trending / - - - - - - - - -

trending / playstation 4 - ni no kuni - halo - wii u - bungie interview - ces top picks - radeon hd 7850 - woods pga tour

Madden NFL 15 (Xbox One) Review

/ Aug 29th, 2014 1 Comment

Madden 15 Review

The new-gen version of Madden 25 released last year alongside the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in November. A shortened development cycle would be the perfect excuse for developers at EA Tiburon to pack it in this year, but Madden 15 builds on a solid foundation to create one of the most engaging football sims in modern gaming.

After building a completely new Ignite engine for new-gen consoles, it makes sense that this year’s version of Madden favors improvement over rebuilding. Staples such as Ultimate Team and Connected Franchise return with minor enhancements, but there are smart upgrades to play-calling and defense. With star cornerback Richard Sherman on the cover, defense is a focal point, and the other side of the ball is finally engaging.

Sunday Ticket

Players will immediately notice the improvements to the game’s visuals and presentation. Player models are detailed and realistic–gone is the over-padded, overly shiny video game look. Animations are fluid and smooth, with movement and hits as lifelike as ever. Coach models are also vastly improved, and coaches even look good while standing on the sidelines.
 

Madden 15 presentation

Aside from poor commentary, Madden 15 feels like watching an NFL broadcast.

The commentary team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms is back, but the play-by-play is still the worst in sports gaming. Simms rambles on irrelevantly and the team has no sense of urgency, even during the Super Bowl. This is offset by an impressive pre-game and halftime show led by Larry Ridley. Before games, he calls attention to matchups to watch and he runs through highlights at halftime. Combined with broadcast-quality cutscenes and replays between plays, Madden 15 delivers a dynamic presentation.

Battle in the Trenches

Offense is the most exciting part of football, but defense wins championships. EA Tiburon revamped the defense to stress the importance of that side of the ball, and the results couldn’t be better. For the first time in the series, playing defense is actually enjoyable, and gamers will feel truly in control of their defenders.

A major part of the transition is the battle at the line, the most underrated aspect of football. Using a mini-game of sorts reminiscent of quick-time events, players controlling a defensive lineman can follow a few button prompts to move through the offensive line. The system makes it easier to sack the quarterback, but more importantly, it makes players feel that the war in the trenches is not just a game of chance.
 

Madden battle in the trenches

The game emphasizes the importance of the battle at the line.

Defense is enhanced by a player lock camera that zooms in on the action of a selected defender. The ball will always be in view, but the focal point is on the defensive player you choose before the play begins. Covering wide receivers with cornerbacks can be tricky, but the zoomed in perspective works well in tandem with the defensive line controls.

Play Smarter, Not Harder

The Madden franchise has devolved into a classic video game with a formula for victory in recent years to the point where speed-run videos were almost expected. Without rebuilding the game from the ground up, developers rethought their approach. As a result, Madden 15 is a realistic football sim that requires some knowledge of football. If you lack that experience, playing through the game’s Skills Trainer mode is necessary.

The extensive mini-game mode gradually teaches players the game of football, walking them through how to master Madden 15’s controls and read defenses like a star quarterback. Before you know it, you will be able to tell the difference between Cover 3 and Cover 2 defenses and pick up blitz packages. Acquiring a deeper understanding of football makes the mundane game mode a rewarding experience.
 

Madden 15 play calling

The key to Madden 15: play smarter, not harder.

While the Skills Trainer mode gives gamers the knowledge they need, it is up to players to apply it during games. Going through the skills mode is highly recommended as the defense is much smarter in Madden 15. Fortunately, the game provides an intelligent play-calling system that is based on stats. The play-calling menu recommends plays based on a few different factors, including what works in each particular situation and the opponent’s history of plays. This approach makes the game more accessible and upholds the theme of making players more knowledgeable.

Overall

Success in Madden 15 is not a matter of gaming the system; instead, the game encourages players to raise their football IQ and break down defenses like a pro. For the first time in a long time, the game truly feels like a football sim. This may not be an approach that all gamers find appealing, but it is certainly what John Madden had in mind when he attached his name to the franchise 26 years ago.

 

Ryan Bloom

Ryan Bloom

Chief Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Ryan Bloom is a writer and avid gamer from Orange County. He received a B.A. in Communications with a minor in American Studies from California State University, Fullerton in 2010. Follow him on Twitter @BloomsTweets.
Ryan Bloom

tags: , , , ,

Related Posts

Puyo Puyo Tetris Review

Puyo Puyo Tetris Review: New Tricks

May 23rd, 2017No Comments

Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop

Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop Review: Just Desserts

May 22nd, 2017No Comments

Solo Impulse Duffel Bag Review

Solo Impulse Duffel Bag Review

May 17th, 2017No Comments

Turtle Beach Recon Chat Review

Turtle Beach Recon Chat Headset Review: Talk is Cheap

May 11th, 2017No Comments

  • Brennan Sullivan

    I don’t get why all you reviewers are not commenting on the fact that they left out communities online team play this year. Have you just never played madden before or are you getting paid by EA? This should be a main topic of your review yet you don’t even mention it. EA must be one of your sponsors. It’s either that or you just suck at giving game reviews…

Top Articles

MADDEN NFL 15 (XBOX ONE) REVIEW

Gaming Illustrated RATING

Overall93%

GAMEPLAY9.5

With new playcalling techniques, Madden 15 is the smartest football sim ever.

GRAPHICS10

Player and coach models are much improved and there is no longer a glossy sheen over them. Animations are better than ever.

PRESENTATION8.5

Pre-game and halftime shows are greatly improved, but the play-by-play is still some of the worst in sports games.

CONTROLS9.5

Controls remain the same but the addition of player lock on defense and defensive moves are welcome. Players also have complete control of camera angles this year.

bestjett buyeww 167739512 link


besttrew buyhfgh 167739512 link


bestavbe buydfgss 167739512 link


bestjett buyeww 5583213709 link


besttrew buyhfgh 5583213709 link


bestavbe buydfgss 5583213709 link


bestjett buyeww 4688648751 link


besttrew buyhfgh 4688648751 link


bestavbe buydfgss 4688648751 link


bestjett buyeww 576935439 link


besttrew buyhfgh 576935439 link


bestavbe buydfgss 576935439 link


bestjett buyeww 4639622813 link


besttrew buyhfgh 4639622813 link


bestavbe buydfgss 4639622813 link