Madden NFL 13 Review
If you’re not familiar with the terms ‘end zone’, ‘pitch ball’ and ‘pump fake’ then put this back on the shelf, pick up FIFA and be at one with your knowledge of European sport.
Why? Because this is not the game for those adverse to a learning curve. The mission control room’s main console at NASA is easier to master than the perfect playbook in Madden NFL 13. This isn’t to say that it’s a bad game, no sir.
Madden is like a beautifully crafted, double bacon, multi-layered cheese burger that’s stacked so high that you have no idea how to tackle it. But once you do, boy howdy, the rewards are satisfying. Madden, like most of EA’s sports games, takes itself seriously.
It’s less of a game and more of a sports simulator/real-time strategy mixed with some grandiose cinematography. It’s an emotive formula that we love, and it works so well. There’s a Hollywood feeling that carries throughout the game, from the training ground to the excellent ‘connected careers’ online.
The introduction of the new Infinity Engine adds a bite of reality to collisions, which, to be honest, are probably the only reasons a non-fanatic will play this game.
You can satisfy your blood lust with missile-shaped leaps into an opponent or, in possession, gallop like a gazelle, palming off predators with your free hand while pirouetting into the end zone and subsequently performing a macho/camp dance of your choice, which is the second reason you’ll probably play this game.
Are you ready to play some FOOTBALL!!? No, not soccer, American Football.
The passing mechanic has been overhauled too. Instant or ‘ping pong’ passing after the snap is no more, receivers’ (still makes me laugh) icons only light up when the pass is on, so learn to keep hold of the pig skin. If you’re not interested in pulling off the perfect play, keeping score or even scoring then that’s how you turn this into a pick-up-and-play game.
If, however, you’ve ever dreamed of frantically drawing squiggly lines on a white board and giving a rousing speech to an all but beaten team, then the world is your deep-fried oyster. As with previous versions, you can select and tinker with your formation before and during the game, allowing you to execute the perfect play.
Magnified in the ‘connected career’ mode, this lets you create your own player and develop them over a number or seasons or take control of an established player or coach. Online or offline, you can create or join a league and play out the entire football season. If you do create your own player, however, be prepared for not much excitement, at least to start with.
It’s not the game to buy for an introduction into the sport, but it is the first step in a path towards a dedicated gamer’s only simulation.