hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Review: Madden 25

12:00 PM on 08.23.2013 // Steven Hansen
  @dtoidsteven

I thought we'd have flying cars by 2025...

Take my review of last year's Madden 13. Give it a roster update. Associate any players I named who've been swapped around like pogs with whatever their new team is. Axe a missed dangling participle or two. Tighten up the mechanics of writing. Maybe there was a misused em dash. Replace it in a way that is (probably) grammatically correct. Add some flourishes here and there. Some new puns, maybe.

You now have my review of Madden 25.

Madden NFL 25 (PlayStation 3 [reviewed], Xbox 360)
Developer: EA Tiburon
Publisher: EA Sports
Release: August 27, 2013
MSRP: $59.99

Madden XIII-2 would be a more accurate title than the grandiose, franchise-celebrating Madden 25. And is it back to 15 next year? That reads like an anniversary, too. One with ten less decades of baggage, a slightly shorter ouroboros of perpetual "tweaks" and balances that probably can't be ironed out. I'm not sure we're at a level wherein 21 AI footballers can respond in dual unison to player input in a wholly believable or realistic way.  

Last year, when the physics didn't work quite right, the result was terrifying. Players would bend and contort in ways that would make them seem at home in an Asian horror film. Post play, players would constantly stumble over each other like drunkards. Now, when the physics go awry, the result is much less extreme, yet similarly terrifying.

Most people, whether they watch sports or not, have seen gut punching clips of sports injury. When a shin snaps in Madden 25, it's just a player model going a bit janky. The player gets right back up. It's like an uncanny valley for human suffering when you see ankles and knees twisted in realistically horrifying, career-threatening ways coupled with no human response.

Speaking of things that don't look human, let's talk about the coaches, trotting on the sideline with hair that is a pasted-on nightmare. Let's talk about Jeff Fisher's two balding spots that you can follow to the top of his head, hair looking like it was greased down with a helmet-full of petroleum.

Yes, the physics are more finely tuned. Less flailing about, a more faithful recreation of movement. Taking angles, watching footwork, seeing legs tangle -- yes, this (and its predecessor) is a fairly different Madden, one whose new movements require some unlearning.

You'll have to unlearn the desire to hold sprint down at all times. I still found myself doing it when they removed the sprint feature, choosing your speed for you. It's since been returned and I hold it still. With L2, now, there is something called "the precision modifier." Holding L2 slows you down -- but allows for more exaggerated, powerful versions of existing movements. Wilder spins, high amplitudes of juke oscillation, and an exaggerated stiff arm that's almost a Star Wars Force choke, among other things.

It was fun in the skills trainer, no longer hideously Nike-branded as NCAA Football 14's was. I struggled to implement these more measured movements in games, though, especially on the fly. A decade of muscle memory will do that to you.

The user interface is better. Big, clean boxes. Everything runs a bit slow, though. This isn't new. Madden, for its posturing, is always just a bit janky outside of the mostly well-running core. Weird lighting filters change quickly during PATs, saves are slow. Perhaps it's naive at this point to hope a new generation of consoles might have any positive effect on the series, beyond remedying these technical hiccups.

Any chance at radical, significant change seems to be hamstrung by the commercial, one-year development cycle. It's on display even here. It took a long enough time to get physics put into the series, but it took until the second go around (this one) for them to be implemented well. At least it finally happened, and to good effect. But there are always fixes EA could blithely busy itself with instead.

Defensive backs are often prescient, leaping into the air to pick off deep balls on streaks in which the receiver should have more than enough separation and the DBs hardly enough time to play the ball in the air. Receivers in general tend to be relatively timid. Except on onside kicks when the ball will magically fly into the computer's possession as if compelled by magnetism. It often literally flies into your opponents' hand -- one hand -- without them even attempting to make a catch.  

You know what I would really like? A pared-down, no-nonsense mode for people who don't care about the instant replay brought to you by Snickers. For people who really, really don't want to hear more terrible commentary.

