I feel like I’ve said this a hundred times, but it’s inevitable that someone will comment on this post labeling me a thief, hacker, modder, etc. But I’m really not, I just have a really cool job. I work at Blockbuster Video and I get to “preview” movies and games a few days before their street date. It’s an awesome perk, but lately my store hasn’t been getting any noteworthy games early, which would explain my extended hiatus from this series of blogs. (I previously did a first impressions blog on Crysis 2 andBulletstorm.)
I wish I could say that I was as impressed with Madden 12 as I was with Crysis 2 and Bulletstorm, but I simply can’t. The game seems to lack in areas where, just a year ago, it got high marks. As Gameinformer’s own Matt Kato so eloquently put, “Past Maddens either delivered new features or fixed old problems, but this year you get neither.”
The title screen looks great and features the standard fare of options, but it seemed like every game mode was hidden under layers of stuff that could have been left out. Think of those hour-long sessions at Gamestop, where they ask for everything but your social security card, then ask questions about pre-orders, trading used games, taking surveys, etc. All of which you answer with a cold, almost undead, no. Well, that would sum up the menu system of Madden 12. Option after option had me scratching my head before I even took the first snap. This is a small thing to point out, but that is exactly why I mention it. If it seems like a small problem, it could’ve been a quick fix for the developers. Laziness must be the culprit here.
Once I began my first game, glitches were plentiful and a new camera system bewildered me. The defense would jump a few feet at a time, which surprised me for a Madden game. Glitches as harmful as this aren’t common with the series. This lasted for only the first game, and my 10 or so following games were glitch free.
Player control is no different from Madden 11, all buttons are the same and there are no new features worth mentioning. However, the camera system changed drastically, favoring new, TV-esque camera angles. For example, kickoffs are seen from a camera that looks like it could be close to the ceiling, whether you’re kicking or recieving, and standard plays use a camera that is somewhat fixed to the center of the field. So even when you’re eluding defenders on the sideline, the camera is just slightly off. This gave me a weird sensation, as if my controller was faulty somehow, but I just had to compensate more for the changed camera angle.
In the 10 or so games I’ve played so far, this is what I’ve seen as noteworthy. I just wish I could’ve listed something positive.
Madden 12 will be alright for those of us who must have the latest roster or maybe even that new way to tackle someone, but for those of us who value our money and a great gaming experience, do yourself a favor and invest elsewhere.