is vastly improved over last year's running game. While it certainly is a bit more balance (no more 300 yard games for Jamal Lewis -- at all), the blocking during a running situation is more like the NFL and less like a video game. The computer players actually hit their assignments nearly every time (not all the time otherwise it would be a flaw) and help to create holes for your running backs. You can actually see holes open up thanks to these blocks, and sometimes the holes aren't where the play had schemed they would be. Regardless, the computer players are finally dependable when it comes to trusting them with assignments.

They don't stop at offense, though. The A.I. on the defense is very much improved, as well. Say you run a blitz and miss the running back completely (you, the user) the defense run by the computer will pick up on the miss and adjust. They'll run after the player until they can't anymore. Not very much improved, right? Wrong. Should you miss your tackle and should the computer player pick up on it, if the computer player makes it to the offensive player and starts a tackle more players will come join the foray. This year's Madden actually features A.I. that helps you bring down your opponent. If one guy hits the player then another player will come in and help finish them. I've seen a pile of guys bring down a single running back before; it's absolutely beautiful.

So, you can see how much EA Sports has been working on improving the gameplay of a title that already had great gameplay. It's impressive what they've subtracted and what they've added.

Now, let's talk about presentation.

detailed, but he's still not pretty.

If you are at all familiar with the jump from Madden NFL 09 to Madden NFL 10 then you understand how impressive the visuals were between the two games. To even think about improvement from Madden NFL 10 to Madden NFL 11 is tough to do, but there was improvement. The stadiums are a bit more detailed this year, as is the environment that surrounds them. You get a lot more activity from the crowd, a lot more visually 'real' elements from the weather (seeing it rain is pretty) and you just get a bit more detailed when it comes to character models. Something that should especially be mentioned is the actual 'contact' between players. Again, harking back to last year's Madden, the contact between players during a tackle or even during blocking was really good. Occasionally you would get the graphical break-up or a hand would mysteriously find its way through another player's body. In Madden NFL 11 all of that has been cleaned up and improved. For example, when I was abusing Ben Roethlisberger on the field, like the sports media has been this past year, Shaun Rogers would shoulder tackle him to the ground pretty hard. When the replay of this wonderful event came on shortly after it occurred, you could see in detail that Rogers dipped his shoulder, wrapped up Big Ben and rammed him into the turf without one graphic break-up. Expect this type of visual joy in nearly ever aspect of the game.

Other presentation elements that have improved are the player chants before a game to get psyched. Most players will enjoy this element; I know it was particularly fun watching Ray Lewis come out and do his dance to get going (you can see that in the recently released Madden commercials as well). Some other neat presentation elements include authentic stadium audio. For example, when the Bucs score you'll get the pirate ship canon going off or when the Vikings score you'll get the giant Viking horn in the background. All of this has improved the presentation for the game.

A huge improvement, one that I still am enjoying, is the soundtrack to the game. In past years with Madden, I always dreaded the music that accompanied it. It always seemed to be new bands mixed with some popular songs. This time around you get some great music from bands like Guns'n'Roses, AC/DC, KISS and other rock bands. If I could own a soundtrack from any game that isn't named DJ Hero, this would be on my shelf right now. This is the first Madden soundtrack I've actually enjoyed.

Finally, one of the bigger improvements was the replacing of Tom Hammonds in the audio booth. Instead of Hammonds, who according to one developer didn't like the experience too much, you get the over excitement that only Gus Johnson can produce. Mostly known for NCAA Basketball games, Johnson brings a fresh, exciting take with the seemingly always-negative Cris Collinsworth. He brings the shouting, the unique commentary and the powerfully played words that seemed absent from Madden NFL 10. So when you are up 60-12 on your opponent, Johnson won't stop the fun train for a breather; he'll just keep going.

