When EA signed their exclusive deal with the NFL last year it caused a lot of controversy in the video game world. Immediately there were critical voices of the five-year deal which saw EA's MADDEN game franchise as the one and only place where gridiron gamers could play with authentic NFL players, teams and inside the league's arenas. While the company certainly had the cash to command such clout from the league, some of the critics thought that it may cause EA to switch off innovative development with the game franchise and just coast on the name itself to sell copies.
With the release of NFL MADDEN 2006, EA has proven that it's still willing to deliver a complete football experience to consumers as well as try and mix things up with new approaches to
The biggest addition to MADDEN 06 is the introduction of Quarterback (QB) Vision, allowing the player to throw the football to a selected receiver. The
The other new feature is a game mode called Superstar which allows you to cultivate your own football star from his draft right on through the season. While it's fine to deepen the gaming experience, the Superstar angle didn't really grab me as much as just running with your own favorite team throughout the season. Maybe it's because I already see enough of the celebrity athlete on TV already; after all, who wants to play a game being a bling-bling player without actually getting to play with their real bling in real life?
True to form the game's graphics are more than adequate, considering that the next version of MADDEN will likely be for the PlayStation 3 and thus show us players' sweat and Gatorade-fueled spit in far greater resolution than I would like. EA has stuffed the game with a mixed alternative rock soundtrack that, after awhile, can start to grate on your sensibilities. Still, the bottom line is that MADDEN 06 is still the premiere football simulation for your living room. Whether you're a casual gamer or hardcore sports enthusiast, the new version of MADDEN won't let you down.