Yes, is autumn already? How the time flies. The weather gets worse, the leaves fall from the trees and Madden NFL 18 is already in the sales shelves. What has changed? Has anything changed at all? Was held what was promised? Well-known questions circulate in the room when we put the game in the console and look forward to the loading screen…
Madden NFL and The Unchanged Game
It is hardly surprising that a franchise such as Madden NFL, which provides us with new games every year, has come at some time when we have to think about the meaning of the most recent disciple, even have to think about it. Especially when the predecessor had tremendous playful qualities and the potential for further development seemed already almost exhausted. With Madden NFL 18, we have now reached this point and we really have to ask ourselves this question of meaning. With negative outcome, because unfortunately it becomes clear relatively quickly, in the current offspring of the football franchise, there is only little new, but far too much known playfulness. Although Electronic Arts wants to convince us through their press releases about the publisher opinion innumerable gameplay revisions from the contrary, but this may not happen at any time. In the end, it is still there, if you want to find the fine differences to the predecessor, you have to search very long, but above all very carefully.
Then you will find the new feature game variant, which gives you the opportunity to choose between Arcade, Simulation or Competitive. Which in the end means only means that you define the rough corners of your difficulty level. Do you want an action-packed game without great penalties for fun? Or rather a completely authentic gameplay according to original rules of the NFL for the draft?
Even more wants to offer the new free fitting. And do it. Since one no longer has to decide on only one passphrase, but by selecting a passport area, more players are activated or activated, new possibilities are offered in the attack information. Possibilities that can help you with some difficult game situations, for example if the running paths are assigned.
You should also help the new cover assignment, with the result that it ultimately brings a little more variety within the defensive.
On the whole, it remains with all the positive aspects that these playful innovations are only marginal interventions in the gameplay, which neither change the game, nor take particularly great influence on the well-known game feeling.
We are, of course, inevitably coming to the decisive question: Is that enough to really impress the owner of the predecessor so that he puts money for the successor on sales floors? We are of the opinion: No. This like-in-predecessor feeling is so strong and accompanies you so intensely from the first minute that you forget too fast that the current offshoot of the Madden NFL series is rotating in the console. However, this is not a new phenomenon. Developers seem to find it increasingly difficult to find really striking gameplay innovations every year, and finally, to implement them – and we find it hard to find a lot of playful reasons every year.
Madden NFL and Story Mode
The new content mode, the novelty of Madden NFL 18, is the new story mode. Somehow, it was already clear a year ago that after the good start in the FIFA series, every franchise from EA Sports would be equipped with a playable sports history. 2017 is now Madden NFL and offers us with Longshot the same. The sport is, of course, football and the protagonist, for whom everything is going on, is now called Daven Wade, but otherwise, as a connoisseur of football leagues, many Déjà-vus. You see again this rocky rise of a hopeful talent, one sees again crumbling friendships and ominous managers and one sees above all a lot of stereotypes. Wherever you look, FIFA’s Journey is somehow constantly present. And yet, there are also differences. The story is more cinematically narrated, more music is heard, everything is much more vividly staged – in return, there is a long lack of playful elements and your actions are usually limited to desolate quick-time events or simple response decisions, whose impact is rarely perceptible. Until you really get on a football field, the story is halfway over. If you can criticize something quite extreme, it is the length of the whole. No sooner have you identified with Wade, the credits are already running across the screen. Also not unimportant: Since Madden NFL 18 is not localized, thus in Germany appears completely in English language, one must be the same already quite powerful, one wants to have with the “game film” also have only a little fun. And in fact, it’s kind of fun. You have to be content with the fact that more watching, than playing is offered.
And otherwise? Negative, the remaining volume is practically identical to the previous year. In the end, there is nothing left, so that you can continue to access the well-known content such as the Ultimate Team, Draft Champions and Franchise modes. A nice gimmick, however, there is still. Madden NFL 18 gives you the opportunity for the first time in the play variant Play Now Live Matches of the current season with the original line-up and based on the latest statistics afterwards – by the way with very special comments, which are also always updated. Nice, for a play between, to a depth of the career mode, of course, the whole does not approach. Speaking of career. Here you still have the possibility as a player, coach or owner to lead the respectively selected team to the top of the NFL – with partly completely different tasks. Is deep, fun and cost a lot of time, very much time.
Madden NFL and The New Engine
Madden NFL 18 sets the Frostbite Engine in the new year. Basically, certainly not a bad decision, this game engine has in recent years as well developed well and in many areas also very authentically integrated. The movements of the players, the many optical details and also the mostly fluid performance are very rarely really a cause for criticism. Logically, therefore, that one is quite enthusiastic in the current offshoot due to the graphical representation of the game. The presentation with all the subtleties, such as the advertising inserts and the life away from the game, draws you immediately into the action. And also the appropriately staged intersections, but above all the grandios integrated repeats provide for some Wow effect. The whole thing is played by the terrific weather effects. You can practically feel the chilly wind when you have to fight with the Green Bay Packers in the snowy Lambeau Field around every yard. You feel transported to warm Florida when you play an evening game at the Buccaneers and in the background the pirate ship shines in the gleaming sunset. And you’re just thrilled to see the completely different light effects in the roofed Ford Fields of the Detroit Lions. You know, we can not get out of the swarm. The enthusiasm is somewhat stifled, however, when we are concerned about the loading times. They are very long, in our opinion, too long.
On the whole, the acoustics can convince. Frenetically cheering fans, authentic playing field sounds and informative comments from the English-speaking reporter team are just as much a repertoire as a soundtrack that meets at least our taste completely. There is really little to complain about.
In itself, Madden NFL 18 is a really great implementation of the sport of football. What the men of Electronic Arts here playfully, in terms of content and, above all, optically offer, can really convince right from the first few minutes. Game selection, game control and the AI, but still offer so much access that even as a novice, you can have a lot of fun with the title. And what is offered to us in game modes, should not let boredom. But there is also a serious criticism: the very limited development, especially in a playful way. The predecessor is much present in many areas. And nevertheless, whoever wants to play the new story mode or better to look at the latest data absolutely needs and who has never had anything to do with the sports series, can safely access – disappointment is virtually impossible with correspondingly limited expectations.