Madden 25 Demo: 5 Reasons Why It Was A Major Disappointment
Madden 25 Cover Athlete, Barry Sanders
We’re days away from the Madden 25 launch, and I just have one thing to tell you: don’t bother calling in sick to work on Aug. 27.
I may be dating myself a bit, but I've had the opportunity to play the Madden series since it was once known as John Madden Football in 1988. And as someone that looks forward to playing football on my console every year, I have to tell you that Madden 25 just doesn't live up to the hype. The simple fact is that it just doesn't feel dramatically different from Madden 10, 11 or 12. It just seems to be more of a run-of-the mill upgrade, complete with roster changes and minor visual upgrades, than it does a true 25-year anniversary edition.
Electronic Arts has made minor improvements to many aspects of them game — specifically the commentary and player cinematics — yet, the game still plays and feels unrealistic. While tackling animations aren't as repetitive as in the past, players still tumble to the ground in a variety of comical ways. Back are the overly dramatic hard hits, the crazy splaying legs and arms and the players that trip over any downed player in the area.
Unfortunately, for those hoping to find the football game to end all football games, you’re not going to find it on this iteration of Madden on the Xbox 360 or Playstation 3. My suggestion would be to wait and see what the new generation of consoles can bring to football, because it isn't a justifiable purchase right now.
Here are my five major reasons the Madden 25 demo was a major disappointment on current consoles.
5. Calvin Johnson, aka Megatron, falls awkwardly
Why are wide receivers still missing the fundamental idea to “box out” defenders and meet the pass, or square their hips while moving towards a ball in the air? Maybe developers didn't think it would be an issue with the way quarterbacks never have an errant throw or mistime a route.
Speaking of quarterbacks, it still seems as if the only incomplete passes come from randomly dropped balls, ones where your wideout is completely open, or from balls that are swatted away. It should be difficult for a quarterback to finish the game with 80 percent completion rates, but that might add too much realism in the game.
4. 'Gang' tackling seems to have been overlooked
Being that this is the second iteration of Madden’s Infinity Engine, it doesn't seem like it's an engine design that's found its niche quite yet. Athletes still take on an odd "Gumby style" body when tackling or reacting to contact, which clashes heavily with the rigid skeletal system each character is given.
Contortion issues aside, upright solo tackles continue to make their presence known, while gang and form tackling seem to have moved down the priority list. The gang tackling that does occur usually happens with only one additional defender ... or the entire team. Where's the consistency?
3. Joique Bell leaps over a fallen Packer
Not every defensive end is Reggie White, nor is every outside linebacker Lawrence Taylor, yet a four-man pass rush still fails to generate consistent pressure into the backfield. It seems that offensive lines play up to the ability of superior opponents, as opposed to being overcome because of their lack of skill. While using the Seahawks, I noticed that there was a severe lack of push being created by sack specialists Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin. While I’m sure there was some human error involved, they seemed obsolete even when they were controlled by the computer.
2. Marshawn Lynch looks a bit skinny for Beast Mode
It looks like it will be a good year for running backs, because it's another year of acrobatic catches from the defensive backfield. It baffles me how many animations there are that allow a cornerback to leap over receivers while simultaneously spinning and one-hand snagging interceptions out of the air. If you're a fan of powering it out on the ground, or aren't the most confident in the passing game, avoid throwing unless you're down or pressed for time. My question is, when did the fifth-string corner become Deion Sanders?
1. Colin Kaepernick seems to be missing a few things
Finally, and most importantly, where are all the tattoos? Okay, so this might be nit picky, but I mean come on. Colin Kaepernick is covered in tattoos, yet they somehow left out the one thing he seems most notable for. He's not even the only player that seems to be lacking in ink.
Aside from that, quite a few players look nothing like their real-life counterparts. For example, why is it that the tattoo-less Kaepernick came out of the digital oven looking old and white? Was I the only one thinking that Matt Hasselbeck was under center for the 49ers?