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About the product
- The new system uses a player's momentum and over 100 new tackle animations, including 40 gang tackles.
- Players in zone and man coverage will properly recognize and react to plays, resulting in a defensive team that truly works together.
- It allows you to build the ultimate game plan by creating your own offensive or defensive plays from 75 different playbooks.
- Experience NFL Sundays including 32 team specific run outs, over 500 dynamic broadcast cameras and a network broadcast graphics package.
- Visual improvements including new player equipment, helmet stickers, pylon and ball physics.
- Player degradation system that affects uniforms and helmets based on weather and field surface, 3D grass, and new player specific animations.
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Madden NFL 12 continues the rich tradition of the storied franchise by bringing fans closer to the NFL than ever before. Featuring all 32 teams, stadiums, and your favorite players in the league, Madden NFL 12 is True to the Game.
Madden NFL 12 continues the rich tradition of the storied franchise by bringing fans closer to the NFL than ever before. Featuring all 32 teams, stadiums, and your favorite players in the league, Madden NFL 12 is true to the game.
All-New Collision System
Now maintain full control of players up to the point of impact - from tackling to blocking - providing the most authentic collisions in franchise history. This new system uses a player's momentum and over 100 new tackle animations, including 40 gang tackles, to provide more impactful hits, stolen tackles, and consecutive hit tackling.
Advanced Defensive AI
Over 100 defensive A.I. enhancements resulting in the smartest Madden defense ever. Players in zone and man coverage will properly recognize and react to plays, including the ability to break out of assignments when appropriate, resulting in a defensive team that truly works together.
The #1 most requested feature by fans in recent years, allows you to build the ultimate game plan by modifying an existing playbook or creating your own by selecting up to 400 offensive or defensive plays from 75 different playbooks. Integrate your custom playbook into a game plan for use with the improved GameFlow system, which executes an authentic, situational game plan for you.
Experience NFL Sundays like never before with completely overhauled presentation, including 32 team-specific run outs featuring mascots and cheerleaders, over 500 dynamic broadcast cameras authentic to every NFL stadium, innovative "real" on-field cameras shot by expert NFL Films cameramen, and a network inspired new broadcast graphics package.
Unprecedented On-Field Authenticity
Hundreds of visual improvements across all areas of the game including: new player equipment, helmet stickers, pylon and ball physics, a player degradation system that affects uniforms and helmets based on weather and field surface, 3D grass, and new player specific animations that showcase the personalities of each NFL player.
Build a Franchise
Over 100 new features and enhancements for franchise fanatics that includes expanded rosters, cut days in preseason, an all-new rookie scouting system, a free-agent bidding system, player roles, hot and cold streaks in-season, and much more.
Be a Superstar
Control the growth of your superstar thanks to an all-new progression system that allows you to earn skill points by participating in practice and games. The on-field experience is also enhanced by brand new position-specific coordinator audio that coaches your growth as an NFL player.
New tackling animations.
Feel the new weather physics.
Enhanced defensive AI.
Top customer reviews
A concerted effort was made with Madden 12 to capture elements of the television viewing experience and the game attending experience and though there is still plenty of work to be done it represents a significant and valuable advancement in presentation. Authentic camera placement, team entrances, blimp shots, crowd cuts, and more were all great touches. Crowd noise is much better than NCAA but there should be more impact to the crowd affecting road teams and roaring louder in appropriate situations (such as after a challenge decision).
Of course there were aspects of the presentation that eroded some of the overall satisfaction. Players bumping into each other on the way back to the huddle, the jarring cut to the two minute warning where then nothing of significance is shown, challenge replays so poorly handled that they don't actually show the event being challenged, a lack of a halftime or post-game show, and sparse crowds in adverse weather conditions stand out. All relatively minor on their own but necessary to clean up for the presentation to reach the next level.
There is no denying that the gameplay improvements received were a large beneficiary of avoiding going the `gimmicky' route this year. Gameplay is much more satisfying with some legacy issues corrected and the lack of suction paying dividends all over the field. Proper football strategy is rewarded more than ever and the result is some incredibly compelling and competitive games that have provided some brilliantly exciting moments. Fun factor due to all of that is especially high.
