LJ Santa Maria
Madden first hit the shelves in 1988 on Apple II computers with a gameplay that trudged along to say the least. EA Sports, the creator of the game and Madden series, knew they needed a legend to lend his expertise and knowledge of the sport of football if they wanted to be successful. With that in mind, they tracked down John Madden, legendary player, coach and broadcaster.
“If it isn’t 11 on 11, it isn’t real football,” Madden stated.
EA was hoping to keep the number of players to 5 or 6 a team to speed up gameplay but Madden would have none of it. His ultimatum was clear: “I’m not putting my name on it if it’s not real.”
Throughout the years, Madden has progressively gotten better and more realistic, however, last year I feel they dropped the ball, BIG TIME. Madden 12 was the worst Madden I have ever played and for the first time was a game that I did not want to keep playing. I know numerous Madden fans who were livid with the Madden 12 production, many of who were ready to quit on the Madden series altogether. It was flawed in so many ways from the gameplay to the graphics, to the intro to each game. It was a step back from the few previous Maddens and made me nervous that the series would continue down the same path that one did.
As horrible as Madden 12 was, Madden 13 came along and saved the day for Madden fans all over. The “13” game has improved the on-field gameplay light years ahead of 2012 and even introduced a new physics engine or infinity engine. This new technology makes every tackle look and feel completely different from the last, making sure the gameplay does get old.
The obvious attention to detail truly shows through in the game play of Madden 13, with a few additions that immediately caught my eye. For starters, fumbles actually look like fumbles this year. In previous Maddens, the ball would mysteriously float out of the ball carries hands, with no real evidence as to why he fumbled the football. In 13, a bone crushing hit or a defensive player purposely strafing the ball pries it loose out of the ball carries hands. A second addition that can be somewhat frustrating at times but amazingly realistic is ball carrying. When the running back is tripped up by one of their own fallen offensive linemen at the line of scrimmage, just catching their toe on the leg of a lineman, it ruins what could have been a big play. This is something Madden fans are not familiar with. They were used to the ball carrier just running through their own lineman as if they do not exist. This advancement is another step Madden 13 made in making it way more realistic and closer to the football were used to watching on Sundays.
Graphics have made a huge upgrade in Madden 13 as well with uniforms, players’ faces and stadiums coming to life more than ever. Along with advanced graphics came improved player animations. Before the game kicks off you can see one player embracing his teammates with pats on the back, and pre-game pep talks. Coaches and player interaction has also been improved as well. Game introductions have probably taken the largest step forward. They have chosen the announcers we see in the booth every Sunday afternoon, with real life screen shots of them before kickoff, and realistic commentary on certain players or aspect of each respective match-up.
Overall, I rate Madden 13 a 4.5 out of 5. Madden 13 is going to set you back $60, however it is well worth it. Madden 13 is a realistic reenactment of what takes place on the field every Sunday, and I simply cannot put the controller down. It looks and feels like the real thing and for my money is the greatest Madden ever released, and a huge step forward for EA Sports and the Madden Series.