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after playing Madden 13 for about an hour…
Me: Not very impressed with the new Madden so far
Earl: How can you? It’s the same shit every year
These are my A through F grades for Madden 13. Continue reading for a more detailed review:
Replay Value: B+
Overall Value: D
Total Score: C-
Madden 13 disappoints on many levels. I think it’s great that running into your own players impedes your progress, but players bounce off each other and act disoriented as if everyone has an awareness rating of zero and the balance of a sorority chick playing dizzy-bat.
Players lay down like they’ve been crippled after every tackle, and their bodies bend like Gumby. If this game was as realistic as EA Sports advertises, your entire team would be a bunch of quadriplegics by halftime. But hey, it’s Madden, so millions of people will pony up the $59.99 regardless.
I’ve been a fan of the Madden franchise since the ’90s. While I no longer buy the game every year , I’ve probably logged more Madden hours than anyone you know. Between 2002-2006 (when I was in college) I played so much Madden that I got blisters on my thumbs, and knew just about every team’s playbook by heart (although all you needed was the 1 unstoppable play, RB Circles).
When I heard that Madden 13 was going to include Tebowing as a TD celebration I figured it was time to re-up. I had been playing the 09 version for the past few years (until they stopped supporting online play) so I was expecting major improvements from a 4-year-old game. Yea… about that…
Graphics and Gameplay
One of the biggest issues with sports video games is that the developers are under pressure to deliver a new game every single year (while the average game takes anywhere from 1-3 years to create). Although the concept of the game never changes for Madden, gamers expect improvements in graphics and gameplay with every new version. I may be overreacting a tad, but I’m pretty sure Madden 04 for PS2 had better graphics.
Powered by the all-new Infinity Engine, true player impact and authentic momentum transfer ensure that no two plays ever look or feel the same.
If by “authentic momentum transfer” they mean players bump into each other on every single play and the slightest amount of contact leaves them looking dazed and confused, EA Sports nailed it. It’s as if they took the best athletes in the world and replaced them with the Iraqis doing these jumping jacks:
Kickoffs and FG attempts look terrible. On the kickoff, you get a sideline view where you can’t see how far left or right you’re moving the kick direction arrow. Thankfully the view switches to the “up and down” view Madden players are used to once the ball is kicked, but I find the initial view to be, well, just plain shitty. As for FG and extra point attempts, all of a sudden the field is a few shades brighter as if you adjusted your TV set or something. Once the ball goes through the uprights it drops to the ground so fast you’d think the ball was made of metal and there was some sort of giant magnet at the bottom of the net. It just doesn’t feel realistic at all.
I was gassed up to see the new TD celebrations in this year’s version, so I played a few games with the Jets and put in Tebow. After playing 4 games and scoring 9 TDs (5 passing, 4 rushing) with the Midtown Messiah, I did not see him Tebowing once. I saw a lot of players jumping on top of each other, but no Tebowing. I’m not saying Tebowing doesn’t exist in Madden 13, but I’ve done my best to see it and have yet to experience it.
I also played a game using the Dallas Cowboys and scored a 71 yard TD with Miles Austin. Austin celebrated, but all I saw was his back. You’d think EA would show the person playing the game their player’s TD celebration instead of giving the poorly designed digital crowd the show.
Then there’s the post-TD cockeyed view of the player who just scored sitting on the bench. I’d imagine it’s what watching a game on TV would look like if they gave Joe Namath the camera.
It’s awkward, and just doesn’t look right.
Back to that crowd. Poorly designed is an understatement. The crowd looks like the Madden crowd from the old PS1 days. It’s not an important part of the game by any means, but the folks at EA Sports really mailed it in when it comes to the fans in the stands. Digital people basically wearing the same outfits in slightly different colors, standing up and making the same exact gestures. Weak sauce, EA Sports. Weak sauce.
Shitty graphics and bumbling players aside, the game does have decent replay value. I finished a game set on 5 minute quarters against the computer in 17 minutes. I’m not sure if this is a new feature, but Madden 13 accelerates the game clock if you’re on defense and choose a play quickly.
Online play isn’t bad either. It’s easy to find your friends and play a game over your internet connection. If you and your friends play any football video game, it’s going to be Madden, and you’re going to play more than once.
You can post game results to Twitter and Facebook directly from your PS3. While this is a small feature, I found it pretty cool. Not a bad touch.
They’ve moved some things around and changed the way the game is laid out. There’s a lot of clowns blowing up the game review boards complaining there’s no franchise mode. There is, it’s just not in your face on the main menu like in previous versions. There’s a “Connected Careers” mode that has all the stuff you’re used to seeing in a franchise mode. Personally I don’t care for a franchise mode anyway. I either play online or against the computer as I’m not trying to see if I can get a digital RG3 into Canton.
While I’ve pissed away way more than $59.99 on worse things, I feel robbed when it comes to Madden 13. It’s easily one of the worst sports games I own. For reference, I was blown away with NBA 2k11 (which I still play often) and have enjoyed every FIFA game I’ve ever purchased. I even dabble with Virtua Tennis from time to time. Madden 13 is far worse than all of these. A fair price for this game brand new would be around $29.99.
Save your money. Like I said, this is easily the worst sports game I own. I’m not going to return it or anything like that, but I have a feeling this game will be collecting a lot of dust once the NFL season is over.
4. I firmly stand by my statement that Madden 2004 for PS2 had better graphics and gameplay than this monstrosity.
1 – Break the disk in half and throw it in the garbage
2 – Demand a refund and write the publisher a nasty letter
3 – Maybe I can flip this on eBay for a small loss
4 – This game makes me want to go outside and do something active
5 – Probably should have rented it
6 – Ok game
7 – Worth the purchase
8 – Very good
9 – Great
10 – So good it’ll give your thumbs blisters