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Madden NFL 25 - PlayStation 4
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2013
More on this in the coming days with a thorough review, but I thought it important to get up some basics in the meantime.

Had this Madden been released in late August many may have been satisfied with it. The problem comes in having played a disappointing 360/PS3 game and then moving up to one here that isn't dramatically different. The run game is more realistic, the pocket and pass rush look great operate much better, receivers actually try to get two feet in on the sidelines, and the smarter defense makes things much more challenging. The new hardware also means simming through weeks in Franchise is instantaneous. Madden has played spectacularly well online - both in terms of online performance and the general gameplay balance.

The feature set is identical to the 360/PS3 version. Ultimate Team content can also transfer from 360 to One or PS3 to PS4.

Presentation and "Living Worlds" remains a huge disappointment and the graphics don't near the wow factor of the other sports titles. Some bizarre issues include CPU controlled players hurdling for no reason and defensive backs who suddenly stop in their tracks for a fraction of a second allowing a receiver to separate. There still isn't a true battle in the air on jump balls and automatic challenges on turnovers and close touchdowns remain notably absent.

Madden is probably the most difficult of the three sports games on both generations to evaluate. Is it worth buying if you already had the 360/PS3 version? Is it worth the $10 upgrade on Xbox One? If you haven't played Madden in the last year or more will this one be satisfying? Those are questions that fall on individuals rather than can be covered with distinct yes or nos. Regardless Madden still isn't where it should be and is a *distant* third behind NBA 2K14 and FIFA 14 on next-gen.

**************FULL REVIEW*****************

Madden NFL 25 was a disappointment on the Xbox 360 and PS3 but the arrival of the Xbox One and PS4 brings promise of a fully featured product with improved gameplay and atmosphere. That would certainly represent a much better entry situation than how the previous generation was welcomed in and for the most part EA Sports has achieved that goal. It just may not be enough to get consumers excited since the base product it builds on was already lagging so far behind in the minds of many.

---------HITS

-Subtle But Effective Gameplay Enhancements
The most evident improvement to the game comes with the offensive line blocking and defensive pass rush. Clean pockets are formed, ends handled properly, blitzes picked up, and assignments properly fulfilled. While the d-line still won't get a consistent pass rush from the front four there are occasions where an edge rusher will beat the tackle and those instances look great.

The difficulty in the run game has been notched up due to a greater sense of player weight and momentum. It takes a few games to get accustomed to how to run but once comfortable it becomes more rewarding. There isn't a whole lot of opportunity to use the special moves with the "Precision Modifier" though as attempting any kind of agile move just seems to be asking for trouble. This is especially seen in kickoff returns where it seems near impossible to get by the first tackler headed your way. That may have just as much do with blocking - they almost always are flying in unimpeded - but regardless not much success is found in the return game.

Improved AI is notable especially in the defense as the CPU has become much more challenging on the standard All-Pro difficulty setting. Defenders with their backs to the line of scrimmage won't magically turn around as soon as the QB throws a pass. Poor QBs also throw more inaccurate passes thankfully. To that point there is greater differentiation in the players. Having an Earl Thomas roam the field feels like it matters more now than ever. Players will mercifully try to get their feet in-bounds for catches - but this remains not totally consistent.

Bad clock management by the CPU is still present as teams will often run the ball in late half/game situations only to call a timeout right after. There is still no real fight for the ball on deep throws (which are too often thrown short giving the advantage to the DB) or jump balls. There are also hitches in movement with defenders as they occasionally stop dead in their tracks for a split second for no reason allowing for separation. The CPU loves to hurdle for no reason making them vulnerable to big hits and giving up yards that would have been gained otherwise.

-Fully Featured Product
EA Sports made a concerted effort to transfer over all the features present on the Xbox 360 and PS3 to the Xbox One and PS4. That includes the full Connected Franchise mode, Ultimate Team, and weekly roster updates. Online play has run exceptionally well and the better balanced gameplay has made them more enjoyable to play as a result. The only exceptions to this being a product where consumers know exactly what they are getting is with the loss of Game Face and the inability to import draft classes from NCAA Football 14.

-New Console-Specific Additions
The big one here is the in-game saves for offline games. Leave a game in progress and resume it later even after switching to a different title or turning off the consoles. For games in Online Franchise those can't be left and returned to but leaving them in a suspended state is a far more reasonable option with the new hardware. The PS4 offers screenshot and streaming capabilities while the Xbox One has highlight saving, editing, and uploading along with (currently broken) SmartGlass functionality. The stronger hardware means advancing in Franchise week-to-week is practically instantaneous.

