Level Up: Madden 25 Review (Mania.com)
Review Date: Thursday, September 05, 2013
Well I officially feel old! 25 years of Madden football? You have got to be fooling! Of course this does create a bit of a problem going forward…is next year’s game going to return to the usual numbering format and be called Madden 15, creating a Holy Hell of confusion, or will it be called Madden 26…creating a Holy Hell of confusion. Nice job EA! Madden 25 runs on the Infinity 2 game engine just like NCAA 14. As is the habit behind recent Madden games a fan poll was held to determine who would be on the cover and the honor goes to legendary Detroit Lion running back, Barry Sanders.
Madden 25 features all of the game modes from Madden 13 (sigh!) with a major difference. You can play the career mode or dynasty mode if you will as player or coach but now you can also play in owner mode which gives you complete control of the team. You can play in the connected career mode either online or offline and you can choose to create your owner from scratch, modeling him or her in your image. AS you would expect the Owner mode comes with a plethora of options and ultimately it really depends on how deep you want to get with the game and how much time you want to spend. Do you want to worry about pricing items in your concession stand or do you just want to play football? Of course as owner you have the option of relocating your team and can even relocate them outside of the U.S. if you should so choose. This can be a lot of fun to toy around with but eventually the novelty of it all wears off.
As in NCAA 14, Madden now feature an XP based system in which points are earned for reaching certain goals allowing you to boost your stats as both player and coach. I’m not the biggest fan of the XP system. I get that people are into RPGs and customization of the characters/players and all but the XP systems tend to be too beneficial and ultimately throw the game’s competitive balance out of whack. It is fun for the owner, however, as it allows you to upgrade your stadium which is something that makes the game cool without affecting the play on the field. Also back is the Madden Ultimate Team allowing you to collect player cards and build team chemistry. There are also the usual practice and skill training modes and the Never Say Never collection of great moments in NFL history.
Like NCAA 14 the broadcast style of production is fantastic and more than ever before makes you feel like you are watching a real NFL game. The broadcast team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms is serviceable but nothing outstanding. There are some gaffs in their calls and some of their taglines get old and generic. Simms, if possible, is actually more annoying in the game than he is in real life. The game sounds are solid although there’s no noticeable improvement over last year.
The physics engine has been enhanced and is more fluid, giving you tight control of the ball carrier to make jukes, spins, and stiff arms to run to daylight. The new precision modifier is like a booster to help you pull off even more elaborate moves like hurdling a tackler. These are not only fun to pull off…note that only the top guys are going to be able to pull off such moves…but they also look great. The tackling animations are also improved and look more realistic. There’s a lot less of defenders colliding with one another.
While Madden 25 doesn’t give football fans the type of improvement you might expect in a 25th anniversary addition, it’s improvements are noticeable and I suspect will stand out much more when the Game appears later this year on the nextgen consoles.
Mania Grade: B+
Rating: E (Everyone)
Publisher: EA Sports
Platform: PlayStation 3