GameFlow and GamePlan have been enhanced with the addition of Custom Playbooks - allowing for the benefits of GameFlow to be more likely utilized. Stats are often in line with expectations and the flow of the games have been ideal. "Player Traits" really start to differentiate individual performance styles beyond just ratings. The CPU is finally competent though ultimately the challenge offered by the CPU will vary from person to person. The sliders appear to be effective for those who choose to tinker with the various elements of gameplay.
Dynamic Player Performance is difficult to quantify but does seem to have considerable impact and swing performance and ultimately even on-field results. Hot and cold streaks come into play and often early struggles will carry over to later in the game as players lose confidence. When the main positions are user-controlled though the struggles will stand out more than the successes - as getting a small ratings boost is unlikely to completely change the outcome of a play - just as a small ratings decline probably won't mean a drastic result. There does need to be a way to see what DPP is doing without going into the pause menu.
There is no perfection here though - the lack of a battle for the ball between the receivers and defenders is especially glaring. Play action remains improperly implemented and special teams has been largely neglected with kick and punt return blocking flat out horrible. The new kicking camera and system, and the surprise onside kicks, are the only positives to mention as it pertains to special teams.
Though the improvements to Franchise don't necessarily seem to warrant having taken a full year off from the mode they do make a large impact as they capitalize on the areas most requested for receiving advancement. Expanded rosters and cut days, practice mode, trades of future draft picks, draft scouting, and player roles are all intriguing additions.
The biggest success is the new Free Agency bidding system. Though it should be more obvious how to view upcoming free agents before the bidding frenzy begins it makes for a fun and pressure-filled event. "Player Roles" are an interesting element in how teams are shaped along with how they can affect on-field performance.
The weakest aspect is the draft scouting, which simply doesn't provide enough information on enough players to make much (or any) difference. I felt largely in the dark for the majority of the draft as picking at the end of the round meant most of the prospects that had been scouted for the round were gone by my choice. Beyond the scouting then you're left with knowing nothing but their projected round to make a decision on.
A few issues worth noting - a few teams are stuck with rain in every (or nearly every) home game, there is an issue with draft classes from NCAA Football 12 not coming over unless they are saved after the players leaving stage, players lose their "role" if anything about them even equipment is edited, the new free agency system is not good for multi-user franchises, and preseason games are a complete mess.
This is the most successful online play experience to come out of the Tiburon studio. Performance has been excellent, the games have been ultra-competitive and very fun, and the Online Communities feature has proven initially valuable.
One unheralded but very important tweak to online comes with the kick meter which appears to account for any lag being experienced. The meter will snap back a tad after the button press and it has proven to be quite accurate. Kicks have been missed not due to any lag but due to user error. It's the first time that kicking in a football game hasn't been problematic online. Lag in general has been minimal - a slight sluggishness in some cases but easily adjust to - and most games have felt so good they could have passed for being played offline.
Online Franchise was passed over for improvements in favor of Communities - a decision that could be easily questioned. There is no lobby room within the communities making head-to-head games difficult to come by for most people. I've had to tweet out that I want a challenge in order to get a game and most won't have that luxury. Though they offer something considerable the sense I get is most will be completely dead within a month. Maybe smaller ones within groups of friends will have more long-term success.
Custom Playbooks and their integration into GameFlow comes in handy for ranked online games. Inexplicably Custom Playbooks were omitted from use in the Online Communities and Online Franchise. There has also been an issue faced by a small percentage of users who have been unable to get past the "Checking Rosters" step. EA is still investigating but a temporary workaround is to save the latest rosters to a USB drive and the game will recognize that and proceed past the problematic step.
Taking the most flak this year is the commentary and it isn't completely unwarranted. Though there is a decent flow that is about the best that can be said, and it is certainly a big drawback overall on the complete package that Madden 12 attempts to offer given the number of errors called out and noticeable recording flaws.
