Embark on your journey to the Super Bowl in better style than before
SRP: £49.99It’s always nice to see developers justify the output of their year-on-year franchises, making them more than just cheap re-releases of the previous year’s outing. Whilst some companies just add a bit of polish to an ultimately unchanged package, Madden 15 is an exception to the rule. The result? One of the best American Football games you’ll play in a long time.
With the excitement of last season’s Super Bowl still fresh in the memories of the Seattle Seahawks players and fans alike, a new excitement is gradually building. It’s nearly that time again; where defending champions look to carry on where they left off and usurpers begin their campaign to overthrow them.
But whilst you may want to remember some things from last year, there are a lot of others that you will want to forget. That’s not just Denver fans either, because Madden 15 is a complete overhaul. A momentary lapse into last season’s title, Madden 25, can result in a costly error in attack or defence. Often worse than Denver’s first attack in the Super Bowl…
An Education in NFL
It’s good to be made to feel that way too, as certain aspects of Madden 25 felt as if they were less important than others, with defence playing a more significant part in gameplay than ever before. Where you could rely on the AI to do most of the groundwork for you at the line of scrimmage, it’s now down to the player to contest with blockers to try and sack the quarterback. Other areas of defensive play have been significantly improved, with tackling being more accurate and efficient, with much finer control given over to how to tackle and reading your opponent's move in order to make a hit.
It’s often been a requirement in the past that you need a solid grounding in the tactics and mechanics of American Football when approaching a Madden game. Of course, some basic understanding is required, but Madden 15 guides you through every aspect of the game in its extensive tutorial section. From basic plays, to correct reads in an oppositions defensive line-up, you’ll start to understand the game much better. That’s not just in videogame format either, for newcomers to the sport will find themselves knowing much more about the game when it’s in action thanks to the education on offer here.
The old kicking mechanic and camera have been given the boot too thankfully, with the ability to complete more accurate kicks and conversions over last year. Whereas previously you flicked the right stick to power your kick, now you pull it back and push it forward once the meter has filled to the desired power. You can also hold the kick right until the last few seconds if you’re playing tactically and want to burn some precious seconds from the opposition.
It's now down to the players to contest with blockers to try and sack the quarterback
Lessons learntLessons have been learnt from the habits of owners of last year’s title; both offensive and defensive plays are offered dependent on your opponent’s tendencies and that of their popularity within the community. Success rates and average yards gained can be viewed before each play, making online matchmaking modes more tactical and rewarding than ever before.
Whilst attacking and defending you can now use the coach stick mechanic in order to gauge how your team lines up against your opponents, allowing you to spot any potential weaknesses in order to gain more yards. Crucially, you can also see if your team is being overpowered by the defence and how fatigued your players are. Throwing to a tired receiver can be a bad move if their opposing defender has the upper hand.
The new graphics that are on offer are easy on the eye too, giving players and stadiums alike a new coat of detail and add another layer of realism to the whole package. There are still some nuances with the collision engine however, with some quite interesting tackles and resulting positions, whilst the commentary still feels forced. It’s almost there, but not quite.
The same game modes make a return, with the connected franchise mode getting a few new additions to it in this year’s ongoing improvements over last year.
You can still chose to play as a player, coach or owner but the way in which you control your team has been given a change for the better. You can decide how teams prepare for the upcoming season by altering their training, either giving them a short term boost in confidence or a long term gain in experience.
There’s also the returning ultimate team mode which works in a similar fashion to that available in the Fifa titles; you try and acquire and collect the biggest and best stars throughout the NFL to create your true unstoppable fantasy team. Time and dedication are required in order to put together a good roster of players, but once it has its hooks in you you’ll find it hard to leave it alone.
There’s a lot of hard work gone into Madden 15 and thankfully the leap from PS3 to PS4 has paid off in style for the folks behind the scenes at EA.
It’s a shame there’s still plenty of work to do as for every move forward there are still a couple of niggles which hold the game back. Players often still feel a tad ‘heavy’ and don’t turn or move quite how you’d like them to, or feel like they would be able to in real-time. They are only minor points, but when it comes to making the game as solid as possible, these small downfalls can result in costly errors sometimes when in play.
- Better kicking and defending mechanics
- Improved graphics
- Better tutorial modes
- Players can still feel 'heavy' when running and turning
- Commentary still awkward
Madden 15 PS4 ReviewMadden 15 is the best NFL game there has been for some time, giving fans of the sport service of this highest order, letting them to make their own memorable moments with their favourite team.
It's initially surprising how much better the game looks over NFL 25 (that's a good surprise), whilst the tutorial section on offer is the best you will see in a long time, allowing you to play the game to a higher standard and understand the game in more detail.
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