Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Review: Madden 13 demo shows off gameplay and presentation improvements

The demo for Madden 13 was released Tuesday and features the ability to play a full game with 5-minute quarters. There are two available playable matchups. The first is a Giants v. 49ers rematch of their NFC Championship Game tilt. In the other, the Seahawks go against the Redskins, showing off Seattle’s new uniforms and also allowing players a chance to game as Robert Griffin III.

Much has been made of the changes to Madden leading up to this year’s game, with many from EA Sports and in the industry calling it a total revamp. Judging solely from the demo, the game still keeps that distinct Madden “feel,” but seems to be much improved from a gameplay and presentation standpoint.

While it’s too early to judge the commentary fully, the new duo of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms comes off much smoother and more realistic than the former Gus Johnson – Cris Collinsworth combo. The overall presentation feels a lot more like you’re watching a game on television than it has in the past. Instant replays aren’t overdone, the pregame intro feels like a TV broadcast, and the general atmosphere of the stadium is more lifelike.

From a gameplay perspective, you have more control over the quarterback and the passing game than ever before, which piggybacks a little off of the changes made in NCAA Football 13. It’s easier to lead receivers, who also don’t have to stop and turn when catching the ball in the open field, making for much smoother deep passes.

Tackling animations have also benefited from the new Infinity Engine. There are more stumbles after contact and broken tackles are more fluid and lifelike.

Again, it’s hard to get a total gauge from just a few hours of demo gameplay and we still need to get a feel for the game modes like Franchise and the new Connected Careers, and see how online play does. But if the improvements in gameplay we’ve seen so far carry through to the rest of the game, this year’s Madden will finally be a true leap ahead, instead of just a roster update and refresher.

(Photo via PlanetPlayStation)

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