Madden 12 Review: There are many things that signify the start of the football season, beer and chips being moved to the front of the grocery store, more and more non-athletes wear the shirts of their favorite players and of course the release of the latest incarnation of the Madden series. The Madden series of games has been the dominant player across all gaming devices and now it’s on its 2nd release for the iPad.
So how have things progressed from it’s initial appearance 12 months ago? The first thing you’ll notice is that the whole game has a new coat of paint which comes in a graffiti style, this new style is seen throughout the game including the in-game menus, it looks good and polished and certainly based on eye candy alone Madden 12 is a great improvement on it’s predecessor.
The improvements on the graphics continue in the game, the arenas look more impressive and the players look more realistic perhaps too good though as there is still some slowdown in the game when there are a mass of players on the screen at the same time. Perhaps some of the beauty could have been given up to prevent this from making some aspects of the game play frustrating, and this is even on an iPad 2.
Outside of this frustration however the game plays great, game flow is in place again meaning that the game will choose an appropriate play without you having to go to your playbook. I like this in the game as it keeps the game moving fast and you still have the choice select alternate plays via an audiable or by turning game flow of while playing the game.
For those of you that haven’t played the game before you can preview your players routes before you snap the ball and then, on a pass play, you can quickly tap the number of the player you wish to pass too. The buttons will change color depending on how open the player is and you can then decide to either let the computer attempt to make the catch for you or quickly change to that player, switch to slow motion mode and attempt the catch yourself.
The slow motion mode and with it the additional player options can be activated whether it’s a pass play, running play as well as in defense and while you can progress through the game on easy mode without using it as you progress through the three difficulty levels the added options that this mode offers is certainly required. It also brings more satisfaction when your play comes off.
Other updates to the games include the new rule changes that the NFL has included this year and the most obvious showing of this is the change to the 35 yard line of the kick off, it can never be said that EA don’t have a great attention to detail.
The commentary doesn’t see any great improvements either, it’s the usual repetitive comments, although to be fair I can’t see how it could be improved and it’s nice to see that the option to play music from your device while playing the game has remained. This is even more important due to the frustratingly monotone crowd noise that is a constant buzzing in your ear.
Unfortunately there are some omissions from the game and the most evident one is the lack of a multi-player mode which is a surprise especially as this was something that was available in Madden 11, hopefully it will be included in a future update. It would also be nice to see Game Centre Achievements added to the game, there are achievements in the game via the integration with EA Origin network but it doesn’t compare with the number of friends that we all have in the Game Centre.
The achievents are a nice addition to the game even if they are limited to the Origin Network. Not only do these achievements count towards your profile but also to that of your favorite team so there’s an added competitive edge to each one you gain.
Overall Madden 12 is a fun way to play with the pig skin, it looks good, is easy to play, difficult to master and despite it’s short comings is still a great buy, even at $10. That being said if you still enjoy playing Madden 11, especially with friends, then the upgrade to Madden 12 is less important.
- Sharp graphics
- Easy to play difficult to master
- 50+ achievements
- No multiplayer mode
- Still some slow down during the game
- Annoying crowd noise
- No huge gains over Madden 11