Madden NFL 2011 E3 Impressions

Regardless of whether the title had competition or not, Madden has remained the king of football for years. The only series that ever gave a challenge to Madden was the 2K football series. That all changed when EA Sports acquired the exclusive NFL license. This essentially eliminated most of the competition to the Madden franchise. With the acquisition many complained that this lead to the series not being upgraded at a reasonable rate with the yearly releases. Thought here are many hardcore Madden players, myself being one of them, that disagree with this statement. This year looks to be another great year for Madden gamers as the changes in the upcoming title are phenomenal.

One of the biggest changes this year that was quickly noticeable in Madden was definitely the lighting effects within the title. Overall the game looks a lot better compared to previous years. This ranges from lighting effects to player models, all of these have been improved upon within the game. With this improvements it vastly improves the elements of the game because it provides a much more realistic experience for the player.

Another change within the title is the controls have been tweaked for this year. Players themselves move and control much better than previous years. This more fluid experience is another thing that adds to the realism the title is going for. This is the main reason that the Turbo button no longer exists within the game. Players will accelerate naturally based upon their acceleration and speed ratings. Though many Madden veterans will find themselves naturally holding down the R2 button out of habit initially. Also those that cannot make the adjustment successfully can turn on the old control scheme via the options menu.

Running the ball is a bit more technical this year. While your offensive line will block very successful, the defense reacts better than ever. They will key off every movement that is made as you make your way to the line of scrimmage with your runningback. The defensive reactions also occur within the passing game as well. So reading defensive back when dropping back to pass is key to not throwing an interception or incomplete pass.

This Madden is touted as simpler for gamers that just want to play. The new GameFlow allows those to simply push the X button at the play calling screen for the play to be chosen. By doing this a play is automatically chosen base upon the down and the situation, though Madden veterans will find themselves using the entire playbook like normal.

The kicking game has changed a bit, most notably the kicking meter. It is no longer the rounded meter that is filled up using the right analog stick. Now simply push X and the meter will fill up at the bottom of the screen. This will take some getting used to initially, but overall it is a better system than the previous kicking system.

The presentation of the title has had a major overhaul. The cut-scenes before, during, and after the game add to the realism of the game. A major addition of the title is the intros of the game. This is definitely the best Madden so far presentation wise. While many will complain that this doesn’t add anything to the core gameplay, this definitely needed to be worked on from previous games. It seems EA Sports finally got it right presentation wise.

Overall this year’s Madden is a major upgrade for the series. While many will bash the game as usual saying that it gets minor tweaks every year, Madden NFL 2011 should definitely get a look from you if there is any football fan in you at all. The games presentation and gameplay improvements add a lot to the game.