Turn off the Lights

From a Brit’s Perspective: Madden 2013 Review

Today I will be looking at the new Madden offering from EA Sports. I am going to start this review a shameful announcement... I have never played a football game. There I said it! I am a massive sports fan. I love soccer, golf, fishing, etc and have played many sports sims, but have never delved into the realms of American football. I have watched it on TV plenty of times and understand the rules, but I thought I would challenge myself and try to invest my time into one of the most popular sports on the planet. I have heard it's crazy fun, Well hopefully Madden 13 does enough to keep me interested.

Let the football party begin!

Unlike many other EA Sports games who have a number of competitors, such as Fifa vs Pro Evolution Soccer each year, the Madden series hasn't had a competitor in years. It doesn't have another football game bringing something new to the table that it would have to later feature, emulate, or improve. It is the only game in its genre as EA holds all the exclusive rights to the NFL license, Madden's audience of NFL fans have no option for an alternative sim. MaddenIS the game.

Now we have Madden 2013, which features the new NFL 13eInfinity Engine. This new engine has made the game feel totally realistic; features such as the flow of the game, the gameplay with its tackling/passing, and in-game movement feel very true to life. If I ever looked at a sim and weighed it against its real counterpart, then Madden would be the example that I'd use. Sometimes the engine has its flaws. When there are many players in the same sequence at the same time, for example a mass pile, the engine fails to deliver realistic content; limbs end up in unrealistic positions and normal movement is replaced by motion that would cause dislocations & arms/legs breaking. However, this is the one technical stumbling block, and it's only momentary, so it doesn't distract from the awesome fluidity of the gameplay very often.

gameplay madden
Madden NFL 13 has also made some noticeable tweaks from last years offering. With the passing system you now have more control over what happens with the ball after the snap. Using the left stick you can take receivers away from defenders and throw the ball into open space. The button icons over receivers only light up when they're looking for a pass, which shows that they are open and that your pass will have a better chance at being caught. The passing game is now countered by the improved defense mechanics and it now makes intercepting passes a lot easier and efficient.

The in-game menus are very understandable and easy to navigate, as I said previously this is the first football sim I have dedicated my time to, and from previous EA games that I play regularly (Fifa/Tiger Woods) the in game pause option menus have always been exceptional, and this is no different. Fluid and easy to navigate, the newbie and the Madden lifelong fan can easily change their options from the pause menu.

Madden NFL 13 now also supports synchronization with the Xbox Kinect peripheral. Gamers now have the ability to call plays, audibles, hot routes, timeouts, and more just by using their voice. It puts the gamer right at the line of action, with complete control of their offense which makes it an interesting feat in properly immersing yourself into the gameplay.

madden 13
Madden NFL 13's new career mode delves into the realms of the offline and online Franchise modes together with Superstar mode, and has been labeled "connected careers". This new mode gives you the opportunity to play as either a player or coach, somewhat similar to Player Manager modes on Fifa Soccer. You have the option of creating a player in any position and mapping your face to him, which I think is quite cool. With the Kinect, EA has made the total package of making its simulator realistic and doing as much as they can to make you feel like you're the player in game. The future is in developing how to integrate personal feelings and emotions into games and EA is doing a stellar job at bringing this ideal to market.

You can also opt to select a legendary NFL player or coach, controlling the likes of Joe Montana, John Elway, and Vince Lombardi but some of them can only be accessed if you complete certain challenges and redeem your card in the Madden Ultimate Team trading card mode and that adds even greater depth and gameplay time to the title.

In Connected Careers, you can play offline or jump online and either join or create leagues of your own in which up to 32 other participants can take part over 30 seasons. There are a series of challenges to achieve in your career and can earn XP to spend on attributes each week by taking part in practice drills and games, which compares heavily to the season mode in Fifa 13, where you and your friends can have a season mode and competitively race for first position. Again, this is great for the social aspect and means when you're not playing you can have some banter with friends and talk about Madden 13 outside the gaming realm. 

madden commentaryI found Madden to be quite an enjoyable experience. I never played a football simulator before, but after playing this I can quickly see them becoming a favorite of mine. The gameplay at times was a little bit slow and the game was stopped at many points due to a foul, and this seemed to make the game drag on when compared with other sports games. However, that's my personal view from being used to quicker paced sports, I'm sure Madden isn't slow for those who love America Football.

Madden did enough to keep me entertained through the duration. I cannot compare to the last Madden game as I didn't play it; however, after some research online it seems that the new engine mechanics have been a storm with fans worldwide. I don't see there being any other major gameplay differences just like with that of the soccer sims where only tweaks are applied each year to keep the audience entertained, but in a world where Madden is the only one of its kind with no competition, it does plenty to keep the player immersed for long durations and encompasses what it is to play an enjoyable and lasting football sim.



Meet the Author

About / Bio
I'm a lifelong gamer and share my passion with the world in the form of streaming my games on twitch.tv - www.twitch.tv/terrorhertz and making YouTube videos about all the games I enjoy. I'm also a budding games journalist here :)

My gaming journey began in the Christmas 1992 when aged 6, I got my Sega Mega Drive with Sonic One and World Cup Italia 90. Since then I have played and own pretty much every console since then, just check my collection video on my YouTube channel.

Now days I mainly play PC games and got into the PC side of things when I started playing Everquest in 2005. This game opened my eyes to the mmorpg genre and since then have played most MMO's of which World of Warcraft was my most played. Right now I'm playing and streaming DayZ and FIFA with a few other games thrown in here and there. I'm a games journalist and write weekly articles and monthly reviews and previews whilst also uploading 3+ videos weekly to my YouTube channel where you can find loads of awesome HD gaming videos - www.youtube.com/terrorhertzhd

I've worked as a hardware/software technician for Apple the past 4 years and really enjoy working with computers. I have built/modded/overclocked PC's since around 2007 and it's a massive interest of mine. My other hobbies include video editing, carp fishing, golf and playing guitar.

Follow Us