I’ve already posted here about Madden NFL 13. It’s only fitting that I write about the swansong for this year’s version of Madden. I’m going to Hastings (a local bookstore/video game store/music store) tomorrow, and, with all probability, will trade it in for store credit.
The last few years, I’ve pre-ordered Madden, and I’ve never been unhappy with it until this year. Even this year’s edition has more positive than negatives, but it’s not enough. I’ve simply lost faith in EA.
For a long time, since the game’s release, one of the biggest complaints has been the removal of edit player mode. I didn’t care, and was actually pretty pleased that it wasn’t included. With the latest patch, it’s been added, and the results are apparently pretty horrific. Whatever, no big deal, I wasn’t going to mess with it anyways. One of the things they did change was letting you change coaching schemes instead of just player roles, a feature I was looking to get into. See, you can’t use Custom Playbooks (or Gameplan!) any more, and I’ve been stuck with the West Coast offense built for Colt McCoy instead of a more traditional passing offense built around Brandon Weeden. But the schemes don’t save. You can leave the screen and come back and they just aren’t there. In other words, they’ve added a completely useless feature. Oh, and something ridiculously easy like registering assisted tackles? Too complicated for the game, but hey, at least they’ve fixed the horrendous supersim bug!
I completely understand that Madden has an unusually short development cycle. Fine, I get it. Why not have two separate teams, one working on the current version and one on the next? That way, you fix these problems in one patch instead of needing three or four. Instead, you have a guy devoted solely to coming up with new ratings for the weekly roster updates. Which are completely unnecessary.
Madden’s been catering to the online crowd for a while now, and I don’t play Madden online. That’s okay; if most people buy the title to go online, by all means, satisfy your target audience. Connected Careers has a lot of promise, but I can almost predict that it’ll be gone next season. Too many people just say “Franchise is gone!” without taking the time to try a season of CC. The XP stuff is a little weak, but Scouting is much, much better. I like the idea of the Hall of Fame measuring stick too. Unfortunately, it’s apparently too complicated, as 99% of the worst problems are with CC mode. If they’d kept the Franchise mode from Madden NFL 12 and just added the better gameplay from 13, they’d probably have a home run. (Sorry, mixed metaphor.) They didn’t, and that’s why I’m trading in my copy (if I can get decent credit for it.)
EA, don’t turn Madden into High Heat. Please. Skip a year, we’ll wait (or I will, and probably Kevin too.) I might even buy Madden next year, but I almost certainly won’t buy it until I read some reviews.