----------MISSES

-Living Worlds
For the most part what has been advertised as a new "Ignite Engine" has turned out to simply be a term encompassing the various improvements implemented in the games. Hyped aspects like interactive sidelines are simply not present - and those sidelines look just as bad as ever while coaches don't react to events taking place. What's more awkward than seeing completely emotionless representations of Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh? Celebration cut scenes are still poorly stitched together and don't often fit within the context of what has just taken place.

The crowd is somewhat improved and reacts better to the events on the field but still has a ways to go. At least now the the stadium isn't half empty because of rain or snow! Commentary does offer additional lines and references to information within a season in Franchise mode but that area is still largely lacking. There aren't even any on-screen graphics or commentary references to standings and playoff positioning. Presentation as a whole has not changed from the 360/PS3 version outside of some crowd shots and a look at the owner in his box when playing as an owner in Franchise.

-Deficiencies Carrying Over From Last-Gen
The weak presentation - and the lack of ties to events within a Franchise during games - still heavily damages the enjoyment that can be had with the title. The improved crowd doesn't account for differences from stadium to stadium. There are still no surprise onside kicks and even the wind indicator still points in the wrong direction. Essentially the work completed went into the very specific areas of gameplay (blocking, AI, graphics) but otherwise the product is a carbon copy of the last-gen product in terms of presentation and features.

---------Summary
Had this been the game released at the end of August it likely would have been met with fairly positive reception. However as a next-gen title it falls short by failing to inspire in the same ways that NBA 2K14 and FIFA 14 have. It may be worth the $10 upgrade from 360 to One and it may be worth the $50 it is now on Amazon for those who didn't play the previous-gen version. Meanwhile those who pass on it for whatever reason can feel comfortable knowing it's not anything exceptional.

Once on next-gen though it's hard to go back because it does immediately demonstrate a sense of advancement. Those improvements shouldn't be discounted but the series is still far from reaching the level that consumers recognize it reasonably should be at.

*The Xbox One version of the game has more player control, likely due to the controllers (tension in the sticks and range of motion). Otherwise the games are essentially equal. The SmartGlass functionality with Xbox One is broken.
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70 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2013
To say that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Madden NFL 25’s release on the Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 at the end of August this year would be an understatement. After a triumphant (and, sadly, likely final) showing from NCAA Football 14, Madden NFL 25 on “Gen 3” consoles left a whole lot to be desired. The game showed some improvements to the on-field gameplay, but its overall package with regard to presentation and features in career modes didn’t compare favorably for me when put next to this year’s college game.

Of course, knowing that a “Gen 4” version of Madden NFL 25 was in the works for Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One likely had some hand to play in my reaction to the “Gen 3” version of the game as well. In these rare years where two versions of a sports game are released, it’s difficult to be completely sold on the first version out knowing that something with more development time is waiting in the wings.

With the previous generational transition in mind—and the infamous legacy of Madden NFL 06 on Xbox 360 still a sore subject for many sports video game fans—there was certainly reason to approach Madden NFL 25 on PS4 with a “wait and see” perspective. For all of the hype invested into the game since its official announcement around E3, no actual gameplay camera footage was made available in the marketing push until the consoles made it out into the wild, leading many to speculate that the game would not live up to its expectations.

The PS4 has officially arrived; so has Madden NFL 25. Was it worth the wait? Read on to find out!

Gameplay

While improvements to the visual quality of Madden NFL 25 were the first to be teased in the marketing run for the “Gen 4” versions, the “meat and potatoes” of the game updates concerned gameplay elements such as “True Step” player motion, “Player Sense” contextual awareness, and improvements on the offensive and defensive lines for the “War in the Trenches.”

For the most part, these new gameplay elements come into play as advertised. “True Step” player motion is noticeable almost immediately, as the range of “jerky” player control is limited even more so than it was in the “Gen 3” game which introduced foot planting. The result is a gameplay experience which feels more grounded in reality from a physical standpoint, since it’s considerably more difficult to make sweeping directional changes without the player taking the appropriate amount of time to adjust to that new heading. It is definitely a re-learning process for anybody who’s been putting significant time into the game on PS3 or Xbox 360, but once you overcome the learning curve, player movement feels much better on PS4 than it did previously.

One thing which hasn’t been improved much in gameplay is the use of the Precision Modifier, which was tied in with the “#RunFree” marketing that defined “Gen 3” Madden NFL 25 over the summer. I was never personally able to get the Precision Modifier moves to work the way I wanted them to in actual game situations in the previous console versions of the game, leading me to approach running the ball in much the same way that I had in Madden NFL 13 and NCAA Football 14. Very little seems to have changed in the “Gen 4” version of the game; I still had a good amount of frustration in trying to clear the Precision Modifier Skills Trainer, in much the same way I did with the “Gen 3” version. Even though there are supposed to be even more Precision Modifier tools available on PS4 and Xbox One, I’ve found that I can be effective without using any of them.

