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EA Sports Madden NFL 11


EA Sports Madden NFL 11

Platform: Xbox 360
Category: Sports

While at E3 in LA last week, I had the opportunity to get a behind the scenes in-depth look at EA SPORTS latest installment in the Madden franchise. At first glance, I must say I was a tad disappointed. On the surface, the game looked and played very similar to Madden NFL 10. The players, fields and playbook seemingly had no new features which really stood out. I went in very skeptical and not impressed with what I had seen only days earlier at EA’s press conference. After some time spent with the game, I am now convinced Madden 11 has plenty to offer not only to Madden’s faithful hardcore fans, but also some of those who may not have had a chance to taste all that Madden football has to offer.

For starters, player animations have been improved. For instance, the running backs run with more fluidity and hit the holes unlike I have seen before. The running game seems a tad easier this year. In my view this is a welcome addition as gaining 100-yards rushing last year seemed like a daunting task even with All Pro’s like Steven Jackson or Chris Johnston at the helm.

The games presentation has also been amped up as the home field crowds now add more to the gameplay experience. In other words, you can hear the crowd chant, “go pack go” at Lambeau field or you can hear “J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets” for every Jets home game. It’s a cool little addition which only compliments the experience.

The games presentation is not the only aspect of Madden 11 which has seen some improvements. Madden 11 takes a much more simple approach to calling plays with the introduction of “Gameflow”. In summary, Gameflow provides gamers with the best play for the given down and yardage. In a way, it is almost like you are asking the coach to call the play and you are putting trust in that coach to call the best play for your current circumstance. EA tells us it is much more accurate than the former “ask Madden” option. At the end of the day, I am going to need to spend some more time with the game before I give my final impressions for this new feature.

Gameflow also drastically reduces the length of time it takes to play a game. Typical Madden games take around 50-60 minutes to play. The Madden developers tell us Gameflow cuts the gametime in half. All the while, it does not reduce the number of plays called in any typical game. Essentially, the time you previously spent scrolling through the playbook picking plays is now replaced with a simple press of the button. For hardcore Madden fans not interested in this new innovation, you will be relieved to know you do not have to use Gameflow and you can pick your own plays. However, experienced gamers can now map out a gameplan before a game, customize a playbook and the playbook can be implemented in the Gameflow mode.

As much time as I spent with Madden 11, I am left questioning whether the additions will convince Madden 10 owners to make the leap into Madden 11. Madden 10 was a really good game and there is no question Madden 11 will be on par with last years version. Perhaps the simpler menu interface and Gameflow feature will bring new Madden fans to the franchise. Yet when the rubber hits the road I am not too convinced I have seen enough to justify a 60 dollar purchase in these harsh economic times.

For more additional information, here is a fact sheet provided to us from the fine folks at EA Sports:

Madden NFL 11 redefines the way you experience the game of football. SIMPLER: From 350 plays down to 1, the all-new GameFlow system puts you in the helmet of an NFL quarterback to execute an authentic, situational game plan, one play at a time. QUICKER: 60 minute game times reduced to as little as 30 minutes; spend more time on the field and less in the playbook. FULL games, HALF the time. DEEPER: Madden NFL 11 is feature-rich including all-new 3-on-3 Online Team Play, improved animations, more intuitive controls, and Madden NFL Ultimate Team...all to the play-by-play of the most exciting voice in sports, Gus Johnson. Madden NFL 11– SIMPLER. QUICKER. DEEPER than ever before.


From 350 Plays Down to 1 – Introducing GameFlow, an all-new playcalling system that automatically selects the best play for your team based on situational, authentic NFL game plans. Listen as your coach calls in the play from the sidelines based on your favorite team’s real-life tendencies, or add a new level of strategy by creating and customizing your own offensive and defensive game plans.

Full Games in Half the Time – With an all-new playcall system, spend less time in the huddle and more time on the field. Experience all of the drama and excitement of a full game in as little as 30 minutes.
Less Buttons, More Moves– Enjoy success using only the two control sticks. Run through holes, break tackles, and explode in the open field thanks to the intuitive and responsive Dual Stick Control. All-new locomotion provides true acceleration and deceleration, as well as natural planting and cutting, making Madden NFL 11 the most authentic looking and feeling football game to-date.

See It. Hear It. Feel It. – Experience a new level of excitement with completely revamped audio presentation from the booth to the field. Gus Johnson, one of the most electrifying commentators in sports injects his energy into the play-by-play call, while Cris Collinsworth provides his Emmy winning analysis. Authentic team specific chants and stadium music bring game day to your living room like never before.

Online Team Play – Madden NFL 11 becomes a true team sport in an all-new cooperative mode. Play 3-on-3 online with, or against, up to five friends, with each team member controlling a squad of skill players: QB, RBs, and WR/TEs on offense, and D-line, LBs, and D-backs on defense.
Online Scouting – Study your opponents like an NFL coach. Gain an edge on your online competition by scouting their play tendencies throughout the course of the game, both on offense and defense.

Build the Ultimate Team – Madden NFL Ultimate Team combines the best aspects of Madden NFL 11 gameplay, card collecting, and fantasy football - all into one unique mode. Earn, purchase, and participate in user auctions to collect player cards, all while managing your fantasy roster. Compete in matches online and see where you rank amongst your friends. Madden NFL Ultimate Team has something for every fan of the NFL.


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