Aug 25, 2012

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Madden NFL 13 First Impressions

Madden NFL 13 First Impressions

It’s about that time of the year.  If you’re thinking it’s the time when summer transitions to fall, or the first NFL football is kicked off the tee, or even when chicken wings sell out on Sundays, well, you’re right.  But more importantly, that all means that it’s also time for Madden NFL, and with this year’s Madden NFL 13 we are introduced to some new features looking to reinvent the series including a new physics engine and an entirely new “one-stop-shop” career mode called Connected Careers.  I’ve had some time to play with the new Madden here are some of our first impressions.

While Madden 13 packs loads of new features it’s two most advertised additions to this point have been the new Infinity Engine and Connected Careers.  Thankfully, I can say in confidence that right away, these two features make Madden 13 feel like the new game.  Complaints about tackling and animations were all too common in previous entries in the series, and EA seems to have taken some time to listen to the players.  What the Infinity Engine attempts to bring to the game is real life physics, allowing even the slightest graze of your controlled player to have some effect in his demise.  So essentially no tackle is ever quite the same, allowing for some crazy two or even four man tackles.  While this all sounds great on paper it seems the engine has its hiccups at various points (much like FIFA had last year), but we will elaborate more on the engine with our full review in the upcoming days.

Ultimately, what we’ve all been waiting to see in Madden 13 is the all-new Connected Careers mode.  The days of Superstar and Franchise mode are no more.  What we have now is a mode that attempts to bring the best of both worlds into an all encompassing universe that allows players to play as any coach or player role, both online and offline.  First off I must admit, I was fairly skeptical of this new game mode when I first learned about it.  After all, even though Superstar mode was flawed in previous Madden games it still remained one of my favorite modes to play, and not having a separate franchise mode to play legitimately worried me.  But after having some time with Connected Careers I feel as though EA has completely obliterated all of my worries.  If Madden 13 becomes a staple in the series, Connected Careers may be the reason.  Whether you choose to be a player or a coach, appearance of the mode remains the same, however what is interesting is that EA has fully catered to the practice and draft experiences of a franchise.  Earning XP in a sports-RPG manner is a welcome feature and the commitment to created draft classes isn’t as awkward as some would think.  I found myself glued to Connected Careers, wanting to start over and play it differently over and over again.  We’ll be sure to give you our full opinion on all of its features next week.

My first impression on Madden 13 is definitely positive.  With a series that has always received endless complaints since its entry into the current generation of consoles, EA seems to have finally made Madden 13 the one that may truly define football on current gen consoles.  Stay tuned to Vivid Gamer next week for the full review.