Early impressions of Madden NFL 15

I haven’t put a huge amount of time into Madden yet. I bought it release day (on a happy fluke, I was going to trade in games for a preorder and ended up buying Madden) but just finished the preseason and will soon begin the regular season.

— The Skills Trainer is really, really great. It taught me things about the series that I should have known a long time ago but never quite sunk in. It actually teaches you how to read defenses. Can’t say enough good things about it!

— The new tackle… cone? … is equally terrific. It gives you a quick visual on where your tackle will end up when you go after somebody, so you can judge if a diving tackle is worth trying, among other things. Another desperately needed visual upgrade is a kicking line that shows three different possible trajectories for your kick depending on how badly you screw it up. 

— AI QBs are still way too accurate. Jay Cutler had a nearly perfect day against me, but then again, he only played one quarter, so perhaps I’m not being fair. The biggest AI issue remains the DB-WR battle, which I’ve heard is already the priority for next year’s game. If true, it’s desperately needed: the DB wins these battles all too often.

— It’s nice to see Owner Mode make a comeback, and with much needed improvements. Among them is knowing what stadium upgrades actually give you. Franchise relocation is back too. No barley pop, which may or may not be good. 

— Presentation seems solid. Commentary remains hit or miss, but it’s not actively irritating. They really need to completely redo it.

— I did have the game freeze twice, and lose saved progress once. This, more than anything, is why I haven’t played it a lot (that and Arkham Origins and Assassin’s Creed IV). I think the latter was less a bug than me just not paying attention. 

— EA has been great about making fixes for Online Connected Franchises (so much so that I’m seriously considering making a new franchise to take advantage of it), already making three updates. If you don’t want to stay online all the time, you have to wait for a patch. There are apparently some multiplayer issues too. As I play more, I’ll post about my findings. 

— EA’s also openly reporting ongoing issues on their help page. 

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