Madden NFL 18: Is it worth the purchase?

Written by: Alex Cotterman

The month of August brings many things: the return of school, the return of football season and, of course, the newest edition of the Madden NFL Football. The 2017 edition of course has an updated roster, and updated versions of every gamemode.

The gameplay is much improved in Madden 18 compared to it’s predecessor from 2016. The new Frostbite engine that is used makes player movement feel smooth and realistic. Momentum and angles matter significantly more than in the past. Gone are the days of suction tackles and Spider Man-like user interceptions, now player skill reigns supreme. The passing game has been revamped with the new Target Passing system that allows for pinpoint accuracy when passing. The last major gameplay tweak is the return of jukes and spins. In Madden 16 and 17 jukes were slow and hard to pull off; now, skilled running backs and receivers can perform breathtaking jump cuts.

In previous years, the graphics in Madden had plateaued and remained mostly the same. While Madden 18 doesn’t completely overhaul the graphics there are a few welcomed changes. Smoother textures and more realistic shadows on jerseys and players add an increased level of depth to the game.

The bread and butter of the Madden series has always been the variety of diverse game modes. “Play Now”, “Head-to-Head Ranked” and “Franchise” mode return mostly unchanged from last years game. “Ultimate Team” and “Draft Champions” are revamped to bring a new yet familiar experience to the player. In Ultimate Team, a new leveling system and daily objectives give the player reason to come back day after day, while maintaining the same formula that has been so successful in years past. “Draft Champions” got a new name(MUT Draft) and a shiny new menu, but stays almost exactly the same as last year. The only major change to the game mode is an increase in fantasy rounds from 15 to 20. The newest and arguably most exciting game mode in Madden 18 is the “Longshot” story mode. The player follows the story of an NFL hopeful looking to redeem himself and find his way into the NFL. The story, dialogue and graphics are stunning and the campaign mode is a welcome edition to the Madden series.

Overall, EA Sports stuck to the formula that has made Madden the highest selling sports gaming franchise of all time. However, they clearly worked to add in new wrinkles and elements that were both necessary and worthwhile. Madden NFL 18 is certainly worth buying for any fan of the series or the NFL in general.

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