Aug 29, 2013This review is based on default settings on All-Pro and a bit of All-Madden, in Play Now and two online games.
The game leaves a good first impression in being fun to play, but after getting several hours in, the glaring flaws in the game become fairly blatant. The good news is that it shouldn't be that difficult to address, since they're primarily on one side of the ball, and it's mainlyThis review is based on default settings on All-Pro and a bit of All-Madden, in Play Now and two online games.
The game leaves a good first impression in being fun to play, but after getting several hours in, the glaring flaws in the game become fairly blatant. The good news is that it shouldn't be that difficult to address, since they're primarily on one side of the ball, and it's mainly AI based. Hopefully tuning in future updates can address this issue.
Overall, the defensive side of the game is a mess to put it bluntly. Stopping the run is harder than it should be since the run blocking is a bit too strong where blocks are being held on to far too long. Receivers pancaking defenders left right and centre is a bit ridiculous. The running game on the outside is stronger than it should be currently since blocks are too powerful at the moment. The same goes for pass blocking. QBs aren't getting hurried frequently enough. Any team that has great blocking is going to be able to do whatever they please, and that's definitely the case in the current version of Madden 25. Offense is too easy since there isn't much physical resistance against it right now.
But that's also the case for aerial resistance. The defensive AI is brutal at reacting to their assignments. Man defense is guaranteed to leave a receiver open by several yards since the defender reaction to receiver cuts are greatly delayed quite often for some reason. Curls, outs, and slants are over effective due to this. The only route that the AI seems to not have trouble against is the comebacks route, and that's an issue itself since it seems the AI is a bit too fast at reacting to that route, as if they anticipated it the whole. That would be great if it was adaptive AI, but don't believe that's the case here.
Other defensive AI faults in regards to play reaction is it's reaction to breaking on balls (that it can see) isn't good enough. They kind of react to the ball in a confused way and not too sure what to do. This allows the receiver to make a play on the ball that otherwise should've been disrupted by the defender. Also, the angles the defenders take when pursing ball carrier needs work done. The same can containing the receiver who've just caught the ball; especially off of curl routes or pass near the sideline.
Other issues I take with the game is games are too clean. Penalties don't occur frequently enough, if at all. The precision modifier doesn't really add much to the game. Trying to get use to holding L2 prior to doing a running move makes the control of the game disjointed. The same results could be down by simplifying the controls to the R stick alone and make use of the stick sensitivity to vary between running move strength.
Some of the good things that are featured in the game however are appreciated. The improvements done to engagement battles are great. Blocking appears more organic, and shedding off blocks is more fluid which leads to nice looking animations. Pass rushers moving off blocks while advancing towards the QB looks great and can lead to sacks since they're getting to the QB quicker than they would have otherwise. The improvements to tackling look great; heat seeking is a useful feature.
Fighting for extra yards by shedding off the would be tacklers, maintaining your balance, or lunging forward add a new element to the run game and keeps the player involved in the play until the whistle blows.
The new audible systems which allows you to shift formations with the personnel on the field is a great feature, and really useful for no huddle offense, which is becoming more prominent in the league these days. I haven't gotten the chance to try out the option offense yet but since that has a role in the NFL now nice to see it present in the game.
I won't comment much on presentation since there's not much new going on there. Although, I would say that the camera in replays for punt returns is annoying since it loses track of the football when it's about to reach the punt returner, which was the whole point of the replay since it normally occurs from the returner fumbling the ball.
In conclusion, the game currently feels unfinished unfortunately since the fundamentals of the game itself is broken. The glaring mistakes the defensive AI makes, and overpowered blocking at the moment is killing Madden 25 currently. If both of those issues were addressed, the game would be viewed in a different light.… Expand
Aug 27, 2013Madden NFL 25 comes at a crossroads for NFL video games; at the close of the last console generation, EA SPORTS and 2K Sports were locked in a bitter competition for the market share. Nearly 10 years later, Madden NFL is the lone game remaining and set for a dual release on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 as well as later this year on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. As the franchiseMadden NFL 25 comes at a crossroads for NFL video games; at the close of the last console generation, EA SPORTS and 2K Sports were locked in a bitter competition for the market share. Nearly 10 years later, Madden NFL is the lone game remaining and set for a dual release on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 as well as later this year on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. As the franchise celebrates 25 years of existence, it’s as good a time as any to reflect on what the game has achieved and what still needs to be done for the game to be as great as the league it represents.
