Madden NFL 23

John Madden, an NFL legend

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Another year, another Madden NFL and the eternal promise of Electronic Arts that the installment will have the improvements that fans ask for. It’s been a while since any game in the franchise stood out, and the reality is that not much was expected from this year’s edition; after all, there is no competition and the IP, criticism and all, makes a lot of money. However, for better or worse, the death of legendary NFL coach John Madden gave EA Tiburon enough motivation to do something different, and the results speak for themselves in Madden NFL 23.

Video: Madden 23 – Launch Trailer

Thanks for everything Coach!

Madden NFL 23 It is the installment corresponding to the NFL season that will begin in a few weeks and it is practically the virtual companion for all the fans of the field who live the best months of their lives from the beginning and until the Super Bowl. Like every year, the developers experiment with new elements and adjustments, although in recent times this has been the least.

This time, it seems that things went better than in recent deliveries, starting with the audiovisual section. Madden NFL 23 took an important leap to take advantage of the power of consoles such as PS5 and Xbox Series X | S, showing quality in various parts. The player models look better than ever, the TV broadcast-like details look better than ever, and finally, after a long time, the fans are reacting to what’s happening on the field of play, making it exciting to score a touchdown or go for a comeback, as well as embarrassing to be intercepted, fumbled or beaten at home.

John Madden, an NFL legend

This year’s installment is dedicated to John Madden, so get used to seeing the coach, image of the franchise, everywhere. A nice nostalgic detail is that at various times sequences are included with a collage of all the games of Madden NFL that have been around for decades and the game greets you with an all-star matchup between the NFC and the AFC at the legendary Oakland Coliseum, the arena where Madden and the Raiders made history.

The visual performance of Madden NFL 23 It’s good, and not only because of the fluidity of the image, but because EA Tiburon paid attention to the movements of the players, their behavior on the field and the reaction to each play, something that is closely linked with a major change. In this sense, the delivery is the best in a decade, something that will undoubtedly delight fans of American football.

By the way, the interface on the field has changed, now it shows the plays and options in a direct, simple and easy to understand way, just as they were presented in the best football video games in history: Tecmo Bowl and Tecmo Super Bowl.

Selecting plays is faster and easier
Selecting plays is faster and easier

Something changed on the grid… and for the better

John Madden always insisted that the franchise should go the way of simulation, and while the history of the IP has been marked by bumps, it has also had its ups and downs. Though Madden NFL 23 It is far from that, it does have elements that attract attention and that are capable of providing a better experience than that offered in recent years.

The realism component revolves around the FieldSense system, which is tasked with making sure each character, movement, and physics unfold within established limits without anything feeling out of place. Players with strange behavior or that do not follow the logic of the plays, both offensively and defensively, are less common in this installment. For example, when I opted for crossover passes, I discovered that one of the defenders reacted to the receivers’ deceptive trajectory by changing his course and covering the one who had been released; in the past it was impossible to expect something like that.

Finally there is more realism in Madden NFL
Finally there is more realism in Madden NFL

Collision physics have also been improved and the line of scrimmage feels realistic. Regarding tackles and melee encounters in different situations, there are fewer cases in which there are errors in the animation or inexplicable things that generate frustration for not having taken down the opponent.

Another detail to highlight is the adjustment in fortuitous events; the least are in a league whose workouts aim for perfection with minimal margin for error. In this case, I am referring to the chances of blocking field goals, punts, which can now really happen and change the fate of a game. I’m also referring to kick returns, because before it was almost impossible to score on them and, although they are rare in the NFL, it seems that finally Madden NFL 23 it is statistically aligned with the probabilities of their happening. Without a doubt, this adds a lot to realism.

“Perhaps the most important addition to Madden NFL 23 in its gameplay is the new pass system”

On the other hand, adjustments are needed in terms of the intensity of the defense as the quarterback’s sack attempts, on many occasions, ended in personal fouls, costing yards and sometimes ruining games. This is something that does happen in real life, but not that often.

Elements of the past such as X-Factor, that is, the advantage that comes from the talent of a star, and the moments of motivation, as well as of frustration, are maintained and well executed in the percentage of successful and failed plays, depending on the case. In this way, the result is interesting, since a motivated team with the roar of its people will make fewer mistakes.

The Raiders arena, the Death Star according to some
The Raiders arena, the Death Star according to some

Perhaps the most important addition to Madden NFL 23 in its gameplay is the new pass system, although the traditional style is maintained for those who want it. EA Tiburon’s proposal is similar to the shooting system that we know in NBA 2K, with an accuracy and power bar that determines the effectiveness of a pass as we properly handle the button pressure times. Also, this is combined with a representation in the radio field in which the reception possibilities are increased. It should be noted that even fulfilling these conditions, it is not guaranteed that the pass will be successful, since other factors come into play, but it adds to the realism.

At first, getting used to this system is hard, but as more and more games are played it becomes clear that this is the present and the future of the franchise because once mastered it will be almost impossible to go back. The key is that this new way of passing the ball gives the player greater control and greater room for improvisation, it is no longer a simple mechanic of reviewing the trajectory of the receivers, waiting for the best moment, pressing a button to shoot and wait for chance to do its thing.

As for game modes, Madden NFL 23 maintains the offer of recent years with some changes. Face of the Franchise has finally abandoned its terrible stories of overcoming to give way to a more casual and direct experience starring a player, the avatar you create at the beginning, who receives one last chance in the NFL with a yearly contract after having results. mediocre in its first 4 years. Decision making is back, albeit the simplified narrative. The position selection option is still the mirage of the last deliveries because the reality is that being QB is the most interesting bet. Outside of that, this mode is still gray and unattractive.

“Face of the Franchise has finally dropped its harrowing coming-of-age stories for a more casual and direct experience”

Franchise mode has some customization tweaks and changes since the Draft with more factors coming into play that impact team chemistry one way or another. This mode, the traditional career mode of a sports game, can give more and although in Madden NFL 23 absolute control of every aspect of the team is still provided to turn it into a dynasty, it maintains the essence of recent years, so it is recommended only for the most nailed fans of the NFL who want to see their team champion.

Green Bay in winter, terrible customs
Green Bay in winter, terrible customs

Madden Ultimate Team 23 features a Battle Pass of sorts and there are certain tweaks to reward the player more for playing, not spending. The challenges, events and online play will be guaranteed for the entire season, but it is a fact that EA’s proposal is still inclined towards microtransactions. As in recent years you can enjoy it if you play only against the CPU, otherwise you’ll be up against a lot of players who just paid for more packs, they have better players and this inevitably intersects with X-Factor so it has a bearing on against the common player.

If this will be the future of Madden NFLwelcome to the promised land

Should we cast the bells on the fly? Not at all, because the situation of the franchise is maintained and as long as it has no competition and continues to earn a lot of money, there will be no pressure to improve. Nevertheless, Madden NFL 23 It can be considered a solid base that, if it is taken advantage of and developed by EA, augurs good times, especially for those who seek the greatest possible realism. Madden NFL 23 It’s not the MVP, but it does depart from the terrible installments of recent years and perhaps this is the future of the IP. If so, welcome to the promised land… Touchdown!

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