Madden 17 came out yesterday, but after playing it for the weekend on Xbox One (with EA Access) I’m gonna say it’s better than last years and give it an 8.5 out of 10.
The graphics package this year is again top notch, and EA is about to launch a new engine with Frostbite for FIFA, that may kick Madden to an even higher level in upcoming seasons.
Announcing has taken an interesting turn this year, with a new combination of Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis. Gaudin is the current announcer at Georgia Tech and does the play-by-play, while Davis is the NFL analyst currently working for FOX Sports and the NFL Network.
On-screen statistics have stepped up again, with a live ticker on the bottom of other scores in the league, including “Upset Alerts” and “Rival Games” being highlighted (so that you can see how your playoff spots are holding as you roll through Week 17).
They have added a new interesting way to play through Franchise mode, and it makes it really enjoyable, especially if you like to play some football but also run team operations over a long term (and long seasons slow that process down).
When you go into a game you can choose to play it straightforward like a typical game, or go with one of three new modes
- Offense Only – Play only the offensive plays for your team
- Defense Only – Play only the defensive plays for your team
These two options are great if you are trying to develop a playbook, or work on getting certain players stats high, and just want to focus on one side of the line.
- KEY MOMENTS – This is the new speed option for games, where it simulates most of the game, and just brings you in for big moments. These include on both sides of the ball 3rd Downs, 4th Downs, Field Goals, Red Zone plays, Opening Drive (on offense) and 2-minute Drills.
Special Teams defense has been boiled down a little clearer allowing better chances at blocking kicks/punts.
The speed of the game also feels a lot faster from when the ball is snapped until the end of the play, but not too fast that you feel rushed and not able to see your options opening up on the field.
I was picky on this over the last few years, after they eliminated it a few years ago, but while it has disappeared from the game itself, you can still select in the settings for your “default choice” should you win the toss…which takes out conditions like “wind” or “opponent” from making your decision.
You do get to decide if your team wins the Overtime toss, as that one obviously plays a larger role in the game.
I have yet to run into any of the issues that I came across in Madden 16, and documented here, and hopefully the game will keep up the stellar play!