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Madden 17 Review

Madden may not exactly be EA’s most popular sports franchise in Europe, thanks mainly to our love of football, in the U.S though it is THE hot game, so by that thinking it must have something special about it. As with FIFA, Madden is a yearly franchise and it is one that gets better every year as the developer improves every little detail and even adds in new features to give gamers as much value for money as possible. Madden 17 is no exception to this rule, in fact it’s probably one of the most feature packed and fun sports games I’ve played in a while.

Given that I’m from a large football city such as Glasgow, the only sport I’ve ever cared passionately about involves putting a ball in the net, saying that though, I love gaming, so am always keen to give any sports game a go. I’ve played Madden before of course, but since then it seems to have changed so much. Even the opening of the game is a world away from what I remember, as you replay a ‘moment’ from NFL sporting history as you try to get your team past the finish line. There are a few scenarios here, in that you either score and win before the timer hits zero or you lose and see your player consoled by a member of the winning team. It’s a great start to the game and helps introduce you to what’s to come.

Once you get past the opening screen, you have a few options, though for a beginner like me the tutorial menu was the place to go and what a place it is. The tutorial or Skills Trainer as it is known, is an absolutely brilliant way to introduce yourself to the game and it is a lot of fun too. You’ll start by doing drills, such as learning how to run, pass and tackle and as it goes on you’ll learn more intricate details such as plays and how to kick. The Skills Trainer is a fantastic introduction to Madden, but it also includes some wonderful extras which are sure to keep you hooked. Not only does it focus on ever area you’ll need, but it also includes a mode which is perhaps my favourite known as 'Take on the Gauntlet.'

Take on the Gauntlet is basically a series of mini games, where you have so many lives and need to complete the tasks given to you. Fail and you will lose a life, until they are eventually all gone and you lose the game. Tasks include simple things such as completing a pass or making the end zone, although you’ll also have to Beat the Boss, which sees you trying to stay in certain zones for a set amount of time or even becoming giant and trying not to be tackled by your ant sized opposition. Take on the Gauntlet is basically the horde mode of sports games. So how far can you go?

Of course the main part of the game is Franchise mode and Ultimate Team. If you’re a FIFA player then you’ll know all about Ultimate Team, so I won’t go into that too much and instead focus on the former. Franchise Mode is all about taking control of your team, training them and winning matches. While this could be a bit of a drag for those who find playing four quarters of each game a bit time consuming, thanks to the new addition of Play The Moment, this is no longer the case. Play the Moment does what it says on the tin really; the game simulates up until key moments in the game and then you have the option to either take over or skip this moment. You’ll get many moments in the match, such as being able to block a fourth down or choose and perform the killer play that’ll get your team the touchdown. While it is very exciting playing through a full game, when going through a whole season Play the Moment really speeds things up and makes playing Madden an exhilarating experience.

As with most EA Sports games, Madden 17 is just packed with options. You can play online or offline or in co-op with friends. Of course the game looks the part too. While I know nothing about American Football players I can only imagine that the likenesses are spot on, because the faces certainly look authentic. On the park everything looks top notch. The stadiums are packed with fans and lots of details, while the grass is so real you can almost touch it. Gameplay runs smoothly and commentary is simple flawless. It’s not often that you’ll hear any words repeated as the commentators chat away like they are in the same room. There is also a fantastic atmosphere in every game, which is helped along by a decent soundtrack that suits the game well.

I may not be an American Football fan whatsoever, but I know a fantastic sports game when I see one and Madden 17 is it. The game is packed with different ways to the play, but is also made so accessible for newcomers thanks both the extensive tutorial mode and Play the Moment, the latter of which makes Madden 17 worth the money on its own. If you love sports games and crave for realism, atmosphere and most of all, excitement and fun, then you can’t go wrong with Madden 17. It’s an outstanding game.

Words by Joe Anderson.
Twitter: @_wotta | PSN/XBLA: wotta

(Version Tested: PS4)


+ Packed with options
+ Looks fantastic
+ Run the Gauntlet is awesome
+ Play the Moment is a great addition


- N/A

Edited On 30 Aug, 2016

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