Every year, EA Sports always tries to improve upon a good formula with its Madden franchise. This year in particular is a crucial one when it comes to improving upon the football experience, since Madden NFL 25 marks a huge anniversary for the franchise.
Thankfully, the team at EA Tiburon didn’t disappoint thanks to new features that stand out with this year’s edition of the game – it isn’t just a fancy number stamped on the box. Here now is a run-down of some of the biggest changes you’ll notice about this year’s game when you pick it up this Tuesday…
Share and Share Alike
In the past, some avid players have been known to take their custom Madden teams and settings and load them onto an USB drive, in order to share them with fellow players. Thanks to Madden Share, that’s now a thing of the past.
With Madden Share, players can now upload all of their options with the press of a button, enabling others to take advantage of their custom slider settings and playbooks with others. This is a huge community-enabled feature of the game, as you can sort through hundreds of thousands of uploads, seeing what competitive Madden players have to offer. Dare you try out someone’s 181 Fullback Banana play? Perhaps you want to see how you fare with all the settings turned up to maximum level?
With this feature, you can also create your own custom playbook from various teams to share. For instance, you can mesh together plays from the San Francisco 49ers and the Denver Broncos, and then see how the effects of running and passing turn out as a result. Heck, maybe you’ll want to even take a chance on the Jets…
The Madden Share option also lets players sort by content, so they can find what plays they’re looking for – passing, running, custom – right away. They can even rate them with the community. Best of all, Madden Share is free of charge – no nagging membership fees here.
The Owner’s Box Is Yours
Every year, the Madden franchise goes all out with simulation, letting you feel like you’re controlling the destiny of a chosen player or coach. This year, you get the opportunity to hop into the driver’s seat, controlling the actions of the owner. Here, you’ll be able to direct every aspect of your team, as well as the stadium they play in. You’ll need to cater to fans while inspecting the overall health of your team, curing yourself of “problem players” – they’re out there – with blockbuster trades, with the help of your staff – and managing everything from stadium fare to fan happiness. They probably aren’t going too crazy about paying $15 for parking and $200+ for home tickets, so how about offering some deals?
You’ll also be in charge of player and staff salaries, balancing the books and making sure that everything ticks. If push comes to shove, you can even move your franchise to another town if you think it’s a more lucrative deal. Please welcome the Los Angeles Cowboys! Hey, you can make it happen.
All this ties into the Connected Franchise mode, where you can improve player and coaching skills by managing experience points earned throughout the season. Just make sure you don’t make them so good in one area that they develop an ego, as team chemistry plays an important part in this mode. Make your superstar like a team player and you’ll feel the respect they deserve.
It all sounds very technical, but the fact is avid NFL fans will love every aspect of Connected Franchise and Owner Mode. It’ll keep you busy well into the start of the upcoming season.
The Running Game
As we’ve mentioned before, Madden NFL 25’s running game has gone through an overhaul. You now have 30 new moves that you can unleash as you dart down the field with the ball. What’s more, you can combine them together, turning your running back into an unstoppable train.
For instance, you could juke to get pass one defender, while curling into a spin to fend off another, then jump over a pair of remaining ones as you make one final dash for the end zone. It does take practice – and some defenders don’t fall for your moves so easily – but it’s great to have so many options available.
In fact, the upgraded running game ties in with…
An Infinity Feel
Using the Infinity Engine 2 technology, improved upon from last year’s Madden NFL 13, EA Tiburon has managed to make football feel even more realistic than ever. No more “weird tackles” where a player finds themselves collapsing onto the ground from bad timing.
With this improved technology, players can get a better feel for each action they perform. Running feels a bit more natural, though you’ll still need to work to reach the end zone. Passing also works much easier than in previous years, with better connection with your players – though you’ll still need to keep an eye open for possible interceptions. Even special teams has its moments, especially when you’re trying to make that game winning field goal.
“It’s just an engine,” you might be saying at first. Upon playing the game, you’ll see precisely what differences we’re talking about.
Even More Ultimate Team
If you’re looking to build an even bigger pack of Ultimate Team cards, you’ve come to the right place. Madden NFL 25 features even more opportunities to make a killer pack, including special challenges strewn throughout the season, as well as winning big games and special events. You can still buy packs through the online store as well, then put up unwanted cards for sale. It’s a great place to put together your dream team.
Last but certainly not least, you might be spoiled rotten by the “ultimate” All-25 squad, hand packed by EA Sports to provide the best football experience out there. Granted, you can only use them in “Play Now” mode, but it really gives you the chance to guide a “dream team” to winning glory. Especially against the Jets. You can learn more about the All-25 here.
Madden NFL 25 releases this Tuesday for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and arrives later this year for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.