All right, we're nearing the end of the review (stay with me!) let's talk about longevity. While there is no doubt that longevity of a Madden game is typically long enough for the football season to end, the addition of GameFlow allows players to feel like they can move on and explore more things that Madden NFL 11 has to offer. For me, trudging through a season was a tedious process, but because the gameplay is sped up and everything kicks on all cylinders in this department, it allows me to do more offline and online. So, for example, Franchise Mode allows me to have a more hands-on experience with managing my team. I get to mess more with free agency and trades and drafting. Having that extra time to devote to more complicated decision making off the field adds much needed value to the experience.

kick it

The online experience for Madden NFL 11 also extends the life of the game. One of the newer features, which I haven't tried yet (but will) is the ability for online team play. You can have an online game with three of your friends playing with you. That's an enormous improvement for this year's Madden and something that will certainly interest quite a few friends (or it could end friendships). I hope to dig into that today, if I can find enough knuckleheads to play. Another cool feature for the online portion of Madden NFL 11 is the ability to earn 'coins'. As you play online for ranked and unranked games you earn coins that you can put towards team boosts, scouting reports (seems kind of shady) and other things to help you improve and love the online experience. Having a reward for doing something is great, especially if it drives you to do better; this is exactly what coins will do for you.

Editor reviews

At the end of the day you get a lot more bang for your buck in Madden NFL 11. There's more depth with GameFlow and Game Planning, a naturla feel with improved controls, better presentation and just a phenomenal overall experience.

This is the best Madden game to date.
Overall rating 
 
9.6
Gameplay 
 
9.0
Presentation 
 
10.0
Value  
 
10.0
Fun Factor 
 
10.0
Tilt 
 
9.0
Nathaniel Stevens Reviewed by Nathaniel Stevens August 10, 2010
#1 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (1089)

A perfect catch for any Madden fan.

At the end of the day you get a lot more bang for your buck in Madden NFL 11. There's more depth with GameFlow and Game Planning, a naturla feel with improved controls, better presentation and just a phenomenal overall experience.

This is the best Madden game to date.

Videogames

Gameplay
With the addition of GameFlow and Game Planning, plus easier/natural controls, the gameplay experience has improved ten-fold from last year's madden.
Presentation
Better graphics, better contact between players, improved football environments and definitely more exciting commentary. Madden NFL 11 sets a new bar for how a football game should be presented.
Value
It's definitely worth your hard earned cash. $59.99 is cheap compared to what EA Sports is offering up.
Fun Factor
With a deep Franchise mode and a very deep online mode, there's plenty of fun to be had. Even more so when you consider how fast the games will run when you use GameFlow.
Was this review helpful to you? 
 

User reviews

Average user rating from: 5 user(s)

Overall rating 
 
4.0
Gameplay 
 
4.2  (5)
Presentation 
 
5.4  (5)
Value  
 
3.0  (5)
Fun Factor 
 
3.8  (5)
Tilt 
 
3.4  (5)
Already have an account?
Ratings (the higher the better)
  • Gameplay
    How did the game play? Controls, functionality, etc.
  • Presentation
    How were the soundtrack, visuals, menus, attitude, etc?
  • Value
    Was the game worth the money?
  • Fun Factor
    Was it fun? Was it not?
  • Tilt
    This is your chance to skew the score outside of the stated categories.
Videogames
Comments
Please enter the security code.
I have a serious problem with individuals who rate this game as high as you do. Let's have a chat.

General Gameplay

I'm not even in the mood to write anything so I'll just list what I have jotted down as to what drags this game down in terms of gameplay.

- Offense is unstoppable unless you're playing against an idiot
- Defensive AI is the worst it's been since madden made the jump to next gen consoles. Where you're coming up with the AI being the best ever... I hope you aren't serious. Have you honestly played more than 2 full games or are you just looking past all the crippling gameplay flaws that keep this from being an actually good game?
- Pre-canned animations that take players out of the play
- Defenders do not play the BALL in man coverage
- Defenders leave assignments in Zone coverage and leave huge holes in the field for no reason
- Ratings mean nothing. My defenders can't tackle anyone, higher rated D-Line can't get a sack before a CPU QB gets the ball out
- Individual bump and run removed
- Flats still broken
- Doesn't matter what defense you call, you might as well not be playing the defensive side of the ball. You're probably going to get torched
- Unrealistic amount of broken tackles
- RUN BLOCKING IS IMPROVED (WOW, A POSITIVE!!!) BUT Offense in general is now 2+ steps ahead of anything the defense can do
- Certain WR/TE routes are uncoverable unless user controlled (BAD AI)
- Don't have to really know anything about football, thank you casual gamers for blowing up another game.

