Madden 24 is only half as good: this is what it takes to make it great

The most common complaint in the most diverse gaming communities today is, when they address developers, “Focus on the game!”. EA Tiburon, the authors of Madden 24, have done the opposite: in terms of the on-field experience, Electronic Arts American football is at its best; Just about everything else in the title, from the predatory Ultimate Team to the numerous modes available, needs to be completely overhauled.

Madden 24 is a paradoxical situation because it was EA itself that created such a buzz in the genre of annual sports simulators. Fans want something new, fresh and better every year and this title (perhaps given its astronomical sales in the US) doesn’t quite live up to its publisher’s standards. Madden needs a powerful breath of fresh air so if you are looking for an experience focused exclusively on the action on the pitch then this year’s chapter will not disappoint you but if you are a fan of the series and already have a video game with which to Experience the tactics, strategy, and the innate violence of American football, then you’d better wait for a more refined and rich chapter.

It’s not that there aren’t good things in this year’s version, as we said, the experience on the field is better with smoother and more responsive animations to the situation on the field and dynamic animations. From the dev studio they say they have added over 1700 new animations just in the tackle and we believe them because when all the side decorations stop being important and you find yourself against your opponents, suddenly it all makes sense. The passing sector has also been revised, in particular in the monitoring of the speed and trajectory of each player. We really liked the ones from cover star Josh Allen, master of diving and jumping passes demonstrating the potential of this game.

Animation-wise, EA has done a decent job of making players more expressive, especially in celebrations (there’s even the Spider-Man meme pointing at each other) and post-game content. The artificial intelligence of the opponent has also received a similar treatment to that of the defenders since FIFA 22 to 23. Now in their formations and especially in the intelligent reactivity to your plays, the digital opponents that you will face are much less predictable than in last. although sometimes they fall into repetitive and easily avoidable vicious circles.

The game’s most obvious problems, however, start when you leave the field: menus that go choppy or don’t register input; outdated and, even when new, uninspired ways; an absolutely trivial career and a general sense of what has already been seen or decidedly improvable that pervades every moment off the pitch. Then there is Ultimate Team, which is fun in itself and if you have time to work like crazy, you can also form a team worthy of respect, but the storm of notifications that somehow wants to lead you to spend money leads us, like every year, to advise against this modality to minors or if you have gambling addiction problems.

We’ve seen this happen one way or another before: half the game (in this case, the gameplay) is the best the series has to offer, but the other half (in this case, everything else from the interface user to outdated modes) keeps it from being a brilliant title. Dear EA, Fans are pleased with how passes, touchdowns, celebrations, and all the interactions between the ball, the pitch, and the player happen. Madden 25 doesn’t need to add 2,500 new types of groundslides, it needs new menus, a deep, statistic, and narrative career mode, and a galaxy of other ways to play besides Ultimate Team to justify the launch price.

– by Riccardo Lichen

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