Madden 18 is the ultimate Gridiron football simulation, with many features to fulfil all your football needs. Fun gameplay mixed with intense and emotionally draining moments is why this series is so celebrated. And now with a new engine, new competitive Ultimate Team mode and an debut for the new Madden story mode, Longshot. Madden 18 gives fans of the series something they've never had before, and is the perfect game for a newcomer to come in to.
You can buy Madden NFL 18 on Microsoft Store for your regional price.
The story mode for Madden is the all new Longshot Mode. The game has you take control of high school quarterback prospect Devin Wade as you guide him through his journey from high school, to college and all the way to the NFL. During this journey, you handle Devin Wade's conversations, choosing how he responds to different questions and scenarios helps develop his character.
Taking control of Devin during actual game is fairly similar to just playing a normal exhibition. Sometimes the game will throw you into some pretty intense moments. Devin as a character is a relatable figure, he represents every boys childhood dream of playing in the NFL. The story is very well written and impressed me a lot. Madden, as a series, can seriously benefit form this mode, and I look forward to what they bring in the future with this particular mode.
Switching from the Ignite engine to the Frostbite engine. Madden brings more immersion with new player animations that are both satisfying and eye-catching, players seem to have unique reactions for different situations with new animations in between plays. The experience in game is dynamic, the fresh engine helps that in terms of immersion. The immersion is enhanced by the aforementioned unique player animations, whilst players are still walking through each other at the end of plays, I can forgive this common event due to the enhancements made by the engine.
Gameplay feels vastly improved with steady realistic pacing, this also really enhanced my personal immersion. The new target passing mechanic didn't really wow me, it seemed to be overcomplicating the already good passing system Madden has used for years. No need to fix that which isn't broken, luckily the game doesn't force you to use this mechanic.
Franchise mode is more or less the same fun, dynamic and rage inducing experience it always has been. Something players new to the series should know is, the game can sometimes be very much against you. At times you will feel like you're not facing a team, you'll feel like the world is against you. Be prepared for some very tough situations in which there is nothing you can do. In some games I felt like everything would go wrong, even playing with Tom Brady and the very strong New England Patriots offence wasn't helping. I could be in the 4th quarter and all I'd need is a field goal to win the game.
As I would progress down the field trying to get in range, the defence cannot stop me, but when that crucial pass needs to be made and I would use my go to play the CPU will intercept the ball and close the game out. Situations like this are common in Madden, and for me really hinder the overall experience for me. Throwing an interception or two in each game, dropping easy catches and fumbling the ball when not even being hit hard enough to warrant a fumble. But then the next game you could crush a team much greater than the former without a problem. Inconsistency is my biggest issue with this game, in a sport where consistency is crucial, this game lacks it and suffers from it.
Balancing also seems to be an issue, but this is where yet again the game is against you. If I felt like using to experimental plays in an real game situation (Pre Season Game) I would be playing as The Patriots (One of the strongest teams in the game) against the Cleveland Browns (Hands down the worst team in the league right now, sorry Cleveland fans) and the browns would be able to stop plays and have very impressive drives, now I don't consider myself a great Madden player, but I believe I'm good enough to crush The Browns with The Patriots no problem. Madden Ultimate team is the most popular online mode in Madden, collecting cards to use in game is something that's just engraved in a gamers DNA.
But now Madden has added a new game mode, MUT Squads. You team up with two other players for a 3v3 competitive game using lineups from each players team. Players are assigned roles as follows, Offence Captain, Defence Captain and Head Coach. This mode in particular is very fun and challenging at times. Balancing can be an issue where if you don't have a strong team you can still be matched up against a team with legendary players who are just too fast for your low ranking defence. A new way to play normal games was added this year in the form of three game styles. The first game style, Arcade mode makes the game much easier, faster paced and less flags than the next style, simulation. Simulation is an attempt to make the game as realistic as possible and to resemble a real NFL game. The difficulty in Simulation is noticeable, but nothing like the third and final mode, competitive. Competitive mode is for the hard core Madden players, the AI is very strong, and the game is just generally much more difficult in this mode.
graphics and audio
Madden 18 seems to enhance the overall performance, thanks to the new engine. Players have unique reactions to different situations, unlike previous entries in the series. Yes players are still walking in and through each other in between plays but that has been a common issue in Madden for quite sometime. As a whole this is probably the most impressive looking Madden game to date, player faces are more realistic then ever, players present different emotional expressions for each situation it seems, which is quite impressive. Stadium sounds are more or less the same as last years entry, standard reactions from home and away crowds for each team is predictable and isn't really noticeable. Quarterbacks sound great in this game, they truly do. Shouting out the plays at the line of scrimmage and sounding so clear really enhances the immersion.
Madden 18, in my opinion is the best Madden game on next gen, the new Longshot mode really has me excited for what they do next year. My only main issue is the balancing, the game can be a cruel mistress, in a very unnecessary manner, which causes inconsistency within the game and can make for, at time, a rage inducing experience. Although I have bashed this games balancing, Madden 18 is the perfect game for a beginner who is juts getting into NFL and wants to try out the game.
|+ Strong story mode||– Unbalanced teams in MUT Squads|
|+ Great overall performance||– Lack of consistency in games|
|+ Fantastic immersion||– Unfair random events|