I literally almost died laughing when I read this: "With a deep Franchise mode and a very deep online mode, there's plenty of fun to be had. Even more so when you consider how fast the games will run when you use GameFlow." Which part of the barebones franchise mode do you consider "deep"?

Franchise mode has been depleted and horribly lacking ever since probably madden 07/08. Previous features such as the radio shows, concessions and pricing are gone. Franchise mode on next gen consoles has been completely half assed and just feels incomplete when you compare with what they used to do with franchise. Still no player interaction (holdouts ect.). No decent highlight show. EXTRA point is a JOKE and looks like it was made in about 2 hours. Player progression is still garbage. Injured reserve is broken. No draft time trades. As you go from week to week, you feel like you're doing the exact same thing over and over again. No preparation to face a new team. It's old, stale and an incomplete, half-assed game mode.

I assume the reviewer is most certainly one of the people EA sports tries to coddle every year with cheap, dumb gimmicks to lure in casual football fans to blow $60 of their hard earned money. PRO-Tak, fight for the fumble, dual stick control, gameflow, strategy pad. All of them are junk and poorly implemented. Apparently to the main reviewer, if he just set his game time to 1 or 2 minute quarters, he'd have a perfect game.

I'm not even going to get into online play as I'm pretty sure someone else here already covered it.

I sincerely hope the "reviewer" doesn't make any money putting out irresponsible/garbage game reviews.
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Gameplay 
 
5.0
Presentation 
 
7.0
Value  
 
1.0
Fun Factor 
 
3.0
Tilt 
 
5.0
Reviewed by MKEYCKOR August 24, 2010

This is a joke review, right? RIGHT?

I have a serious problem with individuals who rate this game as high as you do. Let's have a chat.

General Gameplay

I'm not even in the mood to write anything so I'll just list what I have jotted down as to what drags this game down in terms of gameplay.

- Offense is unstoppable unless you're playing against an idiot
- Defensive AI is the worst it's been since madden made the jump to next gen consoles. Where you're coming up with the AI being the best ever... I hope you aren't serious. Have you honestly played more than 2 full games or are you just looking past all the crippling gameplay flaws that keep this from being an actually good game?
- Pre-canned animations that take players out of the play
- Defenders do not play the BALL in man coverage
- Defenders leave assignments in Zone coverage and leave huge holes in the field for no reason
- Ratings mean nothing. My defenders can't tackle anyone, higher rated D-Line can't get a sack before a CPU QB gets the ball out
- Individual bump and run removed
- Flats still broken
- Doesn't matter what defense you call, you might as well not be playing the defensive side of the ball. You're probably going to get torched
- Unrealistic amount of broken tackles
- RUN BLOCKING IS IMPROVED (WOW, A POSITIVE!!!) BUT Offense in general is now 2+ steps ahead of anything the defense can do
- Certain WR/TE routes are uncoverable unless user controlled (BAD AI)
- Don't have to really know anything about football, thank you casual gamers for blowing up another game.

I literally almost died laughing when I read this: "With a deep Franchise mode and a very deep online mode, there's plenty of fun to be had. Even more so when you consider how fast the games will run when you use GameFlow." Which part of the barebones franchise mode do you consider "deep"?

