Madden NFL 12 Review

Madden NFL 12. Photo: Doug Powell

One of the most popular sports video games of all time released its latest installment last month with new features and looks to impress amongst its audience.

Madden NFL 12 hit stores on August 30 and fans across the nation ran to their local retail stores to grab it.

If you are still thinking if this game is worth spending $60, wait no more because it is worth every penny.

When you get the game, you have to go online and download the roster update.  There was this thing called, “The Lockout” during the offseason and because of it, the rosters were affected and the updated roster was not ready to go when the game released.  However, it is now available for download online with up-to-date roster moves.  So your favorite team has the appropriate players and skill ratings.

Since that is taken care of let us take a look at some of the overall aspects of this year’s game.

First of course is gameplay.  The feel of this game is vastly improved from the older version.  Running the ball seems simpler and more effective as you are able to flick the analog stick to the right or left and cut on a dime.  Passing the ball takes some time to get used to as defenders from the defense play the receivers and the quarterback very well in this game.  My advice is that you set up the pass with the run.

Speaking of those pesky defenders, you will notice that the defensive A.I. is notably improved this year.  No more dropping back 30 yards and then throwing or rolling out of the pocket on play-action and running for a touchdown.  Defenses will spy your quarterback and take note of your tendencies.  If you like to run, they will put an extra man in the box.  If you like to run screen plays for half of the game, the defense will play zone coverage.  These entire changes make the game tougher, but it is a welcoming challenge.

Next up is presentation.  One of things that the makers of the game worked hard on was team-specific entrances before a game starts.  Video shots of the stadiums before kick-off are breathtaking.  If you did not know you were playing a video game, you would almost think it was the real deal.  Player entrances are also very impressive and authentic.  However, audio for the games is still lackluster and lags behind the gameplay.

“I think the lockout kind of hindered their ability to get the player’s names in for the announcers. You get a lot of, tackle made by #55 this year, instead of player names. Also, commentary is as repetitive and inaccurate as ever” said Dillon Wyatt, a former graduate of Western Carolina University, who is a consistent Madden player every year.

The last thing worth noting is Franchise mode.  If you had Madden NFL11, you know that franchise mode was pretty weak and holding the game back.  This year has just about every duty in it that makes you feel as if you are an owner of a NFL team.  Some of the improvements added are: cut days, scouting combines, pro days, dynamic performance, hot and cold streaks and free agent bidding.  These are just a few of the many things added to franchise mode.  All of these things affect the mode in some way and impact how your team will do during the season.  Although there have been great improvements to the mode, it still lacks the overall lasting impression.  It still is a step in the right direction.

Overall, Madden NFL 12 is probably one of the best football games I have played to date.  Whether you are a hardcore fan of the game or you just want to play some exhibition games with your buddies, I highly recommend you pick this game up and enjoy what this game has to offer.