Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Madden NFL 17 - From No Name to the HOF

The NFL season maybe over, the New England Patriots and Tom Brady may have won another Superbowl and the off-season process of the Rookie Combine, Free Agency and The Draft is now upon us, but this doesn't mean that it's too late to be sitting down and playing a game of Madden NFL 17.

It's been many a year since I last played Madden, so EA have made  a lot of changes to the game in regards to its game play mechanics and graphics as well as the introduction of new game modes to play. I'd been really excited to get a chance to try this out.

When you first start the game it takes you straight into a game time scenario. Its the first year of the Rams relocation back to LA, your down a touchdown and there's only 2 minutes remaining in overtime, you must score to keep your playoff hopes alive.

It's in this moment that helps you to understand some of the new game play changes. The one you will notice in the introduction is the change in running dynamics and seeing drive objectives, it really allows you to get a feel of the game. The offensive line now provide realistic blocks allowing your running back to break off big runs, you also have button indications to show you what button(Move) will help you the best. Defensive backs are also now a lot harder to play as and against, making proper reads are important as otherwise you're going to get burnt, long gone are the days of jumping in front of every pass. Once you've got this down it's on to the main game modes Franchise and MUT.

Franchise allows you to take a role on one of the 32 different NFL teams. EA have done a great job with Franchise mode as they've combined their Be a Pro & Coach modes while also giving you the option to be the franchise owner, so that you can have absolute control over everything. You can chose to create a player and work your way from the bottom up into the Hall of Fame or continue the legacy of a current player, coach or owner.

The level of control in each role is incredible, players and coaches are given yearly targets to achieve, which are broken down to per game goals. This minimum goal gives you a target to achieve and will help the game evaluate your legacy as you go along. As an owner you're given the goal of getting to the Super Bowl and doing this anyway possible. From choosing which players to cut/sign/draft in the off season to decisions about ticket prices, merchandise or even relocation, the options feel really deep.

Madden Ultimate Team (MUT) is the second main game mode. Ultimate team allows you to collect cards and build the best team that you possibly can from both hall of fame players and current NFL stars. You receive coins after every game which allows you to obtain contracts, improvements and stadiums/uniforms to build your ultimate team and play against others online to see how many championships you can win. You get challenges to partake in which once completed allows you to get more cards and there are special cards that will relate to a specific events that are currently going on in the NFL.

I love Madden, the entire feel of the game is smooth from in game animations to both MUT and Franchise aspects. I could happily spend an entire day playing Madden and improving a team from nothing to Super Bowl champions.

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