Franchise mode has been depleted and horribly lacking ever since probably madden 07/08. Previous features such as the radio shows, concessions and pricing are gone. Franchise mode on next gen consoles has been completely half assed and just feels incomplete when you compare with what they used to do with franchise. Still no player interaction (holdouts ect.). No decent highlight show. EXTRA point is a JOKE and looks like it was made in about 2 hours. Player progression is still garbage. Injured reserve is broken. No draft time trades. As you go from week to week, you feel like you're doing the exact same thing over and over again. No preparation to face a new team. It's old, stale and an incomplete, half-assed game mode.

I assume the reviewer is most certainly one of the people EA sports tries to coddle every year with cheap, dumb gimmicks to lure in casual football fans to blow $60 of their hard earned money. PRO-Tak, fight for the fumble, dual stick control, gameflow, strategy pad. All of them are junk and poorly implemented. Apparently to the main reviewer, if he just set his game time to 1 or 2 minute quarters, he'd have a perfect game.

I'm not even going to get into online play as I'm pretty sure someone else here already covered it.

I sincerely hope the "reviewer" doesn't make any money putting out irresponsible/garbage game reviews.

Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
1.0
Gameplay 
 
1.0
Presentation 
 
1.0
Value  
 
1.0
Fun Factor 
 
1.0
Tilt 
 
1.0
Reviewed by action jackson August 22, 2010

madden 11

Was this review helpful to you? 
Gameflow is the best thing since sliced bread. You can just play the game and if you want to make your own gameplan you can. You have complete control of everything. No one forces you to use Gameflow, you have your own mind! I am so sick of people ripping the game because of gameflow.

Franchise mode is very in depth and the pre, post, and between play presentation is amazing. there are no glitches in the game and it is always fun.

Superstar mode is still a problem and could be better but everything else is fine.
Overall rating 
 
9.4
Gameplay 
 
10.0
Presentation 
 
9.0
Value  
 
9.0
Fun Factor 
 
10.0
Tilt 
 
9.0
Reviewed by justin August 22, 2010

best madden game EVER

Gameflow is the best thing since sliced bread. You can just play the game and if you want to make your own gameplan you can. You have complete control of everything. No one forces you to use Gameflow, you have your own mind! I am so sick of people ripping the game because of gameflow.

Franchise mode is very in depth and the pre, post, and between play presentation is amazing. there are no glitches in the game and it is always fun.

Superstar mode is still a problem and could be better but everything else is fine.

Was this review helpful to you? 
this by far shoundn't have ever been put on the market!! I rally don't understand that a near perfect game for 2010 why I stand in a line ever year and when i get it home play the same game as last year they EA SPORTS screws the whole thing up !!!I WANT MY DAMN MONEY BACK
Overall rating 
 
1.8
Gameplay 
 
2.0
Presentation 
 
3.0
Value  
 
1.0
Fun Factor 
 
2.0
Tilt 
 
1.0
Reviewed by dirty dave 027 August 15, 2010

As Charles Barkley would say THIS IS TERRIBLE !!!!

this by far shoundn't have ever been put on the market!! I rally don't understand that a near perfect game for 2010 why I stand in a line ever year and when i get it home play the same game as last year they EA SPORTS screws the whole thing up !!!I WANT MY DAMN MONEY BACK

Was this review helpful to you? 
Apparently, no one has decided to put up a good argument against this review. But, if you are any real Madden fan, then you would have seen the glaring problems with Madden 2011. It is not polished and it was not ready for release. I will first, talk about your points and then move forward to the parts you forgot to mention:

[b]GAMEFLOW[/b]

You mention that the newly introduced feature, Gameflow, is a huge improvement to this game. Yes, I agree that is a newbie friendly feature - that will undoubtedly help inexperienced players or those unfamiliar with football, make better decisions. However, even you admit that this feature will do you little help when playing actual players - either online or friends at home. Why, then, do see this feature as being that great? I would argue that while the intentions are good, the implementation - based on your own opinion of its shortcomings, are a huge fail. Not only that, but it gets in the way. I have, on occasion, accidentally hit the dreaded 'A' button - forcing me to march out on the field with some unknown play - without the option to change besides calling timeout or calling an audible (which is difficult when my field goal unit is on the field).

