My concern is at some point I’m going to out-grow the “Madden’’ franchise – just age out one of these years after decades of playing EA Sports’ crown jewel.
That’s why this “Madden NFL 21’’ review is so conflicting. Did the game miss on some huge opportunities of advancement this year, or have I, at 52, simply become the guy telling you to get off my lawn?
Are the numerous game glitches because of a world-wide pandemic handcuffing most people to their homes for months or was it just a lazy year for the game developers?
So many unanswered questions, so much confusion.
First, the bad.
For most in the Madden community, especially the lifers, the movement to make the Franchise Mode more authentic, while keep an old-school feel to it proved to be a fail. Taking it a step further, if you buy the game solely to play Franchise Mode just stick with Madden 20, because there are very few changes between the two.
The other noticeable problems with the latest version of Madden is all of the glitches. Wrong uniforms, players morphing into each other, game crashes in certain modes … it’s all been on display in the early version.
The good news is the game developers realized the mistakes that were shipped to the public and are quickly sending install patches out to attempt to fix all that has gone wrong.
They’ve also said that there will be updates and patches coming to improve the Franchise Mode experience, so the early complaints are already being heard.
Just how loudly remains to be seen. Fingers crossed.
As far as the good the game offers, well, it does outweigh the bad, with one saving grace called The Yard.
Think NFL Blitz – last released back in 2012 – on steroids.
Does this new game mode mostly appeal to the younger generation that wants arcade-style hits and crazy rules in the backyard football-style mode? When it’s 6-on-6 where any player can get the snap and multiple passes are allowed on a single play?
Heck yeah, the answer is obvious.
What makes The Yard even more of an eye-grabber is the graphics of the different fields to play on, the new-look uniforms, and the player allowed to collect coins to purchase new gear.
That’s the other key addition to this year’s Madden that will attract a younger demographic: The attire that can be bought or collected.
Borrowing the playbook from NBA 2K and its Playground game mode, The Yard not only allows a crazy play-style, but the ability to level up and change the look of your player with creative jerseys, helmets, arm wraps, the whole shebang.
Fortnite skins for football.
The other plus that remained in Madden 21 is the stick work. Game play is still smooth, whether running with the ball or scrambling to find an open receiver. They even added some new tools for the defensive lineman to be more effective, as far as defeating blocks and making life hell for the opposing quarterbacks.
A strength the Madden franchise has always had.
In the end, however, it just feels like they released a game that wasn’t quite finished. That’s why this year’s grade is a C+ with the hope of eventually becoming a B- as the mistakes are corrected.
Madden 21 is still the best football gaming experience on the block … or in this case, in The Yard. The Yard I may unfortunately yell at you to get out of.