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Madden 25 (PS4) Review

/ Dec 16th, 2013 No Comments

madden 15 cover vote

The next generation of NFL Football gaming is here with the release of Madden 25 on PlayStation 4. This version of the game is strikingly different than the Gen3 versions, featuring more than 10 times the graphical detail, all new artificial intelligence (A.I.) enhancements and ambitious gameplay improvements. Will the first edition of Madden on PlayStation 4 deliver? Let’s find out.

What’s New

The PS4 version of Madden 25 comes with new features that extend the details and experience within the game. While Madden 25 will not feel like a completely new game, it includes very noticeable new features that more than make justifying an upgrade from Gen3 to Gen4. Here are some of the new features for Madden 25 on PS4…

Living Worlds

Crowds have been given one of the biggest upgrades out of all the visuals. They now cheer at very logical times, boo at the right moments, and look extremely varied and intelligent. It appears the days of dumb crowds that have identical people all around motioning in the same way is finally over. This improvement was definitely needed and really brings out the stadium experience.

New Graphics

EA Sports says that Madden 25 on the PlayStation 4 has 10 times the details than previous versions and that the game has never looked so real. While we cannot substantial the actual multiplier of how much better things look, it can be said with surety that the player models and graphics in general are enhanced. The most striking detail that players will notice are the anti-aliased (or at least, what appears to be) players who look extremely sharp and move fluidly with realistic collisions ending every play. Colors on the field are also greatly enhanced and there is little doubt that the graphics between the PS4 and previous versions is strikingly different, for the better.
 

Madden 25

Madden 25

Improved A.I.

A new A.I. feature called “Player Sense” is in the game now, which helps individual players scan the field and anticipate situations to make more logical decisions while playing. Players will go through contextual calculations to determine behavior, meaning that ball-carriers and defenders will sense and react to blocking, running and routes more logically. There is also a new feature called “War in the Trenches,” which redefines all the blocking logic for offensive linemen. With the beefed up hardware, Madden 25 makes four times more decisions per second and relies on 300 new blocking interactions. This means that O-linemen will pick up on blitz packages better (less sacks, ideally) and defensive linemen will try to adapt to the play better.

Graphics

As mentioned before, the new graphics package in Madden 25 is considerably better than anything we have seen before in a football video game, leaving no doubt about noticing a difference between the Gen3 and Gen4 versions of the game. Player models look great but some facial models look downright weird, which is true of most of the coaches in the game. The fluidity of player movement using the EA Sports Ignite engine, as well as the new “True Step” technology, does bring a nice layer of realism to the game. The True Step motion calculates player movements based on real-world physics and how their feet are planted on the field of play. Players shift, cut and foot-plant in an authentic way. It adds up to enhanced visuals as players look, move, and react just like they do on Sundays. The overall graphics package — including menus and in-game screens — look next-gen, giving Madden 25 a nice look.

Sound

Long has the Madden franchise Achilles Heel been the dreaded play-by-play. While the soundtrack has historically been great, the guys calling the game in the booth have usually gotten muted by the third game. The good news is that the franchise has improved the play-by-play with Madden 25 and it is no longer mind-numbingly repetitive. It has gone from “really bad” to “decent” with this version of the game, still behind some other EA Sports titles. The on-the-field sounds, however, are some of the best in the industry. The gameday sounds of players hitting each other, sideline banter, and the crowd all add up to a great 5.1 surround sound experience that really brings the livelihood of being at the game into your console.

Gameplay

Surprisingly, there is a noticeable difference between Madden 25 on the PlayStation 4 compared to playing the same title (and previous ones) on the PS3. With all of the new motion physics, True Step technology and the updated A.I., Madden 25 feels very different. There is a shockingly sharp learning curve that players will experience and be forced to overcome.

At times, the game can be woefully unforgiving, especially when trying to scramble and throw on the run. It appears that players like Russell Wilson, who make their bread-and-butter throwing on the run (on bootlegs for example), are hamstrung for whatever reason. Quite often quarterbacks such as these will be on the run and inexplicably throw in odd directions, and in more than one case, throw the ball backwards while trying to scramble and throw to a tight end on a quick out route, fumbling the ball. Gamers will have to adapt and be cognizant of quarterback movement and their foot placement when trying to execute particular plays. This adds to the complexity of the game, even on “Pro” and “All Pro” difficulty modes. Running the ball can prove to be just as difficult as the mechanics behind running backs and how they move, cut and shift has completely changed, once again increasing the difficulty for offensive gameplay.
 

Madden NFL 25 Review

The read option is huge in Madden 25 and runs much smoother this season.

Outside of that, Madden 25 plays pretty well. The blocking logic is something that players will have to adapt to as well, but offensive linemen are finally picking up blitz packages well and operating the way they should. While sack numbers might suffer because of this change, the game will play all the better for it. Playing on defense as a blitzing linebacker or defensive end surprisingly does not play all that different, which is good given the O-line changes.

Overall, Madden 25′s gameplay offers a lot of complex layers of difficultly that players will need to adjust for when re-learning how they approach Madden. Undoubtedly, even long-time Madden gamers will be frustrated with the gameplay. The basics are all there, but given all the new things that are in the game, the gameplay of Madden 25 is surprisingly different than previous iterations.

Overall Impression

Madden 25 is the best looking NFL football in history with incredibly gorgeous player models, realistic movements and amazingly detailed environments that feel just like the real thing. The gameplay is noticeably different and at times, frustrating. At the end of the day, expectations shouldn’t be that this is simply a slightly prettier Madden, because that would be flat out incorrect. Madden 25 plays incredibly different on PS4 and gamers should expect a new learning curve. Overall, the game is great and brings a wonderful NFL gameday experience to consoles.

  

Sean Gibson

Sean Gibson

Founder, Featured Contributor at Gaming Illustrated
Sean Gibson has been the owner and Executive Editor of Gaming Illustrated for over eleven years. His roles include acting as CEO and President of Gaming Illustrated, LLC and also includes being a reviewer, previewer and interviewer.
Sean Gibson
Sean Gibson

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MADDEN 25 (PS4) REVIEW

Gaming Illustrated RATING

Overall80%

GAMEPLAY7.5

There is a steep learning curve that will leave some players very frustrated and forced to go through all the tutorials many times over to catch up. All of the improvements, unfortunately, haven't really added up to a revolutionary and improved gameplay experience. That said, the gameplay is pretty fun, but players should know what to expect before diving in.

GRAPHICS8.5

Madden 25 looks gorgeous on the PlayStation 4 and compared to other sports titles this year, on this platform, it measures up well.

SOUND8

The soundtrack is great and the on-the-field sound effects are some of the best we have ever heard in any sports game. The play-by-play is slightly tolerable now, which is an appreciated improvement.

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