The demo for Madden 13 is now live and available for download on Xbox Live with PlayStation 3 and PS Vita versions expected to release later today.
Unlike previous demos, four teams are playable. Gamers can choose between two NFC matchups: the New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers or the Seattle Seahawks at Washington Redskins.
While each new version of Madden brings changes, the NFL also is bringing some tweaks to the field this season. Nike has taken over as the official provider of uniforms and gear this season. The uniform changes are most apparent with the Seahawks and Redskins, which is probably why they are featured in the demo.
Gamers also get their first chance to take control of rookie sensation Robert Griffin III. The mobile quarterback is immensely popular in Madden so RG3 is a welcome addition to the league for gamers.
EA Sports has turned on the hype machine for the latest version of Madden, as usual, but this year brings welcome changes rather than the useless technical features from previous versions. The biggest additions to Madden 13 is the improved presentation and the advanced tackling animations.
The changes to the presentation are obvious from the start. CBS broadcast duo Jim Nantz and Phil Simms bring their voice talents and digital presence into Madden 13. For the first time in years, commentary in Madden is not terrible. They are even seen in a short pre-game sequence setting up the game in the press booth.
Unfortunately, commentary is also not great. Instances in which the commentators use general terms rather than using specifics serve as reminders that it is still a video game and cannot live up to it’s real life counterpart. For instance, Nantz and Simms frequently use “the running back” instead of calling Marshawn Lynch by name. The commentating is a major step in the right direction for the franchise. Hopefully, future titles can build on the improvements.
EA Tiburon has expressed excitement regarding the game’s new tackling system. Animations have been added and improved. Based on the demo, too many animations might have been added. When defensive players are making a tackle, they seem stuck in between animations. It is almost like they are not sure which way to make the tackle. Often times, it looks like players are just running into each other when contact occurs. Unfortunately, big hits are few and far between.
Gameplay is simply more Madden. The demo offers more of the same great gameplay the Madden franchise is known for. Playing against the 49ers defense is much more difficult than the Seahawks. Passing is improved to add better trajectory. It is easier to throw a ball to the right spot for the receiver or lob it over defenders. However, there does seem to be a shorter window for hitting open receivers.
Overall, the demo shows off an impressive build of Madden 13. The game is shaping up to be a solid improvement over Madden 12 and another step towards perfection for the franchise. The full game will be available August 28.