Thank you to Electronic Arts for providing the early review copy.
As a huge National Football League fan, I was really hoping that this years Madden would be as good as possible since so much about the regular season is still up in the air. Please note that my final scored review where I will be able to go more in detail will be posted on Friday, August 28th at 12:01 AM ET when the embargo lifts.
The Yard is Madden’s newest game mode which introduces 6v6 backyard style football. The Yard is a ton of fun…when it is working. Obviously keep in mind that I am playing on an early access version of the game, so there is a good chance that this and any other bugs that I mention will be patched by the time you start playing. My first couple games on The Yard took place at F.O.B Field and I had no problems there. It is completely what you would expect from backyard football. It is fast paced, trick plays are common and most rules go completely out the window. However, the mode broke on me after I unlocked the second field. Players went invisible and the ball couldn’t be hiked. You can see what I mean in the video below.
Face of The Franchise: Rise to Fame starts out with a ton of a promise but its quality fades as the game continues. High School and College play out similar to how all of Longshot did in Madden 18 and 19. I am going to show a video of how conversations are handled earlier on in the game in case you never played Longshot. After that I will have another video showing how conversations are handled once you are drafted. I am only on the first year in the NFL on it, so hopefully it improves as I continue playing but I honestly doubt it will. I understand why they did it this way but I wish they didn’t. I will have a deep dive into the positives and negatives of Face of The Franchise: Rise to Fame in my full review.
Franchise, Superstar Knock Out, and Ultimate Team don’t have any major changes unfortunately. Electronic Arts came out and recently said that Madden 21 post launch and Madden 22 will have a lot of new stuff for franchise after fans were outraged (as they should be) over the lack of new content between previous entries of Madden. Ultimate Team has ability caps, which adds a new layer of customization to your team. Superstar Knock Out plays similar to how it did in Madden 20 and is a lot of fun.
You can judge for your self based off the videos on this post, but I didn’t see any major enhancements. I am curious as to how the next-generation upgrades will look. If you want to read about how to get the next-generation version for free, click here.
Gameplay in the normal modes feel slightly slower then Madden 20 and I like that. There are some updates to Skill Stick which I will talk about more in the full review. The changes to pass rushing will defiantly take some time to get used to but it is a much better system compared to button smashing. Tackling and the AI have both also seen solid improvements.
I unfortunately ran into my fair share of bugs and technical issues. As I mentioned earlier, there is a pretty good chance that these will be patched out by the time you play it, so I wouldn’t reach to much into it. On top of that, 2020 has been a crazy year for developers with everyone having to work from home.
I will go more in detail about the bugs I ran into in my full review but in the two days that I have been playing, I have ran into four bugs. The only major bug was the one that took place during The Yard which I talked about earlier.
The soundtrack and the in-game audio from the field is great. Unfortunately, everything about the audio isn’t perfect. There is one glaring issue that hasn’t been addressed. The announcers are dreadful. I have no problems with Brandon Gaudin or Charles Davis. It is just the amount of stuff they say that shouldn’t be said during a game. I will dive deeper into this in my full review but an announcer calling a completion a rushing attempt breaks the immersion.
Overall First Impressions
It is Madden. If you liked the previous games, you are going to enjoy this one. If you disliked the previous games, there probably isn’t anything here that is going to convince you to change your opinion.