One way that the running game connects between “Gen 3” and “Gen 4” is that it can still be easy to run the ball against the CPU. In back-to-back games playing as the Washington Redskins and the San Francisco 49ers (after my initial adjustment period), I was able to put up over 200 yards rushing with both Alfred Morris and Frank Gore on All-Pro difficulty with default slider settings. Obviously slider tweaks will have to be made to tone down the effectiveness of user rushing, but it’s still somewhat frustrating to have the running game be so dominant out of the box.

Beginning the transition from the running game to the passing game, “Player Sense” contextual awareness comes into play by having your players on the field react more appropriately to the context of their situation on the field; for example, stepping over an engaged lineman’s legs instead of tripping over them, or tiptoeing along the sideline instead of just rushing out of bounds. These animations come into play automatically based on the situation, which may be a point of contention for those who don’t want the game to be making those decisions for them while they play. In my experience, “Player Sense” has been more helpful than harmful, and results in a better overall experience compared to “Gen 3” Madden NFL 25 in terms of players making better decisions in the field.

It may be a good thing that the run game is so able in “Gen 4” Madden NFL 25, as the passing game seems much tougher so far compared to the previous version of the game. The “War in the Trenches” elements allow for the creation of an organic pocket around the quarterback, but part of the improvement to interactions between offensive and defensive lineman means that the pass rush has been improved as well. While on PS3 I could feel fairly confident taking to the air if I needed to gain yards in a short period of time, playing Madden NFL 25 on the PS4 has me much more selective about choosing passing plays. There’s often much less time to get the ball away in the pocket, and even when you do get a pass off, the linebackers and defensive backs appear to have gotten an AI upgrade and play better coverage to force incompletions and interceptions. Routes that were almost sure things in “Gen 3,” such as slants, are now much more tightly contested. In both of the games mentioned above with 200+ yard running games, my quarterbacks threw for under 200 yards as a result. It’s hard to complain about the passing game becoming more realistic and more difficult, however, as Madden NFL has needed improvement here for some time now.

As much as the CPU defense has improved, it feels as though user defense has gotten more difficult in the PS4 version of Madden NFL 25. Player switching seems a little sluggish and sometimes doesn’t give you the best player for the situation once a play is in action, and the CPU quarterbacks do a great job at reacting to play development more quickly as they are aware of the pocket crashing around them. Stopping the run on defense is about the same as it is in “Gen 3” when playing the AI, but stopping the pass seems more difficult thus far, especially since CPU turnovers have been fewer and further between. Hopefully the next version of Madden NFL on “Gen 4” consoles will see not just defensive improvement, but improvements keyed into the experience of playing defense as a user.

Special teams are essentially unchanged, though you may miss a field goal or two getting used to the new analog sticks of your console’s new controller in the early stages. Kickoff and punt returns seem to be toned down somewhat thanks to the implementation of “True Step” and the limitations that places on twitchy player movement. In “Gen 3” Madden NFL 25 I could return nearly to midfield on most kickoffs; on PS4, I’m finding myself only getting out to the 30 on average. The CPU still struggles at playing the field position game on punts, often happily punting straight down the middle of the field and into the end zone for a touchback when a “coffin corner” kick to pin the user deep in their own end could be attainable.

Unfortunately, penalties are also largely unchanged, at least from gameplay time spent so far; Madden NFL 25 on PS3 and Xbox 360 have notoriously low occurrences of penalty calls, and the PS4 version has been the same so far. If the goal is an accurate simulation of football as a sport, then the new console generation will need to represent a more realistic number and variety of penalty calls.

The PS4 game may carry the same name, but in terms of gameplay there are certainly enough differences to make for an adjustment period, and mostly for positive reasons.

Presentation

If you bought Madden NFL 25 for PS3 or Xbox 360, you’ve already seen much of what the “Gen 4” version of the game has in store with regard to presentation. That said, the addition of what’s being called “Living Worlds” has added more detailed and varied crowd models in each of the NFL stadiums, and they do a better job reacting to the action on the field as big plays build up. You’ll also notice a big change with regard to crowd noise—namely, it’s louder and more appropriate to the NFL experience than it was in “Gen 3”—as well as the return to the forefront of some stadium chants (such as the “Who Dat” chant in the Superdome). It also sounds as though stadium-appropriate noises like the foghorn after 49ers touchdowns have made it into the game, adding some subtle touches which help hammer home the stadium experience for fans of those teams.

One new element of presentation which doesn’t work quite as well yet involves “Living Sidelines.” Sidelines are certainly more populated—and populated by more complex character models—than they were on PS3 and Xbox 360, and you can see these characters having some basic interaction with the game as its played on the field. However, one of the big advertised facets of this feature—players running from the field to the sideline at the end of a play and interacting differently whether they were on a “friendly” or “hostile” sideline—has yet to come into play for me in my time with the game thus far, despite intentionally trying to “trigger” these interactions. This is nothing that will make or break the experience, but for the time spent marketing this part of the game, it does under-deliver in its initial showing.

