Monday, 13 August 2018 12:05

REVIEW: Madden NFL 19 (Xbox One)

Written by Anarchyxrisen
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"EA sports, it's in the game" has been a phrase I've heard, and I'm sure a lot of us heard growing up in the early nineties

Now, I'll be honest this is the first Madden game I've picked up in quite a few years (Madden 2007) just for the fact I felt like it was close to reaching full potential. Where could they go from here? Most sports titles feel like they are recycling the same-old material with one new change, like most games I feel do a lot.

Well, wasn't I surprised when I loaded up this roughly 43 gig beauty? Right away I was hit with a hint of nostalgia hearing the familiar, iconic catch phrase again, as I was greeted by a beautiful, little video package of in-game footage. I was blown away by how far the game has come.

After finally pressing start, I was greeted by the usual EA user and sharing agreements, after this I was asked to choose my favorite team. Trying to decide a team was no different, though I ended up sticking with my boys, the 'Greenbay Packers'. I was then asked to pick my game style and being the rookie I am, I accepted Arcade. Other options include; Beginner, for those with a little more experience, followed by intermediate, advanced and expert (much respect if you play on expert. I struggled with beginner).

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Lets talk about game modes included..

Ultimate team is filled with challenges to complete for card packs, these will help you to build your Ultimate Team of players from the whole roster in one team. Challenges range from running plays in a game, such as rush for 5 or more yards on three plays or less, or complete three passes in a single drive. These can increase in difficulty and there are plenty to keep anyone busy with close to 160 challenges. I rather enjoyed this mode as you can also team up and play squads with friends. After ticking off challenges and leveling up it opens up auctions and trades along with Micro-transactions.

OOFT... The bread and butter. The place where you can make 7ft malnourished giants with tree stump sized legs and spaghetti stick arms, not just players but also when editing the coach. Here, your choices are player, coach or owner with each having between 2-3 choices of different advantages/disadvantages. All of these were actually enjoyable to play, though as owner, I may have went bankrupt once or twice.

Here you play as two characters, Colt Cruise and Devin Wade and from what I could tell, the story here carries over from Madden NFL 18. I didn't feel a connection to them at all and frankly it was a bit of a bore. I had about 5 minutes running plays for Devin then what felt like a 10 min cut scene, that just disinterested me to from characters even more. I just couldn't built a bond with them. I got the feeling you couldn't get a "Game Over' every time I failed the objective, it just said to try again, but I had no incentive too. There also seemed to be a few glitches like being tackled when no players were near me or even in my vicinity. My leg also glitched into a fellow teammate's leg which I found more enjoyable than the continuation of the story. I just never felt invested in it.

Surely, we all know what this option is? In Exhibition you are able to select "Quick Play Online", "Head to Head", "Skills Trainer" and "Practice". If anything, I can't stress enough, even if you play the same as me, very on the fly, go to "Practice" before playing anything and get the feel of it before jumping in head first. You can thank me later.

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As for gameplay and controls, each game or challenge I attempted felt fluid and responsive except for the times as the quarterback. The reason for this is, when I chose to run with the ball, it didn't quite seem that responsive, I'd change direction running by holding the thumb stick right but still facing left. The control system they have is very technical and daunting at first glance utilising every button, direction and shoulder buttons all at once. It will take you a few games to learn the plays, passes and calls.

Seriously, the graphics in Madden MFL 19 are stunning, really showing off real player motion all powered by the EA's Frostbite Engine. I was playing Madden NFL 19 on the OG Xbox One and can only imagine the bonus the extra power from a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X would add to the graphics. Even the sounds are crisp and clean, hearing the crowd scheer and boo chants are all there, to add to the atmosphere. Hearing boos and cries as I lead my team to constant defeat. The refs whistle even drove me mental, there should be an option to jam the refs whistle up where the sun down shine. Hopefully in future installments....

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Multiplayer.... Ah, the joys of talking smack and embarrassing your opponent by destroying their self-worth. Running play after play showing no mercy as your team destroyed them on the field, then cackling like a madman will make you feel like a Madden god. Though, sadly that feeling is one I'd have to imagine as I received crushing defeat after defeat (should of had more practice instead of trying to wing it).

All in all, I enjoyed my experience with Madden NFL 19, I'm glad I had the opportunity to review it. EA and the Frostbite engine have done an amazing job, everything looks incredible. When I'm supposed to be choosing plays, I caught myself looking around at the players and the field admiring the attention to details and I often thought to myself how far the franchsie has come since 2007. I'll finish on this note, my one major gripe is EA Trax. God dam, not everyone likes rap. I mean, there are other genres out there, even country would be better than half the tunes.

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Platform: PC, PS4, XBOX ONE
  • Developer: EA Tiburon
  • Publisher: EA Sports
  • Genre: Multiplayer, Sports