The pre-season games have started and a new season of the NFL is right around the corner, which obviously means a new instalment of Madden has landed at our feet.
EA Sports has worked hard to ensure that the latest game in the series is not just a remodelled version of the previous title released 12 months ago and instead provides fans with significant improvements. Fortunately, it’s not all a PR stunt- Madden 18 is a lot better than its predecessor.
Across all game modes, major changes have been made that counter to a range of players. Whether you’re a Madden veteran or a newbie, there’s something in this year’s game for everybody and you may even learn a few things on the way.
If you were unsure on whether to pick up Madden 18 then let us put your mind at rest; it’s brilliant and here’s seven reasons why you need to get your hands on a copy:
After FIFA made the nextgen jump last year, Madden has followed suit this season. The Longshot story mode is really where the new engine shines but there are considerable improvements made throughout the game and it looks fantastic, certainly now comparable to the action we watch on a weekly basis.
Graphics aren’t the be and end all for a game’s success but having a sports game that looks as good as Madden 18 certainly isn’t a bad thing.
As a Seahawks fan, I can’t wait to consistently beat the 49ers and see realistic tears roll down their face.
If you read my last piece on Madden, you’ll know I was immediately drawn into the game’s story mode. That was only the first chapter and now, having completed the entire story, I can tell you it only gets better. Honestly, this really does feel like the future of sports gaming.
With three alternate endings based on how you perform, the likelihood is that you will have the same ending as one of your friends.
The journey feels like your own and having an actor like Mahershala Ali involved alongside NFL greats like Dan Marino and many other cameos make for a very, very good story.
Had this come out as a film, it would go down as one of my favourites ever; the fact you’re in control of the narrative makes it even better.
Co-op gaming has, unfortunately, had a difficult few years, with the majority of games moving away from the old couch co-op set-up.
MUT Squads is a new game mode that allows you and two others to tackle three other people online together. Taking one player’s Ultimate Team offence, one’s defence and the other acting as ‘head coach’, take to the field and work together to win… or lose.
If you wanted to scream at your friend for dropping a perfect 50-yard throw, fumbling the ball in the red zone or throwing an interception then this is for you. If that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea then you at least need to give it a try.
Ultimate Team isn’t for everyone but there’s no denying EA have developed a goldmine. FIFA took competitive gaming to the next level last season with the introduction of FUT Champions and Madden has followed suit this year with MUT Champions.
Each week players can qualify for the Weekend League by either winning a knock-out tournament or via head-to-head seasons. Then, players play up to 25 games from Friday morning to Monday morning and get rewarded for their success. The more wins, the better the rewards. Simple.
Commentary in sports gaming has often been dull: the same statements, the same jokes, the same comparisons. Truth be told, no-one really cares what the commentators have to say about how you’re playing- especially as their comments can be extremely tedious.
That’s where Madden 18 wins out however. Instead of just talking about your performance, they’ll also discuss real-world NFL discussion points.
As well as utilising the new Frostbite engine, Madden 18 will run in 4K immediately on the PS4 Pro and will be ready to do the same in November when the Xbox One X releases. What that means for the modern gamer is better graphics, a sharper response and a game that looks even better than before.
Realism is now Madden’s middle name and, when the Xbox One X drops in November, I will be booting up Madden straight away to check out the improvements.
Play Now Live
Another new feature this year, Play Now Live follows on from the improvements made to commentary. Here, you can jump into the NFL stories as the season develops by playing real-life match-ups with up to date stats, rosters and commentary, allowing you to change the story of the season as you see fit.
Then, you can choose how you play the full season. Either get into a game as quickly as possible or customise things fully for your own experience. This connection from real life to gaming is an experience that enhances how we play the game and it’s superb.