EA Sports' Madden NFL 25 showed some flashes of brilliance and also flashes of the game running into a wall of numerous Vince Wilforks at the line of scrimmage. While the review of the game here at iDigitalTimes was an 8 out of 10, a lot of that review went with the reintroduction of Owner Mode within Connected Franchise mode. The running game was either feast or famine and the passing game was either completion every play or interceptions every other play. The Madden franchise definitely took some steps forward this year but its not perfect going into the 2014 installment.
With the Super Bowl and, for some the Pro Bowl, signifying the end of the NFL season, many people will either put down their copies of Madden NFL 25 or even trade it in to their local GameStop stores. Many are starting to think what additions will be included in the new Madden, set for release in the late summer. This has crossed my mind also and I have a few thoughts about what things should be in Madden to improve the game. This article will explore what things I think should be in Madden o make the game better. These are just my thoughts so don't take it as gospel or that these things will appear in this year's game. Let's start with the obvious.
1. Fix Whatever Issues There Were With Online Last Year
It was reported on numerous occasions after Madden NFL 25's release that almost everyone was experiencing major online issues that were not fixed right away. EA released a long-winded workaround and the issues were fixed eventually but by that time, users were aggravated and just gave up hope.
For this next installment of Madden, the team working on Madden and those who work on the EA servers must be sure the game works. Consumers have short memories and while the problem did get fixed, all users need is another excuse as to why they can keep 60 bucks in their pocket and not buy a game late in August. The freezing issues and the length of time it took EA to fix it should have told them what the problem and I suspect this was a one time thing ... I hope.
2. Explore Owner Mode More, Let Users Go In-Depth
Last June, I was a major proponent of the return of Owner Mode within Connected Franchise. "Connected Franchise will save the Madden football video game and help EA retain the NFL license," I wrote last summer. Needless to say, I was really big on the addition of the mode to Madden NFL 25.
We are a year in and now it's time for Owner Mode 2.0 in the next Madden game. This year, throw in the ability of owners to send out scouts to look at different college players, almost in the vein of how scouting is done is NBA 2K basketball games. The scouting system within Madden was a little flawed when you brought players over from NCAA Football but now that users can't bring draft classes over, EA could possibly focus on the scouting aspect of Owner Mode. Scouting collegiate players is one of the most important parts of building a team and a lot of owners in the NFL are hands-on when it comes to the drafting of players. In addition to improved scouting, Owner Mode should include some sort of way owners could bring on co-owners who own a percentage of the team. Think of an online Owner Mode where one owner wants to move and the other does not...think the Los Angeles Lakers' current real-life turmoil in Madden world. Interesting right?
3. Adjust The Defense, Specifically The Pass Rush
One of major complaints with Madden NFL 25 was the odd on/off switch that seemed to go on during a game. Mark Snacez completed eight passses in a row against me last year ... EIGHT IN A ROW! Many users create their own sliders to create a more realistic feel to the game and more balance but I'm looking at EA to do that without me looking at Operation Sports and spending hours trying out different slider sets to see what works.
4. It Might Be Time To Change The Broadcast Team
No offense to Jim Nantz and Phil Simms. Simms helped my New York Giants to two Super Bowl championships so I have a special spot in my heart for him. However, Madden commentary can get stale fast after a couple of years with the same broadcast team doing the talking. Gus Johnson got stale and he's probably the best in the business (but a lot of that staleness could also go towards Cris Collinsworth). I know it's a lot of work to capture sound from broadcasters for Madden but I feel as if there would be a three year time frame for announcers in Madden. Bring in two and after three years, bring in two new ones. It freshens the game up and it feels like a big deal when a new team is bought on the game. Just stay away from Pam Ward or Shannon Sharpe.
5. Make Gameday Feel Like Gameday
EA has tried to make Sundays in Madden special with teams running out of the tunnel and the inclusion of mascots. They have even incorporated teams' opening traditions in the game. With that said, maybe a little could be done with the gameday feel. Throw in a pre-game show (minus Sharpe of course) and maybe a real halftime show (anyone remember NFL 2K5? ) to the game. Realism is the game's focus, why not throw some more real elements into the game. Hell, give me some cutaways of the city I'm playing the game in during a timeout or something.
What changes or additions would you make to Madden this year? Let us know in our comments section.