Outside of these presentation changes, there are also some new lines of audio for the commentary team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, as well as sideline reporter Danielle Bellini. The library seems to have expanded somewhat—perhaps there was more audio recorded than would fit on the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions—and it seems that there are more anecdotes about players and coaches than in the previous version of the game. The actual play-by-play does still suffer from some repetition, however, as the game continues to build up a library of lines to be drawn from for the commentary duo now only in their second year for the game.

Celebrations are “back” in Madden NFL 25 for PS4, which is mostly to say that the cut-scene player-specific celebrations added in the “Gen 3” game this year—which sometimes didn’t trigger as often as they should—are appearing with more regularity in the “Gen 4” game.

Jumbotron and ribbon board graphics unfortunately remain unchanged, which is perhaps most galling if only because these graphics were introduced in Madden NFL 06 when it debuted for the Xbox 360 and have not seen any significant changes since then; they were unremarkable at that time. Hopefully the next version of the game on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One can see a long-needed change in this area.

As for the score bug and statistical overlays, they’re all essentially the same in “Gen 4” as they were in “Gen 3,” meaning it’s just as easy to skip through any stats before you even know they were going to be displayed. After the masterful job done by the NCAA Football 14 team at working statistical displays into the game without detracting from the experience and without allowing them to be easily overlooked, it’s hard to not be distracted by how poor these are done in Madden NFL 25.

Even the Halftime Show—which had essentially just returned to the franchise in the “Gen 3” version of the game—has been scaled back from its bare bones construction on PS3 and Xbox 360; those versions of the game featured some in-game highlights along with vignettes for the Halftime Show, while on PS4 the highlights are left out completely and the only thing shown are halftime stats and the same sideline vignettes while the booth talks to the sideline reporter. With the NCAA Football franchise left in limbo, hopefully the Madden NFL team has been able to bring on some staff members who can give the pro game a presentational overhaul.

Given that much of the focus on Madden NFL 25 for PS4 and Xbox One had to do with gameplay, the presentational issues are understandable and perhaps forgivable. However, in the future Madden NFL needs to leverage the basic things that NCAA Football has had in place—a “live” score ticker, studio updates, etc.—and make use of the increased development tools of the new console generation to truly deliver next-generation presentation.

Graphics

Even though gameplay is king in video gaming, the beginning of a new console generation always has players clamoring over graphics and visual standards as they seek to find the ways in which the new consoles outperform the ones they already own. In this area, Madden NFL 25 on PS4 presents improved visuals in a familiar overall package.

With both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One capable of 1080P HD output, early gameplay videos which leaked from the game were bound to look underwhelming after YouTube or streaming compression got to them. On a good HD TV set, the difference is definitely noticeable from “Gen 3” to “Gen 4,” even though the gameplay camera view remains essentially unchanged.

Helmets reflect light more correctly on the new console, particularly at indoor stadiums or in rainy, snowy, or night games, which were always particularly ugly on the “Gen 3” consoles for Madden NFL and NCAA Football. On the topic of weather, rainy games see great uniform degradation through mud caking on players and their jerseys and pants, while snow games see a new level of accumulation on the field to improve the overall visual presentation. Player skin tones also look more realistic and react appropriately given the type of light in the game. For the discerning NFL detail hound (this author included in those ranks), the shades of color in team uniforms are also more correctly displayed in the new version of Madden NFL 25 as well, especially in direct comparison to the “Gen 3” titles.

Player body types are more varied in the “Gen 4” versions of Madden NFL 25 compared to the game that came out in August, but it can still be difficult to pick out a player by their body type at a glance; hopefully as the game further develops in this new console generation, we’ll eventually reach the point of players looking strikingly different from one another in tune with their real-life counterparts.

Animations are also cleaner as a result of the game moving on to next-generation consoles, boasting the same additional catching animations added over the past few installments as well as what looks to be a newly-revised running animation which looks more correct than the too-long strides of recent titles. Tackle animations and interactions remain largely impressive through the development of the Infinity Engine, though there are still occasional “wonky” animations on tackles or other collisions which break the immersion, especially considering the level of refinement afforded by the next-gen move.

Fields are also more visually impressive, looking more like the fields of NCAA Football 14 in terms of being visually striking compared to “Gen 3” Madden NFL 25. The new version of Madden NFL 25 also features some corrected field art which didn’t make the cut on PS3 and Xbox 360, including the new wordmark in the end zone at Gillette Stadium for the Patriots.