I would love to get some kind of mix between the madden suggestions and Gameplay - but right now the feature is more hassle than it is worth.

[b]A.I. (Artificial un-Intelligence)[/b]

I don't really see how you could have played this game thoroughly and chosen AI as a positive point to discuss. It is simply horrific. And it is a definite step back from 2010. The major issues that EA had to change from 2010 to 2011 with regards to AI - was the ability to cover the flats better. Other than that - the entire 2010 AI was actually pretty good. Well, that has changed. The flats are still impossible to defend 100% of the time, even when you are calling plays specifically designed to cover those areas. Furthermore, there are significant problems with the secondary being able to cover over the middle, offensive linemen not picking up their blocks and a whole other problem with the lack of any real physics in the game. So, I am not sure how else I can spell out the problems with the AI without actually showing the problems via a video, but they are significant to any seasoned player.

[b]SOUNDTRACK[/b]

The soundtrack is good. However, it is a really lame attempt at finding something to justify your top tier rating of this game. Yes, the music is a little more friendly than 2010, but you fail to mention the multiple issues with the commentary in general. First, I have heard a lot of the same commentary for the last 2 years - meaning that EA just didn't care enough to not use the same old commentary on a game that used to thrive on the commentary of John Madden. Furthermore, we cannot ignore some glaring problems, such as the announcement of the New York Titans as they march onto the field. It makes me wonder if the developers of of this game even know who the difference between the New York Giants/Jets and the Tennessee Titans, because the game doesn't seem to care.

[b]ONLINE PLAY[/b]

Last, you mention how online play has made some great improvements. However, those improvements have been overshadowed by the biggest travesty that the game has made. Namely, why in God's name did the developers think it was a good idea to let someone quit the game while losing - and not give the winner the option to finish the game against the computer to secure the win. Instead, you are given no option, other than to quit, and not receive a win or a loss - just a bunch of wasted time and general anger at the fact that you were kicking butt and forced to receive no recognition at all. Amongst the other online issues are incredible lag problems, no stats and no depth in the franchise modes.

All in all, the people that care about the game mostly agree that 2011 is a giant step backwards from a very good 2010 game - that only needed a few changes to make it great. Instead, EA has decided to spend 0% of their time trying to make their core customers happy and 100% of their time trying to make the newbies happy. Which, as someone in a sales and marketing career, I can understand - but not when those changes significantly affect the core customer - which makes up the foundation of your sales. If this is what we can expect from Madden for the next 2 years, I suspect that they will see a large migration away from their game when EA's exclusive rights to NFL games ends.

Last, I need to mention how terrible the situation pad makes the game. In effect, they took a great system of changing coverages, hot routes, line movement, etc - and made it worse. It did nothing else but create extra steps to do something we could already do much quicker. And the excuse that it is more newbie friendly is a cop-out for this feature - it is something that needs to be learned no matter what.

In conclusion, this game does make some improvements. I like the no speed burst function, even though I still try to use it. I think the graphics and actual game play have been slightly improved, although they are still lagging behind other EA games that don't have nearly the market size madden does. However, the overall result of this year's madden is that it is an unpolished, untested product that broke more things than it fixed and alienated it's core buyer and player. That does not result in a 9.6/10 in my book. I would be reluctant to give it anything more than a 5/10.
Overall rating 
 
3.4
Gameplay 
 
3.0
Presentation 
 
7.0
Value  
 
3.0
Fun Factor 
 
3.0
Tilt 
 
1.0
Reviewed by xTOOx xLEGiTx August 14, 2010

See my dissent below

Apparently, no one has decided to put up a good argument against this review. But, if you are any real Madden fan, then you would have seen the glaring problems with Madden 2011. It is not polished and it was not ready for release. I will first, talk about your points and then move forward to the parts you forgot to mention:

[b]GAMEFLOW[/b]

