There's a little more 'next-gen' effort in this one
It's tough to feel the need to upgrade to a "next-gen" version of a game when so many of them are practically identical to the product you already bought. Though some PS4 and Xbox One titles have drastic differences like a vast player count improvement in the case of Battlefield 4, for instance, many are content with minor visual filters.
Thankfully, the upgraded version of Madden 25 is just that -- actually upgraded.
Madden NFL 25 (PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360)
There was once a day when "upgrading" to a newer console for a Madden game would result in a loss of feature parity. For the sake of enhanced visuals, you'd sacrifice gameplay, usually in the form of multiple gametypes. But thankfully that's a thing of the past on the PS4 and Xbox One, as everything that was in the original game is found here.
On top of that you'll actually get those better visuals, and they make a real difference in terms of the game's physics system, and more immersive crowd. The crowd in particular deserves a special mention, as they now cheer during the appropriate moments instead of at random, and individual models as well as those on the sidelines are more pronounced. Players are given the same amount of care, and although there isn't a 100% realism factor, there's more of a concerted effort to make them stand out than on the 360 and PS3.
Each play from conception to snap is faster than the previous version, and each hit feels much more satisfying -- not to mention that there's less awkward motions in general when players collide. The game feels a bit harder in general as well, due to the enhanced physics and AI.
Now, the graphics don't look life-like compared to, say, Forza 5, but they're still superior to any Madden before it. A lot of the same problems from the original still persist however, like the sub-par commentary, and the distinct lack of a truly great mode outside of normal play -- so while the physics and visuals may have changed, it's still the same Madden 25 foundation.
If you're deciding which version to get, this is one of the only titles that doesn't feature a clear-cut win in the visuals department for the PS4 compared to its Xbox One counterpart. But of course with the PS4, you get the unique bonus of Remote Play via the Vita, touchpad hot-route capabilities, and enhanced sharing features. The Xbox One sports an exclusive feature called "CouchGlass," which is an application that's ran through a SmartGlass capable device.
It's a mini defensive coordinator essentially, allowing you to call plays on defense and analyze the opponent's offense. For those of you who miss the days of using a gadget to call your plays (like the Dreamcast's VMU), this is a really cool addition to the game. In the end though it's entirely up to preference as these features aren't deal breakers, and I don't really have a favorite of the two.
After years of trying to sell multiple versions across various generations of consoles, EA Tiburon has actually succeeded in creating a real NFL game that's worthy of a next-gen enhancement. If you don't play Madden weekly it's not imperative that you upgrade, but die-hard fans will want to take the plunge.
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12:00 AM on 01.24.2015