Madden 12 is still no NFL 2K5


As many of you probably already know, Madden 12 is being released to the masses today. Madden is the highly popular football video game series from EA Sports. It also happens to be the only video game you can buy that is licensed by the NFL. This mean no other video game can feature NFL team names or it’s players that are currently in the league.

First off, let me say that I am an avid gamer. I’ve played every version of Madden since it was ported over for the Xbox. And for the past few installments I have been underwhelmed by the lack of progress I’ve seen in the game from year to year.  I believe the lack of competition in the market, due to their sole licensing agreement with the NFL, has caused EA Sports to release little more than a $60 roster update every year.

I still believe that NFL 2K5, developed by 2K  Sports, is the greatest football game ever created. And even though it’s been 7 years since the release of that gem, no Madden game has measured up to it. Will this be the year that EA Sports finally gets it right?

I haven’t had a chance to dive into my copy yet, but I have played the demo and read a ton of previews on-line. Although my full review is pending, check out my initial impressions after the break.

Let’s start with the positives. One of the worst things about the Madden games is that some of the player’s faces look so generic and not at all like the players themselves. Especially, the white players for  some reason. That aspect seems to be much improved in the demo as Aaron Rodgers face is recognizable. Also, the running animation seems smoother and more realistic. I didn’t feel that magnet effect I’d get in the past from would-be tacklers. The pre-game animations, camera angles, and in-between play animations all seem much more NFL 2K5 like. Which is a very good  thing.  And the field looks perfect. Also, the sounds of the stadium and it’s crowds are spot on.

Now, the negatives: They still can not get the hair right on some players. Clay Matthews hair sticking out of his helmet reminds me of that scene between Ben Stiller and Cameron Diaz in “There Something About Mary”. It’s sticks straight out like it’s been super glued that way. If I was playing against Matthews, I’d be afraid I might be impaled by that thing he calls a pony tail! I looks more like a blonde hairy sword.

Outside of that follicle faux pas, Madden looks like the same old repackaged game to me. There have been some minor graphical updates, but the game still plays essentially the same. I still find their player models inferior when compared to NFL 2K5. And even though the pre-game animations were the biggest selling point for Madden’s developers this year, they seem like they’d get old real fast.

But don’t get me wrong. I’ve already bought the game. EA got my money. If I want to play an NFL game on my Xbox this year, I have no choice. I only wish I had that choice. I can only imagine the game NFL2K12 would have been. (eye’s glazing over, single tear down cheek)

Still, EA has promised some great additions to it’s franchise and online modes. I’m looking forward to playing those. Like I said before, I will have my full review of the game on the site very soon. So far though…meh.