“Madden 18” Game Review (Xbox One)

Wow it has been a while since I’ve done a review. Nonetheless I’ll skip the pleasantries: It’s Madden season! (Wait do they still have that tagline?) Always a fun time of the year once the sports games start releasing again. This game has been mine and my dad’s favorite for the past…well ever! It has always been Madden. Get to totally crush people with hits or juke 300 times and somehow not get tackled. Intercepting the ball and returning for a touchdown 3 times in a game. Anybody who has played Madden can tell you a ton of stories of their experiences. I’m here to tell you the pluses and minuses this year, as all video games are not perfect and Electronic Arts has been ridiculed for as long as I can remember. Let’s get to it!

Alright, well Madden this year, I’ll word it exactly how it is and as fast as possible. It is the same game, it’s football! The graphics are very similar to last year, which they are still very good. There aren’t any insane new additions other than Long Shot which is a lot like the Alex Hunter series in EA’s other massive title, Fifa. I have not played through any of it yet, as I’ve been busy playing other modes so far. But, it does look pretty interesting. I realize for reviewing, “It looks pretty interesting,” is kind of weak, but in my personal opinion, it doesn’t add anything extremely valuable to the game, although it is a neat addition.

The graphics this year, as I said before, are pretty close to the same. Some of the tackles vary from time to time and then after a while they can get repetitive. The amusing stuff is mostly when you dive at someone and they turn into some rag doll and flail all around. Thankfully it’s not 100% realistic, otherwise I think I probably would have broken about 40 bones on about 10 different players. Speaking of realistic, I do enjoy the 3 variations of the game for you to play: Arcade, Simulation and Competitive. Arcade is exactly as it sounds while Simulation makes it feel a lot more fluid as well as showcasing the better players and how well you play. Competitive is the difficulty at which people play competitively against each other on Madden as well, which is pretty neat too. Simulation is the way to go for myself, but if you’re just wanting to mess around or aren’t used to the game all that well, Arcade is a good place to start.

For the rest of the modes, we have Madden Ultimate Team of course, as well as Franchise, normal online one versus one. It stays mostly the same this year again, and that’s one of the knocks on EA. I mean, I wish they brought Team Play back, but they sort of did in Ultimate Team this year calling it MUT Squads. I’ve seen my friends play it, but I haven’t tried it out yet. You get to play with 2 friends or 2 random strangers even against 3 other players with your Ultimate Team. You get to choose one of the 4 things on it as well: Offensive Captain, Defensive Captain, Head Coach or Any Role. Any Role randomly chooses what you get, so if they picked Offense and Defense, you’ll be Head Coach. Head Coach lets you choose the jerseys, stadium and decisions on penalties. I personally have mixed feelings about this mode overall, HOWEVER, it is pretty fun to be able to play on your friends’ 85 overall team compared to using your 65 overall team that you just started. May get a bit unfair once the players are a little higher rated, but for now I think it’s leaning more towards fun. Offensive and Defensive Captain lets you pick what plays to use on their respective sides.

Madden Ultimate Team real quickly for those that aren’t used to seeing it, you get a bunch of these cards with players on them and then you play with those cards. For example, I have a Le’Veon Bell card and he’s only 70 overall. Once I play more, I can actually upgrade him as well as other cards, all the way up to an 89 overall, which is around his rating in any other mode. I can actually see a lot of people, this year, moving to Franchise and playing with their friends on that more. MUT is a real big grind this year compared to years past, and even in years past, it was a REALLY big grind. I do want to point out ALSO that the menus are MUCH MUCH faster and easier to navigate and look at. It makes the experience of trading someone, looking through your depth chart, even picking modes so great.

To finish this all off — Gameplay and cheesy stuff. Unfortunately, just as all the sports games are, when you play online, it can feel a bit broken. People running the same plays, people running “Money” plays (I don’t like doing that, but I highly suggest looking up strategies if you’re going to play online a lot), people running hurry up ALWAYS. It’s very aggravating SOMETIMES. Other times, it feels so great. For instance, it used to be that if you threw the ball at a cornerback or safety, they’d drop the ball 70% of the time anyways. Not this year at all. I played a game yesterday, in fact, and my opponent only had 4 mistakes and 3 of them were interceptions, none dropped. It feels a lot more rewarding on the defensive side in this regard, which is great. Also worth mentioning that the computer does some odd thing sometimes, or gets stuck in weird animations. If you stay patient with the game this year especially, I think it’s the most rewarding Madden I’ve played yet. Mostly in regard to overall fun and sometimes silliness of the game. The only bigger problem I’ve come across is that it seems like big plays happen a ton. Is it game breaking though? For myself, no, especially with the way that the NFL is today.

This year I think it is worth the 60 dollars or less. If you pick it up, go through the training. There’s some new passing you can do while you hold the left trigger. Which, I’d love to sit here and act like I know what I’m talking about, but I legitimately am trash and patiently going through the practice stuff is not exactly my specialty. Too busy trying to make a bunch of coins on Ultimate Team and getting the players I want to get.

Clayton Crooks III

Clayton Crooks III (aka Ghost) is a regular contributor to the game section of Dis411. He enjoys watching his favorite teams (Lakers, Steelers, Pirates, Penguins and TN Volunteers), playing video games, traveling to Walt Disney World and playing with his two cats: Cassie and Sylvester.

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