Lines recorded last year vs this year sound completely different, reactions often run far behind when they actually take place, the same stories are repeated every game, and the announcers often call a player by their number rather than their name. There are also unjustifiable gaffes like referring to the Titans as the "New York Titans" at every coin toss or talking about the "new" overtime rules in a regular season game where they don't even apply.
The lack of special commentary for preseason and postseason games really hurt their immersive nature. There is no special Super Bowl commentary - in fact the announcers will talk about homefield advantage. That sort of thing is just killer.
This mode wasn't a main focus and it shows. Touted improvements were an improved interface, skill points to distribute for ratings increases, coordinator audio, and a switch to the standard camera angle. Most of those things actually were provided but did little to make the mode interesting. Coordinator audio and commentary was completely absent however.
Players automatically start at their respective position regardless of ratings and there is nothing that goes on in the off-season. The mode is just flat out dull. It also isn't readily apparent that quarter length can be adjusted - that is done through the main profile and not within the mode.
NFL fans will appreciate what has been done with Madden NFL 12 as the title attempts to tap into what it means to be emotionally invested in a team or the league. The vastly improved presentation and gameplay combined with a much more enjoyable Franchise mode help to cover up the flaws that comes with growth that can't be completed and goals that can't be reached in just a single year. It's finally alright to be excited about the Madden franchise - that is if they don't change course in their vision yet again.
I just had to add some notes to my review. I'm on the 15th Week of my 8th season and usually by now I'm done playing franchise mode of my Madden game. This one is so different because usually I'm not able to find a balance setting for the AI however this AI is perfect for me. I have everything set to 50 for computer and my settings and I have so much fun playing the games. I play every game of the preseason and regular and post season and what I have found is every game is different. I play games against teams that I should dominate on paper but yet they are sometimes easy sometimes challenging and sometimes I may even lose. I have games where the computer should dominate me on paper but still get all three scenarios. Same goes for balanced match ups. You have to use your strengths against their weaknesses and figuring that out can take some time during the game. And other times you are able to dominate from beginning to end because you figured it out fast. (No matter what it says on paper) Calling this game balanced wouldn't be fair either since it takes skill to it right. I have had games that I take control early and never let up. Games that I have a big lead and they are able to come back and make a game of it while others are they are able to come back and beat me. I also have the opposite where they start out beating me big time then I'm able to find their weakness and come back and either make a game of it or win in the end. I have had low scoring games I have had high scoring games I have had games where we score early and then can't score late I have had games where we can't score early but do score late. I even had a game that had 5 touchdowns in the last 3 minutes of the game...one big play after the other from either side. Keep in mind I do 7 min quarters and I only play franchise mode. I'm not even getting into all the great parts of building your team through Free Agents, Drafts and Trades and balancing your payroll and the other great things about this game. Oh and one more point to make. I let my coaches select the plays (I have seen others say that this isn't a good idea) for the most part with on occasion I know I want to run or pass and I will make them choose a run or pass play and sometimes when I come to the line I see something I can exploit so I call the correct audible. I am updating my stars from 4 to 5 on this update and I don't see anytime soon I will stop playing this game. I don't see how they could improve on this so far as my play style is concerned.
So here we are and the new Madden is about to come out and I'm still playing franchise mode on this. I love it! I'm in my 20th or 21st season. (I think I read somewhere that you can only play 30 seasons and I'm prepared for this) I got my moneys worth plus out of this and will not spend the money on the new one till I have completed all possible seasons. Even then I'm not sure I will want it and maybe just start a new Franchise mode with another team. I've been playing the Cardinals every season (even though you can switch at the end of any season) and I love taking players from draft picks, back up players, to starters then dominate players then to the Hall of fame. I have produced 3 HOF in my 20 or so seasons and I know I have one or two that may make it before my 30 seasons are up. If you are trying to save a few bucks then buy this years and play the franchise. Not sure how the new franchise will be but this one is great. Are there things they could have improved? Well of course but this is a 5 star game all the way!!