The latest in the well-known Madden franchise has finally launched, but will Madden NFL 25 break the streak of lacking innovation?
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Pigskin Continues: Another year, another Madden, this time as the 25th anniversary of the series has been reached. Once again gamers and football fans alike will be pleased to find classic Madden NFL gameplay at the forefront of this title, and the return of the Connected Franchise mode.As is usually the case, Madden 25 revolves around the gameplay and, keeping in line with their usual trend, EA has added in a couple of small features that may or may not be worth an entirely new purchase of the latest in the franchise. One of the biggest changes, besides the typical smoother presentation and improved tackling animations, is the alteration of the running game. Now heavily favoring a "simulation" style of running, it is, as such, quite difficult to get the ball moving on foot. Top notch runners in the game like Adrian Peterson can break out some decent runs occasionally but for the most part it seems that the running game is difficult enough to turn off many gamers. In fact, in the many games that we played, a very small minority of players consistently utilized the running game. As such you may find yourself in wars of passing offense vs. passing defense, as wide receivers and defensive backs are constantly put to use, while running backs turn into addition blockers far too often. The passing game has always been favored in the Madden franchise but the added realism to the running game simply makes people feel like it's too difficult to bother with.
Now That's Good Looking Football: The graphical improvements displayed in Madden 25 are quite impressive though, with the typical exception of the occasional oddly modeled player or coach. For the most part, the fields, stadiums and players are all very detailed and outputting sharper than ever while harnessing some of the power that the next generation consoles hold.Aside from purely looking good though, small details such as foot prints seen on the grass are welcome additions to the series and just another step closer to immersing players in the game. That being said, pure graphics cannot outshine some of the usual flaws that Madden suffers from.
Deja vu: As has been the case with year after year of Madden, the removal and reappearance of features to give the illusion of "new" features is commonplace in the franchise. This year, the Connected Franchise and the ability to move your team to other venues, including, oddly, international ones such as Ireland and Mexico both return to the series.However, at its core, Madden 25 is far too similar to Madden NFL 13, which was a decent improvement upon the year before. The mockery of the series is that it takes at least a couple of years before any significant improvements are made to the game and unfortunately that is true for this title.
Rent vs. Buy: Diehard, and wealthy, fans of the series are more than welcome to pick up the latest installment of Madden but for the general population, I cannot really condone it. At this point it doesn't take Nostradamus to figure out that Madden is an increasingly unimpressive franchise that acts as EA's prime moneymaker, but doesn't exactly shock and awe gamers.Too familiar in many ways, Madden 25 has some slight improvements and looks better than ever on next generation consoles but when it comes down to gameplay, you won't find a whole lot of new additions to keep your attention. With games like Killzone, Assassin's Creed, Battlefield and a small library of titles on the marketplace launching at the same time, Madden NFL 25 is easy to leave behind.
With games like Killzone, Assassin's Creed, Battlefield and a small library of titles on the marketplace launching at the same time, Madden NFL 25 is easy to leave behind.
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