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Video Game of the Week – Madden NFL 11
In many ways, Madden NFL 11
is competing against itself. The long-running and much-acclaimed
football franchise so dominates the space that new releases can really
only be compared to prior editions. Even here, the publisher is caught
in a Catch 22: do too much and it will risk turning off the legions of
existing Madden fans; do too little and it won’t be able to justify the $60 upgrade.
By these onerous standards, Madden NFL 11
comes off pretty well, adding enough new features to make it fresh and
interesting, while sticking religiously to its roots of realistic
The most obvious change in Madden NFL 11
is the inclusion of GameFlow. The GameFlow system basically acts as an
offensive and defensive coordinator, automatically calling plays based
on the game situation. Although not for the hardcore player, GameFlow is
a big help for the casual gamer who might otherwise struggle with the
increasing complexity of the schemes and play-calling menus.
The artificial intelligence in Madden
has been improved on both sides of the ball, with linemen and other
position players moving with a greater sense of purpose. At the higher
difficulty levels, players will have to run a variety of different
plays, no longer relying on just a few money plays to march down the
On the online side, a new 3-vs-3 feature allows players to
grab two friends and take on any other 3-person team. One player
controls the quarterback, a second manages the running game, and the
third player handles the receiving. It makes for some intense action and
the 3-vs-3 mode is likely to dominate online play for the foreseeable
Every year Madden makes small improvements to the
overall graphics and this year is no exception. Well-known characters
like Saints quarterback Drew Brees (featured on this year’s box cover)
and Rex Ryan, coach of the Jets, are depicted in astonishing detail,
capturing gestures and mannerisms that are eerily lifelike. Other
improvements include the commentary booth, where new play-by-play
announcer Gus Johnson teams up with returning color man Chris
All-in-all, Madden NFL 11 confirms the franchise’s status as probably the best sports video game ever. It’s a must-have for existing Madden fans everywhere, and will richly reward those newcomers that decide it’s finally time to jump on board.
Madden NFL 11 is rated “E” for Everyone by the ESRB. Check out their video game ratings and content descriptors at ESRB.org
Publisher: Electronic Arts Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, Nintendo Wii, Sony PSP Genre: Sports simulation RRP: $39.99 - $59.99 Release Date: August 10, 2010 ESRB Rating: “E” for Everyone
Comment by geekbabe, posted 8/20/2010, 9:20 AM:
We are definitely ready for some football in this house. The Madden NFL offerings are a favorite of both my husband & son.
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