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SeventhWard's Blog
Madden 11 Demo Impressions 
Posted on July 27, 2010 at 05:48 PM.
My initial impression based on the DEMO is that Madden 11 has been improved in a few departments - but OVERALL, made WEAKER than last year's game and while some additions are nice, that Tiburon SLOPPINESS that I hate so much is back once again.

Weaker
Too much emphasis has been placed on "making the game easier" and I come away feeling like the rest of the game has suffered because of it. For the guys who like GameFlow, great. I never felt Madden needed to be made 'more accessible' but if the act of "calling plays" was the last hurdle to get you into the Madden saddle, welcome aboard.

From a very MACRO point of view - GameFlow 'feels' like a corporate directive to get "dad" to try Madden, even though "dad" plays Nintendo Wii. The true gamers play this version. I know JOHN MADDEN himself suggested this GameFlow change and the team has gone a long way to convince us that this is more realistic, but I truly appreciate the ability to disable the feature. Thanks. That's good design.

I feel like I had to DISABLE things to play the game the way I wanted to play it. Disable GameFlow. Disable Auto Sprint. Disable Auto Strafe. KUDOS to Tiburon - giving us the option to turn new things OFF is smart.

Sloppier
I've said all year that I welcome the addition of Gus Johnson. He has the POTENTIAL to elevate Madden's presentation to a new level. However, Madden 11 has the SAME sequencing as Madden 10 and EVERY Madden game before it. It's time for something new. The sequencing/programming approach is outdated. We can hear the edits and the biggest gripe is inconsistency in performance. Gus brings a lot of emotion, but when he EXCITEDLY SCREAMS a players name, followed by a very mundane "gains 2 on the play" - you lose me.

If that's not bad enough - Cris Collinsworth still calls Gus Johnson "Tom" on a number of occasions. Are you kidding me, guys? Commentary is a "Back of the Box" feature this year, and there isn't the follow-through to EDIT the Collinsworth audio to reflect it? That's bad, man.

It's a simple operation - you hire an editor to come in, open ALL of the Collinsworth audio and cut out all references to "Tom". He can do it in a 10 hour session. Two days at the most. Want to really be thorough and do it right? You either hire Collinsworth to re-record those "Tom" lines with a new "Gus" or even CHEAT and get a few takes of Collinsworth saying "Gus" for you to edit in. To just leave it as "Tom" screams sloppy. Did you guys think we wouldn't notice? Did you guys think we wouldn't care?

I want to love the new lighting - but I can't because it's INCOMPLETE. To incorporate "new lighting" that STILL ISN'T PROGRESSIVE is another questionable design decision that hurts the game as a whole.

I've personally gotten on the Creative Director and the Art Director's case via Twitter about it. I've been polite at times and borderline rude. What saddens me is that the origination of that idea should NOT be coming from a vocal fan - you would think the Art Director would be handling that kind of stuff already.

What makes the Lighting gripe worse is that NCAA 11, which shares the same engine, HAS a progressive lighting solution. Instead of borrowing it - the Madden team leaves it out completely.

Granted, this IS the DEMO
and there's lots of little positive additions to make things nicer than Madden 10 - but it pains me to say that this looks like another year of missed opportunities.

-SeventhWard
Comments
# 1 patsfan188 @ Jul 27
I got bored of the demo so half way through I quit. The stadium music was a nice fit but when I heard the commentating it sounded kind of funny like I don't know how to put it but it sounded weird. and the graphics are actually worse, not by much but still. I agree with your review thing.
 
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