Although there are still strides to be made as the developers get used to working on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Madden NFL 25 represents the first step of improve visuals for the franchise and sets a new standard of expectations for what the franchise will look like going forward. Being able to save screenshots that are HD in 1920x1080 resolution natively from the PS4 "Share" feature also allows for painless sharing of your best moments, in high quality.

Features

Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of Madden NFL 06 when it was released on the Xbox 360 is that so many features were left behind in the generational transition. By comparison, Madden NFL 25 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One is coming across from “Gen 3” with pretty much all features intact. You’ll find the game’s Connected Franchise Mode—where gamers can still choose to experience a NFL career as a Player, Coach, or Owner—as well as the popular and lucrative Madden Ultimate Team, Online Team Play, and the newly-rebranded GMC Never Say Never Moments (which previously existed as “Madden Moments Live”); though the latter two on that list are hidden away in the menu hierarchy and require some sleuthing to uncover.

The new Skills Trainer—introduced earlier this year in both NCAA Football 14 and Madden NFL 25—comes over as well, giving players who opted not to buy in on “Gen 3” consoles the opportunity to catch up on new controls and features. The “Madden Share” feature—which allows players to create their own gameplay sliders, rosters, and other files for sharing in the community—similarly transfers over, allowing players to find their desired gameplay experience in the brave new world of gaming consoles from day one.

Madden NFL 25 on “Gen 4” also boasts a new pause screen during gameplay which splits information and options into three separate screens instead of having a top-level text menu. The first screen displays current statistics from the game—including a new visualization of quarterback completion percentages—and the depth chart has a FIFA 14-esque visualization as well on the second pause menu screen. This new pause menu presents much more information at a glance than Madden NFL 25 on the previous consoles, which makes for a nice—and unexpected—improvement.

Finally, while the PS4 version of Madden NFL 25 does not boast the CoachGlass feature which will be found in the Xbox One version, the game does make use of the DualShock 4 controller’s touchpad for use to quickly call a timeout; all the player has to do is click the touchpad button and a timeout will be called. With the omission of a “Select” button from the DualShock 4’s design, it’s a good thing that this function has been re-mapped. The touchpad can also be used to motion a receiver on offense; you press the Circle button to choose your receiver, then swipe left or right on the touchpad to set them into motion in that direction.

Overall

As the flagship sports gaming franchise for EA SPORTS in North America, it’s become expected that the debut of a new gaming console will be accompanied by the newest version of Madden NFL. For NFL fans who are early adopters of the Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One, Madden NFL 25 is a purchase which is easy to recommend; the next version of the game won’t be released for another 9 months, and we are fast approaching the exciting home stretch of the NFL season as teams jockey for playoff positioning.

For players who are looking for a single game as a reason to upgrade to PS4 or Xbox One, however, it’s hard to say that Madden NFL 25 fits that bill by itself. The game is improved in many ways from the version released just three months ago, but it can hardly be called a console-seller on its own. While sports video games rarely fit this bill, it is important to make this distinction for consumers who might be on the fence about making the move to next-generation gaming at this time.

