The biggest attractions to any new Madden game are the new features. The added gameplay features to Madden 17 are pretty awesome and they definitely make the game more even between offense and defense. Some of the features are annoying and make you miss the old games, but every game takes risks I guess. The franchise mode features are really cool too, although, some are quite repetitive and sometimes unnecessary. Anyways, let’s get to specifics.
It’s More Realistic
Player movement, while frustrating if you’re used to past games, is way better and much more realistic in 17 than in any other version of the game previously. Not only is it more realistic as a whole, but it is more realistic per player as well. Now, you won’t be seeing a 250 pound LB switching direction like Dante Hall even though his agility rating is a subpar 82. Now, weight and running styles actually matter and it makes the whole game that much better.
Odell catches are (basically) gone! The defense actually has a chance in Madden 17 and not every 1 handed spectacular catch attempted is granted by the game’s inability to play defense on the ball. Now, with the ability to play the ball (swat), play the man or make a play on the ball (interception) with the ball in the air, you have more control than ever when trying to stop air raid attacks.
Another thing they have done away with is absurdly athletic linebackers who can some how intercept any ball thrown in their vicinity. In my extensive, yet limited gameplay I have not ran into this issue and it seems like they have fixed this sort of hyper athletic defender glitch. Finally.
Teaches the Game
They really started doing this in Madden 16 and they did it pretty well. When doing the tutorials, they taught you defensive schemes and offensive schemes to beat the defenses. Terms such as Stick and Levels now meant something to gamers and weren’t just seen as play names. This year, they expand on that by using terminology for Zone Defenses, Gap Discipline, and even blocking assignments. Why am I so hyped about this? Because this makes being good at the game actually take some understanding of football and the more you understand, the better you can be at Madden. Now, if you don’t adjust your OL to the blitz coming, it is very possible that your QB will end up on his ass. They have been moving in this direction for a while and I’m glad they are finally here.
This has been a huge request by serious Madden gamers for years. The ability to have a practice squad of 10 developing young talents is a great addition. The goal with each game is to help make the franchise mode more and more realistic and I would have to say that with this game, they did that ten fold.
Kicking is Hard
Okay, hard-er. Another huge pro. In that past, a 45 yard field goal in rain and wind was pretty easy and if you played All-Pro or lower, your success rate was probably 95%. So not realistic. This year, they have made it much more difficult by forcing the user to use both hands at the same time and making the kick meter get increasingly smaller (harder) for longer kicks.
So Many Fumbles
This isn’t realistic. I will say that players react very well to fumbles, but still about 45% of the time when I dive forward with my quarterback, the ball comes loose. That’s not realistic and it’s pretty game changing too. Not to mention about 60% of QB sacks result in fumbles even though you passed it to your TE like 55o8549 seconds earlier! Ugh.
This whole “new look” play selection system isn’t better than the old, standard play calling system. While it’s great to have your whole playbook at your dispense during the hurry up offense, the new system is just nowhere near as intuitive and helpful as the previous horizontal style. I have to give a big thumbs down to this feature overall. There was no need to change it.
Tackle Battles Are Lame
So lame. Let’s be serious, if Eddy Lacy lowers his shoulder into Nolan Carroll in the open field, Nolan Carroll is going down. There is no, “tap X in .5 seconds to win this battle” situation there. It’s not even that I hate the idea that much, I just hate how often it actually occurs. I liked the old way where you either ran the guy over, fell forward for another 2-3 yards or got wrecked.
“Hold X to Skip”
Sooooooo annoying. I understand that EA put a lot of work into this game and they want to show it off, but I’m only 1 week in and already sick of having the games additional presentation features shoved down my throat. It makes the game way too long and my wife really wants to go to Bed, Bath and Beyond.
Overall, the game is very fun and has a lot of positives, but it’s clear that the developers tried a little too hard in some areas and made things a tiny bit worse. Overall, very solid game, but I still can’t say it’s “great” or the “best Madden ever” because it isn’t. It will go down as one of the most game changing Madden games I’m sure though for its additions of updated commentary and defensive play making. Madden 2005 was easily the best Madden game to come out in the history of the franchise and it’s not even close. I’m still not sure why they aren’t bringing a lot of that stuff back!
Rating: 7.5 / 10