I love this time of year, summer is in full swing, all the kids are out of school, and I can spend my weekends with time at the beach and playing some of the big releases in the video game industry. Usually one of the biggest releases in the summer comes from the biggest name in sports video games the Madden franchise. Each year EA Sports raises the bar on their football franchise hoping to entice gamers to come back and dish out $60 on this years game and hope to get some new games along the way. So how does Madden NFL 10 turn out? Read our full review to find out.
Each year there are some key features that EA tries to push as putting the game over the top, this year there are a few features that EA is pushing but there big motto for this years game is if it happens on the field it will happen in the game. What does this mean? Well not only did EA change a lot of the gameplay mechanics but they have also added a lot of things off the field which add to the overall simulation feel of the game.
So what sort of gameplay items have changed in Madden NFL 10 you may be asking yourself? Madden NFL 10 starts off right off the bat whenever you start a game there is a TV style presentation introducing the teams, coaches, and stats. Speaking of stats, there are a ton of statistics throughout each game keeping you much more informed with how things are going during the game. The game also includes a half time show which has a horrible voice track that gives you some of the mid games highlights. This would have been great if the commentary was better for the half time show, because of the poor voice work you will probably skip it all together.
There are a ton of small changes in Madden NFL 10 whether its off the field with the crowd, watching the coaches talk to players, and all sorts of little details. The big change on the field is Pro-Tak which is a huge upgrade in the animation system from past games. Pro-Tak adds a huge element of realism with a huge variety of tackles and animations to make each play unique. To use this new system to its fullest extent the developers did slow down the game to allow players to have more control of there players while still offering the same sort of madden experience that fans have loved over the years.
In terms of modes there is a lot of the same, and a lot of new to come from Madden NFL 10. A lot of the offline modes are very similar to last year with the Franchise and Superstar modes feeling relatively similar to last year’s outing. The big addition to this years game is the online franchise which has a ton of functionality and allows you to play a full blown franchise with your friends. There are all of the bells and whistles that you would want from an online franchise that really makes for a huge new addition tot he game. You also have online co-op which allows you and a friend to play together online which also is a nice addition. Online play has been lacking in past years so it was great to see that EA put in some extra effort to ensure a full hearty online lineup.
My biggest complaint for Madden NFL 10 comes in the way of commentary which is just flat out bad this year. I am a huge fan of Chris Collinsworth, I think he is one of the best in the business, but his commentary in this years game comes out flat and forced. There are two main issues I have with the commentary, first off it lacks any punch, any real interest in the game at hand. And secondly it gets things wrong far to often and just takes away from what otherwise does feel a lot more like the game we watch on Sundays.
Visually Madden NFL 10 has gone to a new level with some extremely great animations that have really been lacking in past years. The new Pro-Tak system is a huge improvement on the past animation and gives a much more realistic feel to the game. On the downside however there is still a lot of frame rate issues. There were several times while playing the game that things came to a halt and then would start to pick back up which for such a beautiful game really is a let down. The character models are solid from start to finish, and the stadiums are gorgeous. I was happy to see that some extra effort has also gone into the crowds and coaches usually an afterthought in these games.
Madden fans have been begging for more online functionality and that really is the key cornerstone of this game. If you have been waiting for it, this is the game that is going to take you over the top. I had a lot of fun playing online cooperative play with friends which although not perfect (some odd camera angles) proved to be a lot of fun and quite a challenge. Online franchise is robust and offers up a very unique experience, and the game itself just feels like a very complete package. Outside of some of the graphical issues the game faces, the full product is as fun as Madden comes.
Madden has slowed down a bit in Madden NFL 10, but in terms of performance it has ramped up to a new high. Madden NFL 10 may not be the Madden game to trump all others, but it is a huge leap forward for the series. If your a fan of the series and have been looking for more online functionality this is the Madden game for you.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.