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Madden 18 Analysis

Tom Brady, the star of the New England Patriots, stars in the new installment of the long-running Madden franchise, loaded with new features compared to other years.



The NFL show lands like every year in our homes with one of the most significant deliveries in terms of additions. The current of renewal that have followed the sports sagas under the seal of Eletronic Arts has been made progressively from the past 2016. Fifa 17 lit the wick, leaving behind the young engine Ignite to join the creation of DICE, standard in practically all the new projects of the company: Frostbite. In addition, the inclusion of a story mode with feature films and decisions was received as a breath of fresh air. Leaving behind the versions of PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 is a statement of intent: For the first time has been developed exclusively for current platforms.


EA Tiburon has taken a year to join, but go if it was worth it. Madden 18 is undoubtedly the most complete NFL experience of what we've been generating. Here in Spain, unfortunately, is not a popular sport, but it is true that progressively is getting adepts thanks to the approach of games like Madden to our market. For the second consecutive year in our country has been remarketed, both in physical format and in the Xbox and PlayStation digital stores. Something to be thankful for, especially for its small but noisy community. The spectacle of American football begins with more force than ever.


Longshot, Road to the NFL


The main attraction with Madden 18 is located in the unprecedented way history. In it, we will control Devon Wade in his quest to be chosen in the draft of the NFL, being able to thus fulfill his dream to compete in the maximum league of this sport. Reading these lines you surely have in mind the journey of Alex Hunter, protagonist of Fifa 17, but in reality have nothing to do. For a number of issues I will not disclose, Devon faces his second chance to participate in the top of American football in a somewhat... peculiar way.


We will be part of a television program that captures young talent to compete with each other and train with the best counselors and the latest technology at our fingertips, all in an unofficial NFL way, that is, winning does not ensure a gap in the draft, but the last word will be the teams in the election round. This curious contest will lead us to perform varied playable scenes that will test our memory and reflexes. For example, in one of them we will have to demonstrate the ability to launch in a circuit full of moving targets, which vary in score according to difficulty.



Our knowledge of the tactics and strategies of this sport will also be tested, as will elucidate the plays to which some images of real matches refer. A correct answer will increase our valuation, while doing an incorrect will happen just the opposite. This, along with the choices in the conversational tests, will define the path that Dave will take throughout Longshot, including multiple endings according to the actions performed. The decisions will have more weight if it fits than the football version, which gives rise - and never better - to visit again if we want to know all the edges.


Caring for the cast of actors has not been overlooked, with names such as Mahershala AlI - an Oscar winner for his work on Moonlight - and Scott Porter - among others. There is no shortage of winks to die-hard NFL supporters with the addition of Dan Marino, who gives voice and face to his own character in the virtual world. Devon will encounter him in a special circumstance, being one of the best moments of the campaign. The bill of the performances surprises to be the first time that incorporates such a way to the franchise.


It may help the fact that it was made under the Frostbite engine. Thanks to this, the graphic level has been significantly increased, both in modeling and in facial expressions. It certainly helps the protagonism of the foregrounds in most conversational scenes, but still need some adjustments to improve the animations. Some moments, especially in the narrative area, collide a little with respect to the situation that is intended to be told. This is not a great script, nor has it been intended to give it that extra elaboration: it fulfills the hollow of a sporting experience from a point of view focused on the first steps of a future player.


It is praiseworthy the company's commitment to make its own interactive feature film, which is what Longshot represents in the end. Around three hours we will be able to contemplate it in a first round, varying depending on the time that we are during some official matches -implified in the playable to match his style. Fans of Ultimate Team will have compelling reasons to complete it, since there are unlockables with the most important characters in the adventure.



Customize your experience


As soon as we start the game for the first time, we will be asked what style of game we want to enjoy during games against artificial intelligence. One of the novelties of this year is the introduction of three different styles, designed to encompass most player profiles. Let's start with Arcade. As its name indicates, in it the gameplay has been simplified as much as possible so that the user has a fast and accessible way to enjoy the product, at the same time spectacular. Pass rushers will more easily avoid rival blocks, feints and evasions with the stick will not require the complete moves to be successful.


The main difference lies in the launches and their receivers. The majority of pumped balls are received without more complications so there are two defenders hurrying the path. It is true that the player has to put a little of his part choosing the most advantageous player regarding its coverage, but the required time is minimal compared to other modes. The parties are usually a festival of points between the two teams, even the shots stopped without a margin of error.