After an uneven “Gen 3” history for the Madden NFL franchise, Madden NFL 25 on PS4 is the beginning of a new era; an era begun by the release of a game which is focused strongly on pure gameplay requests as its selling points, even though features like revamped offensive and defensive line interactions do not make a “sexy” list of bullet points for the back of the box. The game is far from perfect, and there is still much to be done before the Madden NFL franchise can escape from continued criticism, but looking over the past eight years makes it clear that the game that is launching for PS4 and Xbox One is moving in a promising direction. The gaming community will continue to watch development of the series closely—and hold it to high standards, as should be expected of the exclusive NFL video game—but Madden NFL 25 for PS4 represents the best effort seen in the series since "Gen 3" began, and a solid starting point to build from for the next years to come.
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31 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2013
Start off this review by saying Im not into dissecting games and or comparing them to other games of same genre made by another company. All i can do is tell you how I feel about this game. Simply put I am enjoying it very much so. On this version of Madden 25 the Presentation, Commentary, Stadium, Crowd, and sideline have been majorly upgraded. The menus within the game as well as game play menus are very smooth and fast not sluggish like PS3 version. I see people saying this isn't a Next Gen game. That is definitely a false statement. In my opinion it feels like Madden 25 was made for PS4 and crossed over for the ps3 not the other way around, just because EVERYTHING is improved and smoother on PS4. Hope you can appreciate this game as much as I do.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
After the garbage that EA gave us for Madden 13 and what I had heard about Madden 25 for the current gen consoles I wasn't planning to get this but after checking it out on Youtube I decided to take a chance on it because I was tired of playing Madden 12. I'm very happy I did....the connected franchise mode isn't perfect but at least the menus are useable unlike Madden 13 and the game play itself is great. I don't see all of the stupid stuff going on like in Madden 13 when my defensive backs would just run off the field and disappear at the snap of the ball or my 250lb linebacker blindsiding a QB would not be able to knock him down but would have to drag him down instead. If EA improves on the franchise mode in the next edition they may finally give us a truly awesome football simulation. I did see one really stupid thing though....in the standings the game basically counts a tie game as a loss because it gives the same win percentage as if it was a loss. I saw a 10-5-1 team loose the division to a 10-6 team which is wrong....a 10-5-1 record is a better winning percentage. How can you screw up something that simple? With the exception of Madden 13 which was awful in ever aspect this is where EA usually annoys its serious football fans....screwing up on simple stuff that shouldn't ever happen. All in all though this is definitely a step in the right direction and a 100% improvement on Madden 13 which was basically unplayable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2014
Let me start off by mentioning that in every sports games there are sliders that you can move up and down to make the gameplay play for your needs. If passing is too hard then move the passing slider up to make it easier. If you want it to play like a real football game you can change all the sliders to make it happen.Madden and EA get a lot of slack for their games. People say it's the same every year, but if you look there are improvements in each game.
Madden 25 for the ps4 is the most upgraded game in a long time, as it should be being on new hardware.
The animations, the gameplay, and everything has improved. It feels good. There are some good tackles too. And i keep seeing new ones every now and again. Here is a tip. If you go into the settings in the main menu and turn the camera setting to zoomed everything looks better.
There are a couple things that bug me, but they don't have anything to do with the gameplay. First before Madden came out we seen all those videos of the game. One was them talking about sideline interactions where you team roots you on when you make a big play, and pats your helmet when you're near the sideline. The only thing that happened to me was i ran into the other teams sideline and their players pushed my player.
Another thing is if you rebuild your stadium the endzone logo changes to your teams name with your team logo and nfl/afl logo on the sides. I rebuilt the rams stadium and instead of saying St. Louis in the endzone it says Rams. Not a big deal, but I wish I could customize that part.
If you play a game in the snow and get tackled to the ground the snow doesn't move, and when it's raining I noticed your clothes don't get dirty until around the 3rd quarter.
Finally there are no cheerleaders on the sideline or women in the crowd. These few things don't affect gameplay but just little touches like that make you get deeper into the game.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2013
Madden 25 Next Gen is the best (Madden 25) experience you are going to have. I say it that way because it's still Madden 25 and I think a lot of people are not taking that into consideration. The biggest challenge for all of the launch titles was getting over to new consoles, with that being said here's my quick review.

I think M25 next gen is a solid foundation to build from going forward. The Devs focused on some KEY elements that are must haves when attempting to replicate the sport of football.

Pros:

True Step: Completely changes the running game. You no longer have the ability to cut and turn on a dime, RB's now have to take proper steps when cutting up field. You have to really play with this feature because it all depends on the angle of the analog stick that will determine how long it takes for your RB to gather his feet. It takes some getting use to but it provides the most authentic and realistic running game we've seen in Madden. Definitely a welcomed addition to the series.

War in the Trenches: Football starts and ends in the Trenches and it is EXTREMELY rewarding to see the Madden Team focusing on the trenches. The trenches were improved on the 360/PS3 versions but the Next Gen version takes this feature to the next level. The War in the Trenches clearly shows the importance of having an ex NFL lineman developing that area of the game. This is by far one of the BEST additions to this year’s game.

Player Sense provides better secondary play: The secondary play seems to be much better in the Next Gen version of Madden 25. Developer Rex Dickson spoke on the Sim Perspective Radio show and stated that there is new technology added that allows DB's and LB's to break on the ball as soon as the QB releases it. Defenders still have to be looking at the ball in order to make a play on it, but if they are looking you better be very careful where you throw the ball. Secondary play has been one of the main gripes in the Madden series since Madden 06 but this year it’s starting to get back to what it used to be in years past. Still would like to see more attention given to Secondary play in general but looks like this generation may be off to a good start.

Cons:

Living Worlds: This feature overall is not as impressive as advertised. I think most people were interested in seeing how the interactive sidelines would look and feel in the game. Many people including myself were waiting to compare it to the sideline activity in All Pro Football 2K8 and unfortunately in its current state there's no comparison. The crowd swells are pretty good and they seem to react accordingly based on the situation. I would still like to see more variety in the crowd as well, I know it's a minor thing but there is still synchronized animations in the crowd and sidelines. I fully understand the base foundation was put into place this year’s game but going forward we need to really see Living Worlds come to life.

