Find out the positives and negatives for Madden 15.
Explaining what is good about a new Madden game is a lot like explaining what is good about your favorite food you have once a week. It tastes the same as it did last week, and that is what you like about it. While in Madden’s case it is last year, there are some new ingredients to the 2015 edition that are noticeable improvements. While most Madden players are the same people that buy the game each year, this edition does a good job helping new players understand the basic like how to do get off a block or run a read option to ways to beat a cover 2 defense. The graphics are a big improvement over last year’s Madden on next gen consoles. While Madden 15 does not look as good as NBA 2K or first party next gen consoles games, the graphics look like something that would not be possible on the Xbox 360 or PS3, and comparing this years Madden to last years Madden on the Xbox One, which was basically a higher definition version of the same game on the Xbox 360, the improvement is huge as you can see in the image above. There are also gameplay improvements that long time fans will appreciate. Better defensive AI and the ability to make more coverage adjustments makes playing defense more challenging and rewarding, and for players like me who play online connected franchise leagues they have finally fixed the glitch were playing All-Madden offline against the computer was way harder than playing online against the computer, now the computer set to Madden’s hardest difficulty will be a challenge whether you play online or offline.
The biggest negative to Madden 15 is the play selection screen. In Madden 15 the play selection screen is bigger taking up more than half the screen and comes with a new play suggestion system that calculates the most popular plays people use in certain situation and recommends the three best plays designed to help new players. While the new play suggestion system is improved over the old one, many Madden players like to choose their own plays and this becomes a problem. First the new play calling screen looks nicer, but moves much slower than the old one. It is also affected by the odd decision EA made to make cut scenes in the new Madden only partially skippable. For example, I’m playing as the Eagles and LeSean McCoy just got the first down. I do not want to see the replay so I press A to skip it. It skipped the replay, but showed a cut scene of the players walking on the field instead of going to the play selection screen. I press A again to skip the cut scene of the players walking only to have it not skip, but choose a play I did not want when the play selection screen finally pops up. This is a very annoying issue and can affect gameplay when you accidentally choose a play you did not want. Connected Franchise mode is not as good as previous years. Owner, coach, and player mode is the same as last year, but the player improvement system has issues. Gone is the tedious practice drills from last year and they are replaced with Game Prep. In Game Prep players devote a number of hours per week to player development. If I used the Browns as my Connected Franchise team and wanted to develop Johnny Manziel, I would have to spend 10 hours from a total of 40. Players seem to develop slower than the practice mode of last Madden, but that might only be an issue for teams that with young players that have to develop. What can be an issue is the new confidence system. Getting sacked, throwing interceptions, and losing games result in losing confidence, and throwing touchdowns, gaining yards, and winning games gains confidence. In theory this sounds like a great idea, but in practice loses make players that have been playing great have stat decreases and makes it harder for the user to break losing streaks due to players skills decreasing with every lose. The last negative is the new camera angles, which ranges from bad to broken. Seriously, did EA even beta test the new Broadcast camera where it is impossible to see the receivers when you drop back as a quarterback? Zoom/defensive player lock angle have the quarterback or defensive player taking up close to half of the screen making it harder to see receivers or know where the football is on defense, Wide and All-22 places the camera so far away it is hard to focus on specific players when they look so small, and the already mentioned Broadcast is so bad that I think EA put it in as a joke.
Overall if you need your yearly dose of Madden, Madden 15 gets the job done. If your someone that is looking to make an investment into a Xbox One or PS4, and are not addicted to Madden you could skip this years version like you could skip most years.
While EA added more to Madden 15 than last year’s Madden 25, at less than half of the additions help the game and that is what keep me from giving it a 7 or 8 out of 10.