“Everything you see on Sunday, see it in Madden NFL.” That has been the mantra of the design team at EA Tiburon for the past two years, and while a TV-style presentation is great, most gamers would likely tell you that they’d prefer to see everything that happens on the field in an NFL game get replicated in Madden.
Madden NFL 11 (PS3 [previewed], 360 [previewed], Wii, PSP, PS2, iOS)
When you consider the new movement engine alongside the vastly improved blocking, the running game feels more fun than it ever has before. It also allows you to pull off feats you’ve never been able to achieve in a Madden game until now, like juking a defender out of his shoes by bouncing on your feet and then cutting in a direction. The new ball carrier controls, which allow you to perform all the moves you’ll ever need (aside from stiff-arming and hurdling) on the right analog stick, offer an unprecedented degree of control. For instance, once you’ve been hit, you can control the direction in which you fall, which will help you eke out that crucial extra yard or two.
A highlight of my time with Madden NFL 11 at the EA event was playing (and watching others play) the much-improved online co-op, the Online Team Play mode. Thanks to the headsets that EA provided, we were able to coordinate like, well, a team, letting each other know that we were going to get open by heading toward the sideline, or that we were playing a shallow zone as a linebacker. If you get a group of serious Madden players together, you’re bound to make some great plays happen -- and in the process, write a few great football stories.
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