I found some of the improved presentation bits novel, sure. The new pre-game opener looks like a Final Fantasy XII Quickening. But these flourishes will never be anything more than things we want to thumb through because we are trying to play a game of football. Yes, my knees are blown out. No, I won't ever play in the NFL. I'd just like to play some virtual football. That won't happen, of course, because matchups have to be brought to us by Papa John's and GMC, the official truck of the NFL. Then again, EA is only offering realism with its heavy advertising, right?

Madden 25 is an improved version of the clumsy Madden 13, which was better than any Madden game that released on this generation of consoles. The physics are good and make manipulating these hulking brutes in a fabricated 3D space feel comfortable and occasionally interesting. Ultimate Team is still nothing I want to do, ever. 

Nutty by Nature raw almonds are the unofficial nut of this Madden 25 review.



THE VERDICT

7.5

Madden 25 - Reviewed by Steven Hansen
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Steven Hansen, Features Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure dtoidsteven Tips
Steven watches anime & sports, buys meat out of trucks, dates a Muppet, and is only good at cooking. He stands before you bereft of solace and well on the road to perdition. ('^ω^) more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
I enter the Gamestop. I set a Toad plushie atop a Yoshi plushie. I set Mario to go down on Kirby. I leave the Gamestop.
gajknight avatargajknight
Niero, just killed a man, Put my dick inside his head, cummed my load and now he's dead. Niero, we had just begun, But now I've gone and thrown it all awayyyyyy. Nierooooooo, ooooooooh.
guitarvillain avatarguitarvillain
That thought sends shivers down my spine.
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Lacking recording/social features aside (I actually do love that aspect of the PS4), I've been really enjoying my Xbone. Sunset Overdrive is like Saints Row meets Tony Hawk and lovingly self-aware.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Wait, wasn't that Pokemon Detective Pikachu game supposed to come out this year?
sakesushi avatarsakesushi
Humble Bundle End of Summer Sale! They're doing it wrong though, putting up [url="https://www.humblebundle.com/store"]Stealth Inc. 2 for free[/url]
Snaveage avatarSnaveage
Just cleared out a whole village fultoning every single guard. I AM BIG BOSS.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Metal Gear Solid - Marriage - Revengeance [youtube]https://youtu.be/YN470wKT9PM[/youtube]
wutangclam avatarwutangclam
Divinity: Original Sin 2 stretch goal lets you be a spooky skeleton. This is what I have dreamed of.
wutangclam avatarwutangclam
Going on the record saying a Borderlands movie is a terrible idea.
Tubatic avatarTubatic
Watching Free To Play. I kinda want to try DOTA2, though I'll be very bad at it. Its a very good story of pro-gamer culture, so far. Good Stuff.
RexterNathan avatarRexterNathan
Hello there, I just wanted to say that I'm new here and glad to be part of the community.
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
Just tried to explain the word BEAT to an ESL student. Reference.com has 58 variations of the definition. At the least, they can finally understand that Michael Jackson was not asking people to fight each other.
Mediamister avatarMediamister
Steven Hansen avatarSteven Hansen
DTOID PAX MEET UP DAY 1 WAS FIRE.EMOJI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Shinta avatarShinta
[youtube]https://youtu.be/JOXdORyTqVY[/youtube] I told you guys ... The Witcher 3 has more pirouettes than a ballet show. It's ridiculous!
Nathan D avatarNathan D
Are we really calling followers "fappers" on these quick posts? I knew I loved Dtoid.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
[youtube]https://youtu.be/z04MAOubUgM[/youtube] This might've been a fun show.
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
Someone is trying to log into my Dtoid account. I keep getting emails notifying me of bad password attempts. What?
gajknight avatargajknight
If you spend 10 minutes trying to write a Quickpost...can it really be called Quickpost?
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
Madden 25


  Dec 05

Impressions: Madden NFL 25 (Xbox One and PS4)

There's a little more 'next-gen' effort in this one


  Oct 02

Watch Madden 25 designers describe grass

Slightly less dull than watching it grow


  Sep 11

Meat market: EA wants you to rank NFL players

What do you mean Steven Jackson is only rated 89!?


  Jun 14

Madden 25 going crazy with one-handed catches

And other noticeable quirks from one game played


  Apr 25

Barry Sanders is your Madden 25 cover athlete

The master of the juke gets his cover


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -