With the release of Madden 12 around the corner, football fans have found their fix by milking all that they can out of Madden 11 or playing NCAA Football 12 until Madden’s release. EA Sports did as they said they would, and released the demo on August 9. Compared to Madden 11, 12 feels very solid. First and foremost, when the demo is started, one can easily tell even the start-up screens have been revamped. With colorful splash animations on all angles, it’s safe to say the game looks pretty before any actual football is played.
The camera angles have been changed to represent real NFL games, and they did a good job with it. The cameras feel real, including the proverbial cameraman’s unsteady arm while watching the coin toss. The tackling system is clear that it has been changed. If your running back is going full speed and comes into contact with a stationary defender, he will end up trucking through him or knocking him down due to his momentum and their lack thereof.
There were a couple of things tweaked this year that may or may not bowl over too well with longtime Madden fans. For example calling an audible, has been changed to an up and down selection as opposed to last year’s left and right, bottom of the screen audible selection. The hot routes buttons have completely changed, this is if the final version of Madden plays like this. To select hot routes, up needs to be pressed on the d-pad, from there you can change what you want your receiver to do. This makes hot routes easier to locate and execute, and, overall, feels better.
The kicking system has also been altered. Rather than 2010’s right analog stick flick or 2011’s bar on the bottom of the screen, a new semi-circle kicking system has been incorporated. This new fangled kicking systems takes a bit to get used to. When the arrow reaches the top, it takes timing in order to figure out how to get it up to 100%. That might affect long-time players.
Little things I noticed while playing the demo is the fact that jerseys get dirty with grass stains or line stains. The players even get paint or chalk on their arms. Pretty cool details if you ask me. Overall, I would say that if there were any Madden game to buy, this would be it. Some may argue that it still isn’t better than 2K Sports’ NFL 2k5, but it sure has improved.