Madden NFL 11 Reviewed

Electronic Arts has shipped out their newest football game of the year, Madden NFL 2011. This marks the 22 year for the John Madden video game and it's their best version to date (obviously this version is going to be better than the Madden for Super Nintendo).

They've added many new features, upgraded the graphics, and increased the playability. With that said, they've also managed to butcher the commentary from the announcers so much that I feel it necessary to write about it (below).

The current retail price for Madden NFL 11 is $59.99 for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.  Like always, prices are sure to fall as Christmas creeps upon us, Amazon.com is probably selling it cheaper than retail, and by this time next year, Madden 12 will be on the shelves so Madden 11 will be dirt cheap. 


The very first thing I noticed after I got to the point of playing the game is that there is no longer a 'turbo button'.  At first I was furious, but after I adapted to not keeping my finger on R2 constantly, I realized it wasn't too bad.  EA has modified the players running so that it appears more natural, hence the necessity to remove turbo.  Players start off slow, pick up steam as they go, and eventually lose steam on long runs--just as in real life.  Cutting corners has also improved to include more realistic movements.

To make up for the lack of turbo, the right stick has been utilized to control the spinning and juking of a running back.  Your thumbs can effortlessly control your running back as you run through the defensive line now.  The new controls have made using running plays tolerable.  Ever since the first football video game I ever had (which I believe to have been Troy Aikman Football on SNES) I always went for pass play after pass play because the running game was so lame.

Like most top notch video games out today, Madden 11 has upgraded their graphics to an unbelievable level.  My brother-in-law walked by the television one night and mistook the game play for a real game.  It can be convincing.  EA also went as far as to expand their pre-game footage, just as they done with NCAA Football 11.  You can now witness players sitting in the locker room or even arriving at the stadium wearing suits.  The crowd quality has increased as well with individual fans being easily identifiable. 

Also new is GameFlow, which has replaced "Ask Madden".  This is great for the player who just wants to sit down and play some football without having to worry about the coaching aspect of the game.  Of course, you still have the option of using the full playbook or calling an audible at the line of scrimmage.  It's all in your personal preferences. 

And possibly my favorite new feature is the online multiplayer offering of team play.  This allows for 3-on-3 action.  One guy controls the quarterback, one handles the running backs, while the third guy controls the receiver.  I have yet to try this feature out because I have cheap friends who have not went out and bought the game yet, but I am pumped to try it.  I think this is a nice feature that should prove to be quite popular.

Now to the bad.  EA Sports tried to up their broadcast excitement by bringing in NFL commentator Gus Johnson to do the play-by-play.  I like Gus on Sundays, but not so much on Madden 11. 

The engineers must have had a hard time piecing all his vocals together because did not keep a uniform level of voice throughout.  Sentences can start with lots of excitement, but then quickly lead to a bland rest of the sentence.  At first, it's easy to overlook, but the more you play, the more annoyed you will become with it.  Hopefully next year they can work the kinks out.

All-in-all, I give Madden NFL 11 a four star rating.  There is lots of new features worth checking out that can outweigh the negatives of poorly designed commentary.  Madden 11 is not one of the years you will want to skip.

Gameplay Snapshots

Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans
Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans
Colts Fans
Colts Fans
New York Jets Sidelines
New York Jets Sidelines
Donovan McNabb, Washington Redskins
Donovan McNabb, Washington Redskins
Reggie Bush, New Orleans Saints
Reggie Bush, New Orleans Saints
Tim Tebow, Denver Broncos
Tim Tebow, Denver Broncos

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