No gang tackling: Since the Infinity Engine was introduced in Madden 13 the first thing I thought about was gang tackles. I've always said that if the Pro-Tak technology included physics it would have been a great feature, now that we have physics in the game I expect to see the 3, 4, and even 5 man interactions on a tackle. It's a little disappointing to see that gang tackles still aren't in the game but I do understand that it takes a little time to get physics where you want it to be. FIFA and NHL are good examples of that, took them 3 years to get to where they are now. Physics has improved but I want to see some next gen physics, time to push it to the next level.

No DB/WR interactions: There still isn't any downfield WR/DB interactions. It's time for us to see key match ups make a difference in the game. Imagine Calvin Johnson versus Asante Samuel, because of the differences in their physical size you are going to see Asante do whatever he can to keep Megatron from catching the ball, that element is missing in Madden.

Physics no always respected: Short and sweet, physics is not always respected in the game. I would love to see the game get to a point where the physics and the player's physical attributes dictates the outcome for every play. The physics has improved and the game seems to respect the physical body when force impact plays out but there are other times when the physics just seem to not matter.

Final Thoughts:

There are other areas of the game that I like and dislike but what I listed above are the main things that stick out to me. Overall I think Madden 25 Next Gen is a GREAT foundation, I see massive potential and if you take time to play the game you start to see how much the gameplay has improved. Particularly with Player Sense, the more and more you play the game you start to see how Player Sense affects the offense and defense. The Devs just need to continue pushing realism because at the end of the day realism never fails. If you look at some of the other games in the industry such as FIFA, NHL, NBA 2K, and MLB The Show they all have one thing in common, THEY PUSH REALISM. Great job so far, I know it will take time but as long as Madden LEAPS forward year after year the game will be in good shape.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2013
Just to make it clear off top, this review is going to be solely about gameplay, as that's where the game makes the biggest impact between what was on PS3 to now. First of all, if ANYONE tells you that this game is "the same game as Madden 25 on PS3 with better graphics", turn the other direction and run, don't walk as far away from that extremely skewed impression/opinion of the game as that couldn't be any more further from the truth.

The introduction of True Step in this game (thanks to the shared tech from the FIFA team by way of the IGNITE engine) is truly a breath of new life being added to this game. Madden for the first time in many years, has an actual learning curve of some sort when it comes to playing this game now. You now have realistic control over your user-controlled ballcarrier (which I'd like to see expanded to all players in the future). Now, you have to learn to lay off the turbo as soon as you get the handoff on run plays as you need to make realistic, split second decisions as to what direction you're going to take before and after the snap as the play develops. You'll actually see players gather before making the cuts upfield in respect to the momentum they've gained while running upfield. So, the days of the swerve running, hummingbird movement, and unrealistically cutting upfield/changing direction is FINALLY GONE!!!

Next aspect is the "War in the trenches" as it's been labelled. Now I must give credit to the dev team for this, especially Clint Oldenburg for the start of something great. Now, were seeing a chaotic battle in the trenches between the offense & defensive lines. With 300 animations added to reflect the conflict between the two sides, it visually gives you that trench fight that we've all been demanding for over the years. To see realistic double team pass blocking when the situation presents itself is exactly what we've been waiting for since the NFL 2k5/APF 2k8 titles. The O-Line working together in harmony with what the defense gives looks and plays wonderfully. Now, as the QB, you must hang in the pocket to get that proper protection. Dropbacks of 10-15 yards will open the holes for defenders to shoot through and easily get pressure and sacks accordingly. There are issues with the line play where O-Lineman will look lost after getting beat by a defender, or they'll just stand in open space with no one to block at all and do nothing to impact the play in a positive manner. This is an eyesore area that needs to be patched or addressed in the next title for sure. In spite of those issues, this is a nice base laid to truly expand and further develop upon for future titles.

The last area of the game here is the "Player Sense" aspect of the game. One part of it is the contextual awareness of players in front of each other on both offense and defense. We see that defenders will sideswipe their own teammates or engaged interactions between the O & D-Line to get into the backfield and try and make a play. You'll also see TE's shoulder bump defenders at times in those suttle interaction moments as well. Regarding ballcarriers, they'll dip their shoulder low and try to go around the side of their blockers, but that's it. Now, this area lacks the ballcarrier awareness that was seen on PS3 in the sense that you don't see the hand push on the blockers backs when you run into them directly or use their hand to guide themselves around the blocker (which needs to be patched in if possible, or needs to be brought back in a refined manner in Madden 15).