You mention that the newly introduced feature, Gameflow, is a huge improvement to this game. Yes, I agree that is a newbie friendly feature - that will undoubtedly help inexperienced players or those unfamiliar with football, make better decisions. However, even you admit that this feature will do you little help when playing actual players - either online or friends at home. Why, then, do see this feature as being that great? I would argue that while the intentions are good, the implementation - based on your own opinion of its shortcomings, are a huge fail. Not only that, but it gets in the way. I have, on occasion, accidentally hit the dreaded 'A' button - forcing me to march out on the field with some unknown play - without the option to change besides calling timeout or calling an audible (which is difficult when my field goal unit is on the field).

I would love to get some kind of mix between the madden suggestions and Gameplay - but right now the feature is more hassle than it is worth.

[b]A.I. (Artificial un-Intelligence)[/b]

I don't really see how you could have played this game thoroughly and chosen AI as a positive point to discuss. It is simply horrific. And it is a definite step back from 2010. The major issues that EA had to change from 2010 to 2011 with regards to AI - was the ability to cover the flats better. Other than that - the entire 2010 AI was actually pretty good. Well, that has changed. The flats are still impossible to defend 100% of the time, even when you are calling plays specifically designed to cover those areas. Furthermore, there are significant problems with the secondary being able to cover over the middle, offensive linemen not picking up their blocks and a whole other problem with the lack of any real physics in the game. So, I am not sure how else I can spell out the problems with the AI without actually showing the problems via a video, but they are significant to any seasoned player.

[b]SOUNDTRACK[/b]

The soundtrack is good. However, it is a really lame attempt at finding something to justify your top tier rating of this game. Yes, the music is a little more friendly than 2010, but you fail to mention the multiple issues with the commentary in general. First, I have heard a lot of the same commentary for the last 2 years - meaning that EA just didn't care enough to not use the same old commentary on a game that used to thrive on the commentary of John Madden. Furthermore, we cannot ignore some glaring problems, such as the announcement of the New York Titans as they march onto the field. It makes me wonder if the developers of of this game even know who the difference between the New York Giants/Jets and the Tennessee Titans, because the game doesn't seem to care.

[b]ONLINE PLAY[/b]

Last, you mention how online play has made some great improvements. However, those improvements have been overshadowed by the biggest travesty that the game has made. Namely, why in God's name did the developers think it was a good idea to let someone quit the game while losing - and not give the winner the option to finish the game against the computer to secure the win. Instead, you are given no option, other than to quit, and not receive a win or a loss - just a bunch of wasted time and general anger at the fact that you were kicking butt and forced to receive no recognition at all. Amongst the other online issues are incredible lag problems, no stats and no depth in the franchise modes.

All in all, the people that care about the game mostly agree that 2011 is a giant step backwards from a very good 2010 game - that only needed a few changes to make it great. Instead, EA has decided to spend 0% of their time trying to make their core customers happy and 100% of their time trying to make the newbies happy. Which, as someone in a sales and marketing career, I can understand - but not when those changes significantly affect the core customer - which makes up the foundation of your sales. If this is what we can expect from Madden for the next 2 years, I suspect that they will see a large migration away from their game when EA's exclusive rights to NFL games ends.

Last, I need to mention how terrible the situation pad makes the game. In effect, they took a great system of changing coverages, hot routes, line movement, etc - and made it worse. It did nothing else but create extra steps to do something we could already do much quicker. And the excuse that it is more newbie friendly is a cop-out for this feature - it is something that needs to be learned no matter what.

In conclusion, this game does make some improvements. I like the no speed burst function, even though I still try to use it. I think the graphics and actual game play have been slightly improved, although they are still lagging behind other EA games that don't have nearly the market size madden does. However, the overall result of this year's madden is that it is an unpolished, untested product that broke more things than it fixed and alienated it's core buyer and player. That does not result in a 9.6/10 in my book. I would be reluctant to give it anything more than a 5/10.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 

Comments

S5 Box

Login Form

Other Stuff