Game scores an­other touch­down

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Tech - MIKE WIL­COX mike@ hy­per­ac­tiveg­ames. com NFL

THIS jewel in the EA Sports crown isn’t nearly as pop­u­lar on our shores as it is in the US be­cause, let’s face it, our code of foot­ball is su­pe­rior.

That doesn’t stop an an­nual up­date of Mad­den NFL ar­riv­ing each Septem­ber to sig­nal the start of the real-life NFL sea­son.

Hav­ing built up a win­ning game for­mula over the past decade, it’s not sur­pris­ing to find Mad­den NFL 12 isn’t a huge de­par­ture from last year’s in­stal­ment. How­ever, the hand­ful of tweaks are typ­i­cally just enough to keep fans con­tent.

A con­stant gripe about past games has been the un­re­al­is­tic col­li­sion sys­tem. This has been greatly im­proved plus there are more than 100 new tackle an­i­ma­tions that keep things look­ing fresh.

While each up­date en­joys these re­vamped game me­chan­ics, the vis­ual pre­sen­ta­tion has lacked the same at­ten­tion. This year, EA Sports has fi­nally af­forded some ex­tra love to the graph­ics, with the in­clu­sion of in­di­vid­ual an­i­mated pre-game team en­trances and post-game cel­e­bra­tions for all 32 NFL teams.

The play­ers them­selves look more ac­cu­rately pro­por­tioned and there’s also the re­turn of the player degra­da­tion fea­ture, where they be­come grad­u­ally dirt­ier as the game pro­gresses.

Additional off-field game­play comes in the shape of a re­vamped sin­gle player fran­chise mode with some in­ter­est­ing new fea­tures such as rookie scout­ing and player bid­ding sys­tems.

Online modes re­main largely un­changed from last year, with the ex­cep­tion of a new com­mu­ni­ties fea­ture, where play­ers can cre­ate or join online com­mu­ni­ties of up to 2000 real play­ers, with their own leader­boards and game set­tings.

This year’s Mad­den pro­vides a fun and solid, al­beit pre­dictable, up­date to the se­ries and en­hance­ments are just enough to war­rant fans trad­ing in last year’s copy for it.

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