The 2022 National Football League season is drawing ever closer. Along with that, another installment of EA Sports’ annual franchise Madden has been released. This is a very special edition of the game, as it is the first one to be released after the passing of the great John Madden, the legendary head coach after whom the franchise was named. He was the inspiration for the name of the franchise.
The former Raiders great and his significant impact on the game of football are being recognized through the awarding of this year’s title. It would appear that Madden NFL 23 is a marginal step up from the most recent titles in the franchise, given that the developers worked to improve a number of essential aspects. In contrast to the champion from the previous year, however, not everything has been improved.
It is true that enhancing commentary in sports games is one of the most difficult things to do because of the nature of the medium. The primary reason for this is that there are only a limited number of different lines of dialogue that can be used for different scenarios within the game. Charles Davis and Brandon Gaudin are, once again, dissecting the events that take place in the title. The commentary in Madden 23 coins is, as it always is, uninteresting and uninspired. Even though it isn’t any worse than the game from the year before, it is in no way an improvement over any of its aspects.
The presentation that Madden gives has been mired in mediocrity for the past couple of years. Since the release of eighth-generation consoles, the game has maintained an almost identical visual style year after year, despite having once been considered one of the best trademarks of the series.
The good news is that the presentation in Madden NFL 23 looks a lot better than it did in previous iterations. The franchise has put in a lot of work to make it appear as though it is an actual NFL broadcast, from the scoreboard to the way that graphics will be displayed before and after the game.
If you are someone who has been turned off of Madden and, more specifically, Ultimate Team because of the game’s microtransactions, I’m sorry to say that you will be turned off of the game once again this year. Although there have been some minor adjustments made to the mode itself, there has been no work done to correct the microtransactions.
Even though we should have anticipated this, it is still very frustrating when it happens. Ultimate Team and the other online modes are fantastic when it comes down to the basics. However, due to the fact that you have to pay in order to win, it can be extremely frustrating to play them unless you are willing to grind for a significant amount of time or pay money.
A significant number of the player models have been recycled, much in the same way that cutscenes have been used multiple times. It would be irresponsible of us not to mention that many of the major stars are looking fantastic and that a large number of players have made such remarkable strides in their game. On the other hand, this is not the case.
If you have an overall score of less than 80, your player model will appear extremely unremarkable and unoriginal. It is understandable that EA Sports may not have the time to develop each player to their full potential; however, some of the efforts are just appalling.
For quite some time, the gameplay of Madden has remained essentially unchanged. In spite of this, they have settled on the idea of making a significant adjustment to the way the game is passed. In particular, players have a great deal more control over the Top 3 Madden offensive and defensive skills in Madden 23, which is a significant improvement.
In earlier games, you would have to press a button in order to make the ball move. Now, players are able to assist in directing the ball, which makes it possible to resolve a significant number of problems that had been present in the game. For instance, defensive backs leaping 17 feet into the air to make a tackle is not as common as it once was, primarily because players are more aware of where the ball needs to be placed to avoid making those kinds of plays. It is a lot more enjoyable to win this title than to lose it.
Although the EA Sports development team may have made strides in some areas, such as passing, it is obvious that they have not placed as much emphasis on improving the more inconsequential aspects of the game, such as cutscenes. For instance, the gameplay is exactly the same as it is in Madden 22 when you score a touchdown and dive into the stands to celebrate.
This is just one illustration, but the vast majority of the game’s cutscenes are recycled multiple times throughout. It’s such a simple problem that almost certainly could have been solved better, but instead, they chose to recycle a lot of content from the game they released the year before.
For a long time, one of Madden’s most significant flaws has been that playing defense can be somewhat of a chore, and it doesn’t feel as important when you have a superstar manning the defensive line. Being Patrick Mahomes and throwing the ball around is a ton of fun, whereas being Aaron Donald is a pretty dull experience most of the time.
This is not necessarily the case in Madden NFL 23, however. While some defensive players have the impression that they do not have as much of an impact, linemen have the impression that they are awesome to use. Playing the battle on the line, particularly on defense, is an incredible experience. Players like Donald and Chris Jones feel like they are making an impact for the very first time.
Veronica Baxter is a writer, blogger, and legal assistant operating out of the greater Philadelphia area.