Release Date: August 26th, 2014
Publisher: EA Sports
Platform: [Reviewed: Xbox One], PlayStation 4
Rated: E For Everyone
Its Madden season ladies and gentlemen. It’s that time of the year where fans fill up the stadium and gamers shove that second controller in their opponent’s hand. Ready or not, you must claim dominance and be the final man running into the end zone for the win. Do you have what it takes?
It all begins at the 2015 NFC Championship Game as the Seattle Seahawks takes on the Carolina Panthers. Playing as the Panthers you have a chance to reign victorious against the Seahawks, earning your ticket to the Super Bowl. We’ll let you finish this story and keep it spoiler free. From there, Madden navigates you on to the Skills Trainer tutorial, covering your “how-to” when playing offense and defense.
So on to what really matters in Madden NFL’s new installment, presentation. Madden NFL 15 is leaps and bounds better than what we’ve seen in the Next-Gen version of Madden NFL 25. In fact, so many important factors like the crowd audio, new animations and commentary pushes the threshold to a more realistic NFL atmosphere.
Madden NFL 15 looks extremely beautiful! It’s eye-candy for any NFL fan. Looking at the turf and the players as well as their reactions, one word comes to mind, authenticity. Before each play begins, the crowd is pumped and the energy is there to where I felt like the team with everything to gain and nothing to lose. After each play, the new animations stood out as both defense and offense celebrated the play action.
If that wasn’t enough to make you smile on the inside, mentally imagining that televised presentation, as players get injured or timeouts are called in Madden NFL 15, the commentators push the game to a commercial break. In doing so, the game shows the sideline and slowly fades to black. To some this may not sound like much, but I believe this is a genuine as you can get.
Defense this year was the key objective for the developers creating Madden NFL 15; and they’ve nail it. The all-new defensive player lock allows you to the chance to knock down the offensive lineman, zero in on the QB or player with the ball and introduce their face to the turf. On defense you feel like you finally have a more legitimate chance of not only taking down your opponent, but visually identifying the best method.
The community plays a big role in Madden NFL 15 as plays are recommended based on user choices on conversions, providing you the best play options.
There are still a few hiccups however that stick out like a sore thumb. When watching halftime or certain cut scenes, videos are completely impassable. Coaches were holding playbooks that glitches through their body, players were being tackled to the ground and gliding from left to right or having players walk right through them.
You’ll also notice players on the sideline are again dumbed down in quality when running plays. Now this was something that I understood playing on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 generally because it seemed sacrificial to enhance the gameplay experience. However seeing this as well as the repeat crowd in every other seat was small tweaks I didn’t expect from new-gen.
Ultimate Team and Connected Careers returns again allowing players to create fantasy teams or create a career as a football player, coach or an owner. And while it’s fine and dandy creating your own player it’s once again compromised by excluding EA’s Game Face. There are 81 faces to choose from, just not yours. Again, I couldn’t understand why a new-gen version seen setback as such, especially noting it was utilized in EA Sports UFC.
The setbacks aren’t major in comparison to the overall experience. This is by far, hands down the very best Madden NFL game I’ve ever played. It’s been a progressive climb these past few years, but now it’s just ownership. Madden NFL 15 “is” a must have this year.