The second part of Player Sense is in regards to the defensive secondary play. Now the initial media that was put out there was misleading ([...] but then clarity was brought forth later in one of the later articles regarding what would actually happen in-game ([...] From a hands on standpoint, they didn't dissapoint from what's been done so far. Clearly, the secondary play isn't fully refined to where it should be, as you still have plays where defenders don't react to the ball or situation as it's developing onfield, especially on zone defensive plays. You still see defenders standing flat-footed on the field, which is a HUGE NO-NO in football. To see defenders making a break on the ball and taking the proper angle (thanks to the Rail Tracks locomotion tech), I've never been picked off like this in any other Madden title before. Now, you'll have to throw a lot more check downs realistically and not just chuck the ball downfield for 30+ yard gains, which adds that level of good frustration from the game. Once again, now Madden has a true learning curve and this realistic evolution of the game needs to keep happening. Moving forward, we all need to see the defenders react to the situations and not solely to the zones that they're tied to in respect to the player ratings as well.

Bottom line, EA Sports has done a good job with its start out the gate on next gen. Now, as the game evolves, so will the gamers have to evolve. I've seen the statements and comments across the board, and what's happening is that Madden is FINALLY making that move for authenic replication of football. So, now the gamer has to evolve or get left behind, as "realistic control" is being brought into the game that the likes of the FIFA and NHL series have done. So, either learn and evolve your game, or get left behind in the dust. Lastly regarding this title, I like what's been done with this being a shortened cycle, but now that they'll have a full cycle (for Madden 15), and only one football game to focus on, I'm truly looking forward to what the future holds for this title.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2014
Madden NFL 25 is a celebration of the awesome game that is American Football, and although I experienced a few occasional control malfunctions and questionable AI choices, the overall gameplay was fun and engaging once you get around figuring out what to do. I think those familiar with the Madden series will certainly not be disappointed picking this up, and the new social share feature is a great addition allowing for extra bragging rights to all your friends and family.

Pros:

*Fun, and engaging
*Tons of Customization options
*Social share feature

Cons:
*Very little instructions to guide new gamers to the series
*Unresponsive controls, at times
*AI can have a tendency of leave you exposed, making it difficult to change direction of play

Madden NFL is back and in its 25th game of the series, the game is jam packed full of some cool new features guaranteed to have fans of the popular football genre celebrating its silver anniversary. Using the power of the playstation 4, gamers can now share their journey to the Super Bowl championships.

There are some physical improvements in this new version of Madden 25 on the PS4, but don't expect much else when it comes to actual gameplay mechanics, as what you experienced on previous versions of Madden on the Playstation 3 is pretty much what you are going to get on the Playstation 4. Where gamers will see the most improvements is in the overall visuals, the look of the players, and the weather system, all enhanced to give a far more detailed experience on the football field.

Madden 25 is geared towards players already familiar with the genre, as there is very little instructions of what to do once the game gets going. I felt this was a bit of a let down, as it could alienate a lot of gamers unfamiliar with how to play the sports.
For those who are familiar with the game, Madden NFL 25 gives you a lot of customization options allowing you to control the game exactly how you want. With Connected franchise for example you get the chance to call the play, choose teams, change their names, and take them to Ultimate Victory.

I did experience a few controller issues, especially when it came to player respond time when attempting a pass. This could be very frustrating as miss timed passes can result in loss of yards or worse. The new player artificial intelligence was also a bit of a challenge as team mates, make questionable decisions and leave you exposed with little time to change or correct directions. Interceptions and tackles work great, but I often wondered how much of the game I was actually controlling, as player selection felt random and un-precise.

PS3 owners of this game, dont bother nothing changed
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2013
Review from someone who has Played both Gen versions. To start out with I will say the graphical upgrade is noticeable but not a massive step forward. The presentation , the game modes , and the menus are still the same the game just just has better textures and the models and runs very smooth. The major strides have been made are in the actual gameplay itself. That is night and day and it is for the better. Madden 25 on PS3 in my opinion was a step back from Madden 13 , they fixed some issues with the physics but in the process made the AI completely brain dead. The ability for defensive backs and offensive linemen to read and react was the worse I can remember ever playing. This game has fixed that, the players react properly to situations. No longer will you be playing zone defense and your defender just stands there and watches the receiver go by. How many times have you went to tackle a guy and your defender just bounced off the ball carrier with his hands down stuck in the pursuit animation? I would recommend this game to fans of Madden that did not like Madden 25 on last gen, because I hated it and I love this game.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2013
Madden 25 for the PS4 is definitely improved from the Ps3 version, but not by very much. The gameplay is somewhat smoother, the graphics are better (not a whole lot better though) and the features are pretty much the same. If you really really like madden, then sure, you'll probably enjoy this game. The defensive AI is pretty bad though. They rarely cover receivers and it is almost impossible to play defense on someone that is good at the game. Me and my friend play this game, and we can never stop each other on defense no matter what play calls we make. The only way you are going to make a stop is if you get an interception or fumble.

Overall, I'd say I'm most disappointed in the defense in this game. The game is improved, but not by very much. It may provide some fun for a little bit, but eventually you will scratch your head as to why you bought this game for this price. Pass on it unless you're a die hard madden fan.
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