UPDATE [08/24 @ 9:06 PM]: Video Review added
After a rough few days of pre-release drama, Madden NFL 17 is officially available to all. EA has touted improvements to every aspect of the game this year, but have they delivered?
The short answer to that question, is yes. Madden 17 does seem to have improved in every aspect of the game.
Graphically, Madden 17 is not a huge jump from Madden 16, but it is a jump. As soon as I loaded the game up, I immediately noticed the new player equipment, improved lighting system and overall smoothness of the game this year.
- Colors have more pop and vibrancy
- Lighting is much, much better (especially night and dome lighting)
- Zoom in’s really showcase the visual fidelity of the game
The addition of licensed equipment does wonders for what the game looks like now.
A lot of people ask “But what one thing has improved the most?” and this is where it gets difficult. Presentation is probably the answer to that question this year, but that takes nothing away from what I am about to say about the gameplay. Presentation really has just taken a gigantic leap.
- Atmosphere finally immerses you into the game
- Commentary is simply incredible, with new lines added every week
- Dramatically improved cut-scenes
- In-Game Highlight package picks correct highlights (for the most part)
- In-Game Overlays are more frequent and relevant
- Score Ticker at the bottom of the screen adds so much to your Franchise
Speaking of improved, the gameplay has taken leaps, both offensively and defensively. You can feel the players have more weight to them, but along with that come more moves/differentiation between player types. Large backs are not going to be juking out cornerbacks and scat backs are not going to be running over linebackers. This adds a great layer of realism and tactic to running.
- Ball Physics have changed Madden forever with supplying realistic fumble recoveries, interceptions off of deflections and incomplete pass/fumbles.
- Passing will probably be worked on more next year, QBs are still too accurate
- Running the ball has brought back “twitch moves”, which are basically hard cuts with the Left Stick (similar to NCAA 14’s system). In addition to that, it brings a multitude of other moves for juking out your defender.
Defensively, Madden 17 requires much more skill this year than last. If you are not patient with your lanes, you can easily over-run your assignment. Defensive line play has been corrected as well, providing you with a much tougher line battle with the Offensive Tackles/Guards (no more spamming X to sack the QB every time).
- Lane Pursuit feels natural and correct
- Speed of Pursuit also feels much more accurate (smaller guys out-running larger ones)
- Zone Coverage works now, with LBs and CBs playing zones intelligently
I consider myself a simulation-style sport’s gamer who wants what is on my TV on Sundays, emulated back to me whenever I want. This is what I believe Madden has finally become. Years of frustration have been eradicated with physics, new gameplay mechanics and dramatically improved presentation of what is on the field.
8.9 out of 10