On the opposite side we have Simulation. In addition to having to make the plays with much more precision and tact, factors such as energy and fatigue have a greater impact in the course of the game. Injuries occur at a ratio similar to real-life NFL statistics, data collected that also determine the number of penalties. Even high-level players can miss occasions that they would normally perform without any problem. Here you will be accommodated in a community that seeks to enjoy an experience as close to reality.


Last but not least, you are Competitive. This style will be used during online games, so those who want to focus on that aspect will be able to familiarize themselves with the rules in clashes against the CPU. The skill during the plays and the process before the beginning of the plays will be fundamental to achieve the victory. Unlike in the other two, in Competitive player statistics we control have a much greater impact. For example: in defense, if the player who is to intercept the ball has a good ratio when catching balls, you will get a bonus when you try to collect the ball in the air instead of stopping it in the dry, which results in the user having which accurately distributes each player in the position where they can most express their abilities.


This range of options makes it possible to adapt the Madden 18 experience more to the tastes of the consumer. At first it may seem that, in less expert hands, Arcade mode is better to start playing. On the one hand, but on the other, it varies greatly from the pretensions of the future. If you want to progress gradually in the mechanics we recommend that you do not take as soon as the initial choice - can be changed at any time within the options menu - and that you go directly to the field of tutorials, where a series of trainings will update you on how to play. As in past delivery, learning based on these challenges becomes a necessary and enjoyable task if we want to fully understand how to master the field of play.


Control - and share - the pitch


Another of the issues that the company has most emphasized during the development of Madden 18 has been the new system of passes. Target Passing is a renewed experience in the Quaterback launch. Once the tactic to be used in attack is chosen, we will be able to choose the main receiver to which we want to throw the ball among those who will try to escape from the rival. When you start, the process is simple: a goal in the field will indicate where we will send the ball with total freedom. We can choose height and length of the pass so that the path ends in the hands of our partner. This allows us to take precedence to the movements of the receiver without entering the automatic automatic pointing of the saga.



It is not easy to dominate this function, in a matter of few seconds we must point to the exact point where we want to throw the ball while we have an eye on the opponents so that they do not reach the position of the QB. Therefore, we stress again the importance of the tutorials in introducing us to these novelties. As for offline game modes there are no big changes. Franchise still has a lack of options when managing the team and its objectives - the table with our goals is not enough, which ends in the player's boredom. The live modes according to the real competition are still present, perhaps the most striking to enjoy the game without pretensions.


Since EA Tiburon have echoed the requests at the time of the return of cooperative online modes. This year we will have the opportunity to enjoy MUT Squads, where three players can ally themselves to compete with other teams in matches. The main attraction in this way is that everyone can use their own deck of cards. Depending on the potential of the deck you can play a different role, choosing between Offensive Captain, Defensive Captain and Head Coach. The three best cards - at your choice - with those abilities will be unified at the beginning of the game.


The truth is that it is one of the funniest functions that could have been added in the game. Being three real players in the team, you can create much better combinations and tactics than in a face-to-face confrontation. As for Ultimate Team few changes have suffered beyond adjustments in the values of some aspects. If something works, it will not change. As a last point and as usual, both voices and text remain in English only.




It's hard to blame him on a playable level for a title as solid and complete as Madden 18. This year's release is up to date with the standards that Electronic Arts has set itself in the sports arena, such as the introduction of a mode history with decisions of real impact in the happening of the events. Not forgetting, of course, the distant Ignite engine to make way for the work of DICE: Frostbite. The NFL has never looked so good on console, right on the first title of the brand developed exclusively for next-generation consoles. It is true that certain aspects concerning animations still remain to be polished, but they do not tarnish the result at all.


The range of playable options has been greatly increased with the three styles of play: Arcade, Simulation and Competitive. Choosing one will drastically change our experience within parties. Whether you are experts in this sport or a few newcomers, everyone has their place in the game. The learning curve continues to be facilitated with the large number of tutorials to choose from, house brand. We can not forget the freedom that provides the new system of releases for Quaterbacks, where we can accurately point the exact spot where we want the ball.


The same goes for game modes. The demands of the staunch followers have been met with MUT Squads, the return of online cooperation between players, taking advantage of the Ultimate Team mode, which returns as each year with slight adjustments, but with all its potential. EA Tiburon confirms the upward path of the Madden franchise in terms of content, quality and polish. Of course, both voices and text is in complete English, something that can be a barrier.


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