As a single game trying to carry the history of 25 years, Madden NFL 25 is a difficult entry to assess. The revisions of the Infinity Engine from last year’s Madden NFL 13 result in a better overall gameplay experience, but the introduction of the “Precision Modifier” to the running game controls—part of the overall #RunFree marketing for the game—actually serves to needlessly complicate the experience of playing the game. For many, it may prove easier to use the left and right analog sticks for ballcarriers—just as in previous football games from EA SPORTS, like this year’s earlier NCAA Football 14 release—to achieve success moving the ball on offense.
Unfortunately, additions and improvements to offense in Madden NFL 25 have not truly been met with equal improvements to the defensive side of the ball, leaving gameplay unbalanced in favor of the offense; a common complaint in football video games, for certain, but frustrating here nonetheless. Heat Seeker tackling and Ballhawk interception assists try to keep the defense on equal footing, but CPU quarterbacks can still too easily post completion percentages in the 70-80% range, making games a battle of attrition instead of the chess game that football should be.
The game continues to look great visually, but Presentation remains stale, particularly when compared to the statistical tracking and broadcast elements of NCAA Football 14. Commentary features some new lines from second-year duo Jim Nantz and Phil Simms—supplemented by new commentary from sideline reporter Danielle Bellini—but the overall presentation is still lacking in terms of being able to convey the gravity of important games over the course of the season in Connected Franchise Mode, save for the Super Bowl; even then, the presentation for the biggest game of them all will be all too familiar for anyone who has played Madden NFL in the past three or four years of release.
Speaking of Connected Franchise Mode, this year’s revision of the career mode—where gamers can assume the role of Players, Coaches, and Owners—helps to build a lot of goodwill with longtime fans of the franchise. The ability to control Owners and make decisions big and small for their team—ranging from which player’s jerseys are marketed, to the prices of concessions, to big decisions like relocating a franchise and choosing a new name, uniform set, and stadium—helps to provide plenty of off-field tasks for players to be engrossed in, especially with the ability to access all of these experiences in a full 32-user online league. While one would like to see a more persistently-updated XP notification system like what was present in NCAA Football 14’s Dynasty mode this year, the career offerings of the Madden NFL franchise continue to trend in a positive direction.
Fans of modes like Madden Ultimate Team will see some new additions to their favorite part of the game, including Chemistry and Head-to-Head Seasons which have been brought over from FIFA Ultimate Team. Not all modes have seen improvements like these; indeed, “GMC Never Say Never Moments” (rebranded from the previous mode title “Madden Moments Live”) and Online Team Play (a focal addition to Madden NFL 11, largely untouched since its debut) are tucked away from the main menu, not nearly as touted as the Play Now, CFM, and MUT experiences.
Madden NFL 25 on the current-generation of consoles—specifically the PS3, in this case—is by no means a bad game, or a game unworthy of being played by fans of video game football or the NFL. It is, however, caught in a difficult position; its launch coincides with the start of the NFL season—a key time for any fan of the league—but the game’s release on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 lies less than three months away. With good trade-in programs being announced for players wanting to upgrade their experience heading to next-gen, Madden NFL 25 on current consoles can certainly be a stopgap or holdover until the franchise debuts on a new console generation. However, the start of this new generation will hold high expectations for Madden NFL as a series, and results will need to exceed what was achieved in this year’s game in order for those expectations to be met.… Expand
Aug 28, 2013After playing Madden 25 for a bit I am happy to see that the graphics are where they should be on the current console. Being able to use custom playbooks in online CC mode and in online ranked games is something that I am really enjoying as well. This year it seems that many of the problems from last year were addressed and are no longer present gameplay wise (keep in mind I play onlineAfter playing Madden 25 for a bit I am happy to see that the graphics are where they should be on the current console. Being able to use custom playbooks in online CC mode and in online ranked games is something that I am really enjoying as well. This year it seems that many of the problems from last year were addressed and are no longer present gameplay wise (keep in mind I play online only).
