PS3 Previews: Madden NFL 11 Preview

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Madden NFL 11 Preview

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Scheduled release date:

August 10, 2010

Publisher:

EA Sports

Developer:

EA Tiburon

Number Of Players:

1-4

Genre:

Sports

In all honesty, I haven’t bought a Madden title since Madden NFL 2004. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been better installments since then – of course, that isn’t really true – but it means I’ve sort of lost interest in the franchise over the years. In truth, I used to play more sports games until the industry really began to kick it into high gear and deliver unbelievable film-like experiences. And even though I normally don’t buy any sports games, after playing the demo for Madden NFL 11, I might just have to consider a purchase…if only because it’s the first time I’ve really had fun with this series in years. Granted, it’s only a demo, but there are a few significant changes I really appreciate, and I found the gameplay to be both physically accurate and accessible. This time, we’re not slogging through a horde of plays; we can set the playbook ahead of time, attach each play to a certain situation, and have it called in from the sidelines during the game.

No, really, that’s pretty freakin’ cool. See, it’s called GameFlow and it’s easily the biggest addition to this year’s entry. It goes beyond simply setting up a playbook, which you’ve been able to do for a while; it almost completely eliminates the need for cumbersome menus during the on-field action. If you have a headset, it’s even more authentic: the offensive and defense coordinator will relay the necessary play down to the field, and you simply go and execute it. You’ll hear the order in your headset and when on the offensive side of the ball, it must be exactly like receiving your orders and simply giving the play to the rest of the team. This speeds things up but if you like, you can still operate via the conventional method, and you’ll still experience the “Simpler, Quicker, Deeper” philosophy EA has implemented for Madden NFL 11. Games don’t take 60 minutes; they take 30; there are no complicated button assignments; the right analog handles the upper body and the left analog controls the bottom half.

It all works very well. Normally, I can spot balancing problems between the passing and running aspects of a football game, and eventually, I’ll notice the computer has the edge in a certain area of the game. But during several play-throughs of the demo, everything seemed nicely even and balanced. In one game, I was able to rush for 112 yards and throw for a couple TDs without getting intercepted, and I won the game 21-7. As the Jets, it was clear Sanchez wasn’t quite the QB dynamo Manning was, and the latter could even take advantage of New York’s stellar secondary. Greene ran really well, but only because I hit my spots and utilized the right analog effectively: by having direct control over your upper body, you can perform simple jukes but perhaps even more importantly, you can drive forward, shrug off tacklers and in general, deal realistically with oncoming defenders. I missed the boost but then again, that’s not exactly authentic, now is it?

The demo does have a smattering of minor technical issues, as it came close to freezing on me several times, and there were some herky-jerky animations and movements between plays. The good news is that the animations during a play were excellent and quite realistic, and I really felt as if I had full control over the situation at all times. I didn’t need every button on the controller, I didn’t have to sift through a ton of options and menus, and I didn’t see any silly occurrences; i.e., wide open players dropping balls (and double-covered receivers catching balls), running backs with the balance of a two-year-old who fall over if an arm touches them, QBs who take a thousand years to get off a pass, etc, etc, etc. No, I have to say that this new effort really looks, feels, and plays great. True sim fans might think there’s less intricacy and depth, but I’m not seeing it that way. It looks to me as if the final product should be well worth playing; Madden NFL 11 launches on August 10.

8/3/2010 Ben Dutka

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Comments (22 posts)

Superman915
Tuesday, August 03, 2010 @ 10:08:46 PM
Reply

its a damn nice looking game. but i suck at football games. ill wait for FIFA or maybe even NBA2k11

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Reccaman18
Tuesday, August 03, 2010 @ 10:50:17 PM
Reply

I've had mine on preorder for a while. The demo was very good and I am excited to see how my Niners do in the game and real life. NFC west champions this year, eh Ben? I mean, it's our division to lose, and the way I see it, I'm only concerned with at least five games, so that should make us 11-5, right? lol I hope!

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Fane1024
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 6:41:10 PM

Let's hope not.

Go Seahawks.

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Highlander
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 12:50:16 PM
Reply

I'm gonna wait for in-depth reviews on this one. I've been stung by Madden twice out of the last 3 versions, and am not happy with that. The franchise mode on the PS3 version is vastly inferior to the one that is on the last PS2 Madden I bought. I play franchise mode more than anything else on Madden, and until they get with the program and fix/update/improve it, I won't waste more money on a roster update and graphics polish.

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Arvis
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 1:14:03 PM

Then you won't be buying this one. Madden 11's Franchise Mode is a complete carbon copy of Madden 10's.

I miss how you could create a team in Madden 07 on the PS2 and populate it with nothing but Free Agents. My brother and I did that and had a lot of fun dominating with has-beens and unknown quantities. The newer Create-A-Team is crap, auto-populating your team with made-up, faceless players whose STATS DROP IF RENAME THEM. And Superstar Mode is a joke, too. Used to be much deeper and more interesting.

But I'm still going to be getting Madden 11. I love football way too much.

-Arvis

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Highlander
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 1:33:45 PM

I thought that might be the case. I read some blog posts by the devs that indicated that they pretty much let the franchise mode ride this year to focus on other things in the game. Apparently Franchise mode will get a complete overhaul for next year.

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kraygen
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 1:08:45 PM
Reply

I think the psx website is broken.

All last nite I couldn't load the website and now I can't comment half the time I try.

Last edited by kraygen on 8/4/2010 1:09:18 PM

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Highlander
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 1:12:04 PM

I think that they may have had some database problems...but it's coming back now.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 2:24:49 PM

We're in the process of switching servers. Should be going again soon.

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maxpontiac
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 2:49:04 PM

Ah, that explains it. I figured it to be some type of server or maintence issue.

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kraygen
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 3:19:08 PM

awesome, I kept getting some microsoft maintenance message when I tried to load psx, I thought maybe M$ was trying to hack you and shut you down for speaking truth. LOL

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StangMan80
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 3:52:04 PM

I had the same problem last night. but it's working well now.

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Killa Tequilla
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 3:31:05 PM
Reply

ON TOPIC: I prefer Fifa Soccer 2011. I don't like Madden...

OFF TOPIC: Will Mafia II have Multiplayer? Hopefully someone answers...

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mike rlz
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 4:07:08 PM
Reply

go lions! :)

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 8:33:40 PM

What are you gunning for this year? 3 wins? ;)

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 8/4/2010 8:34:02 PM

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Highlander
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 8:49:22 PM

Oh man, that's just cold...

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Arvis
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 8:40:49 AM

I'm calling it now, the Lions will get at least FOUR wins!

-Arvis

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Fane1024
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 6:45:47 PM

The _B.C._ Lions, maybe.

(They're a CFL team, for those who don't know.)

I kid. I have a friend who's a Detroit Lions fan.

Last edited by Fane1024 on 8/5/2010 6:46:14 PM

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PS3_Wizard
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 5:18:42 PM
Reply

Those stupid ass pop-up advertisements need to go. They block part of the article and I don't see a close button on them.

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Wesleypipes6
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 6:06:54 PM

Agreed...although I only notice it on my iphone.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 8:34:31 PM

I don't see them but maybe that's because I stopped 'em...

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ps3sownsxbox360
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 1:58:49 AM
Reply

cant wait for this game

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