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Madden 13 Impressions

/ Aug 26th, 2012 No Comments

Madden 13's Infinity Engine

Madden 13's Infinity Engine

Madden 13’s Infinity Engine

Ok, first things first, lets talk about the real Madden curse. In the history of the Carl “Channer” Armstrong vs Executive Editor Sean Gibson rivalry in video game football I have yet to defeat the latter. When we play our games it’s usually with the newest Madden, we always play at his place and he’s already had at least a day to try out the new mechanics while it’s always my first time playing the game. I end up usually learning the game on the fly but somehow hold my own, only in the end lose in some fashion that dictates a title similar to the other great games in NFL history such as “The body bag game”, or “The catch” or “The Fumble”. In our cases its been “The FG,” and “The Squib Kick.”

All of our games have come down to amazing finishes and this time we continued our rivalry in Madden 13 and I’ll talk about my first impressions of newest title.

Be sure to check out our site’s official Madden 13 Review.

First impressions

I loved the NFL network type presentation, the game seems to have lost the hip hop/hard rock/metal theme we’re used to. Wait a second, where is franchise mode? No, they didn’t get rid of Franchise mode did they? Well not exactly the TERM is gone, instead we have Connected Career mode, more like revamped franchise mode with a new title and instead. You pick more of an RPG style profile and your supposed to think of it as a character with Hit points and Magic points as you pick a team and try to either maintain their success or rebuild them.

I know it sounds weird at first but I’m sure players will adjust. Fantasy draft is now gone, I’m not sure why, I know I was never a fan of this feature anyway but I know a lot of fans were and they’ll be seriously disappointed.


Last year’s title I had trouble shifting my backers, CB’s and D-lineman around without occasionally making a mistake (probably more user error than anything) and having my guys end up out of position. This year, not the case, the audibles and line shifts are easier in my mind but had to master. Which is a plus, the animation looks a little better, and the new infinity engine, collisions in the middle look very authentic, helmet to helmet shots look just like they would in a real game. Those ten yard out routes that might have been tough for QB’s to throw are a bit easier to pull off and seem more lifelike now, scrambling with your QB is more realistic, where at the cost of mobility and buying time your throws could have less power and

Also a lot of complaints and bugs with last year’s game, were they fixed? How do you handle the nano blitz? Well, I don’t feel EA has addressed that issue either, I never called it but when I called blitzes in the limited time I had with Madden 13 they were more effective than last year, so expect more sacks if you have the right play calling skills which could lead to cheese and complaints from gamers. My counter, stick to shotgun or mix up your plays to keep you opponent honest, in the end good players can overcome anything.

EA stressed the new Infinity Engine would redefine the game as “Physics you can feel,” well I’m torn about that. On one end, the new physics engine provides some realistic animations and tackles that can make you proud and remind you of such games as ESPN 2k5, which I still say is probably the greatest football game ever made, and in many ways EA took forever to recreate and copy some the features that game had almost a decade ago. Running over a defender seemed very real but you’d also run into those predetermined tackle animations that signaled ok the play is over now, watch the rest. Other times it was just comical, there was a play, and you’ll see in our full review with Sean Gibson where we play a couple of games where I threw a pass to Maques Colston and after getting sandwiched by two defenders, was shot out from between them in the air for another 10-12 yards like he was covered in KY jelly. While it was hilarious it was easy extra yardage, and if your in a competitive game, many would hate if this is a constant issue, but luckily we only saw this happen once. After a play is over players are also subject to some extracurricular activities, but is more on accident as a play will be over, a defender ends up right next to ball carrier after he’s getting up and he randomly tackles him again, or two guys run into each other after a play causing a three stooges type moment. I don’t know if that was intentional by EA, but it that leads to injuries that could spark some hate from fans. We thought it was funny, kinda reminded us of NFL Blitz which I don’t know is a good thing.

EA has to revamp and keep one of the cash cows fresh and they seem to be doing – not so much cleaning house but there are some changes coming. Some will be embraced, some wont, I liked what I saw and say with some confidence that Madden 13 will keep players in front of their TV’s for several months or at least until Black Ops comes out.

Carl Armstrong

Carl Armstrong

Associate Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Carl Armstrong has been with GI for over four years, serving as a review writer, on-site reporter and Associate Editor. He's worked as an award winning radio show producer for The Mighty 1090 sports station, Xtrasports 1360 and was the executive technical director for the San Diego Chargers radio network from 2008-2012.

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