The addition of Run Free is very nice as well as the blocking receiving much needed attention running has been alot more fun for me than ever before ,with that being said the offense is very overpowered in this years version of Madden. You may find yourself setting in the pocket for 4-5 seconds while facing a 4 man rush many times which is fun while you on offense ,when your on defense it is a headache as it seems that players in a zone will watch the opponent run right through there zone with little to no reaction to the player in there zone, while in man coverage there is so much time for your opponent to throw the ball that the coverage simply breaks down. While i'm glad that the blocking received a much needed overhaul ,it is also overpowering elite pass rushers seems to get little to no pressure in a base 4-3 defense and you it really does not matter to much who your running back is ,they will gain alot of yardage more times than not. The defense just can't keep up with the offense in this years version so in many cases while playing a friend or online ranked you the game may end up being a score fest with no defense as the defensive players just do not react to the plays like they should.
I am a defensive guy who like to play defense and watching the other defenders have little to reaction to manyy plays is very disappointing. With that said EA has done a great job with the sliders in communitiesand online CC mode so if those are tweaked some it does become alot more fun and has for me and many friends of mine as well as the leagues I play in so you can get the sliders to create a more realistic feeling gameplay experience. I only wish these sliders could be used in ranked online games as I love playing ranked and after using the sliders we have set ,it is a different game online.
The addition of owner mode is a very nice addition you can relocate your team rebuild stadiums set prices and try to keep your fans happy which in online CC mode gives you more to you can do while waiting for your league to advance and it has been alot of fun (this applies to offline as well).
Being the online player that I am ,the toughest thing is going from what seems to be a more realistic slider set to an offensive scoring fest where the defense needs to be more aware when I plat ranked.
I do like the sharing options as well it is nice if you want to create an all-time team using Madden Share you can ,you may also share these files with your friends the same goes for custom playbooks as well. If you are in need of a custom roster or playbook you will find many created by users that you may download which is a very nice option for the users who may not have the time to create a playbook or roster.
All in all there are many great options added to this game that gives it a breath of fresh air the main thing for me is that the defense seems to almost non-existant which is very huge for me.
If you can grab some sliders using Madden Share and do not play ranked than its alot of fun ,if you are ranked player only than it may a frustrating experience for you.… Expand
Oct 2, 2013If you pick choose madden, or choose your own plays, or hit random buttons while you choose a defensive play- it makes no difference. what you do on defense is irrelevant. I can't believe I'm giving this a passing grade. It's because everything else is good.
Sep 9, 2013The game itself looks great and the animations are amazing. However, the menus and the response to the controller is lacking. Animated sequences between plays cannot be skipped through, which effects the experience and can cause problems. The game menu's move at a snail's pace, which is completely unacceptable.
Dec 29, 2013I have not found too much different in this game from Madden 13, not that that is necessarily a bad thing. However, I have commonly encountered a glitch in the game where players turn invisible, and dealing with that is incredibly frustrating. Other than that, gameplay is rather good, and owner mode is good. I give this a 5 only because of the annoyance I've suffered due to Russell WilsonI have not found too much different in this game from Madden 13, not that that is necessarily a bad thing. However, I have commonly encountered a glitch in the game where players turn invisible, and dealing with that is incredibly frustrating. Other than that, gameplay is rather good, and owner mode is good. I give this a 5 only because of the annoyance I've suffered due to Russell Wilson being invisible.… Expand
Awards & Rankings
Games Master UKOct 20, 2013Decent, but a fair way off Super Bowl calibre. [Dec 2013, p.73]
Playstation Official Magazine UKOct 14, 2013Anniversary features disappoint. [Nov 2013, p.94]
Playstation Official Magazine AustraliaOct 7, 2013All-in-all the features add up to a game that is one of the best replications of the real thing thus far, especially with some top notch presentation. Just watch out for those damn ghosts. [November 2013, p83]