I have been a Madden gamer for the majority of my life. I have seen how much the game has changed since the days of Sega and Playstation and its about darn time I have finally played a Madden game on a Sony console. That being said, Madden NFL 16 is a game that is looking to change the way you catch the ball as a receiver or defender. It’s this years version that puts a heavy focus on the gameplay mechanics for these positions while adding in some other interesting options for you to play around with like Draft Champions. Is this a game that will make you go out and buy it?
I don’t know, but I’m going to drag this out with my opinion of the game as long as possible. I’m partially kidding on that but here are my likes with this game.
- Draft Champions Mode – This new mode lets you go through a 15-Round draft (Ultimate Team Style) and face either the computer or other players online with a chance to win a reward that you can redeem in Madden Ultimate Team. I like this mode because it’s not only a pretty fun mode to mess around with, but it enhances the Madden Ultimate Team experience for me. This also pleases me that this type of mode (like how Ultimate Team has invaded other games) will be in other EA Sports games.
- Gameplay – I mentioned earlier how it looks like the focus of this years game was catching. It’s very obvious that is the focus this year with little polish to everything else. The catching mechanic in this game is great, it not only affects your offense but it also affects your defense and it makes you think of how you should actually catch the ball the maximize the play at hand or if you should play the ball or try to knock it out of the receivers hands. However I’ve run into some hiccups while playing as well. For instance I have never seen a defense catch so many encroachment penalties during hurry up moments. It’s a very rare thing to happen in real life but it happens almost regularly in Madden 16.
- Visuals – Last years game was pretty good in terms of visuals. This year I think they have done a pretty good job enhancing the visuals from player models and their likeness to the menu screens. For some however, they may see very little in terms of difference between the two games, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but I feel your pain. The reason the visuals end up in the middle, mainly because it’s a small improvement over last years game and it’s not really wide scale from what I’ve been looking at. The other thing is getting used to the new menus, especially if you’re a CFM (Connected Franchise Mode) Player like me. You may find it difficult to navigate and find what you are looking for at first. Oh, and still no game face despite it being a feature in the FIFA Franchise.
- No Improvements In CFM – I am being critical of this mode for one reason, because since it’s introduction and maybe one upgrade to it, It hasn’t really changed that much. One feature I noticed was the feature that allows you to start either from the beginning (Preseason) or skip ahead to the Regular Season. the other was the dynamic goals throughout the game for certain players which I thought was pretty cool. That’s where it ends though, there is no improvement that enhances my experience if I choose to do a player only career like go through the combine and draft process. There aren’t any features I’ve noticed yet with being a Coach or Owner in this years game. It just seems to be the same old routine which I’m sure will bore players in the long run in this game and will eventually force them to play Draft Champions or Ultimate Team mode to get any type of thrill.
- Omitting Team Play – One mode or feature that is missing from this years game is the popular Team Play mode that allowed you and a few friends to team up online and play another team of players. Being someone who didn’t necessarily like when 2K took out the majority of popular match types and modes in WWE 2K15 I will give this game the same treatment. This was a pretty popular mode online and like I’ve already mentioned, gave you a chance to play with your friends online…ON THE SAME TEAM! There are only so many battle me and one other guy can have for so long until the thrill is gone. What could have been done and probably should have been done was find a way to enhance the mode so that it increases the player involvement in that mode. For instance, FIFA has Pro Clubs, why not try to adapt that, in your own special way, into this game? A better idea, increase team play to 11 v 11 like in the FIFA games. Chaotic? Yes. Something the players would probably want over taking out the mode? YES! Now I won’t be too harsh, but if the reason the mode was taken out was to work on it more just to add it back in next year, bigger and better, then fine I’ll take that. If it’s absent from next years game, EA you’ll have some splanin to do.
There are things in this game to be excited about, Draft Champions is a fun alternative to Ultimate Team and the receiver mechanics have been improved in this game. I can say now, I do find myself enjoying this game, but I also fear it dropping off in the long run and having other sports games catch my attention more. While I still love playing Connected Franchise, there needs to be more added to it that will enhance the experience for the player as well as not taking out online modes that would help this game move. The hardcore Madden gamer might want to wait a little while to buy this game, like Holiday season when it will probably go on sale for 30-40 bucks. The casual guy I also recommend waiting till this game goes on sale unless you are bitten by the Football bug.
*This review is based on a copy of the game purchased by the reviewer