3 Sep 2014

Madden 15 Review (Xbox One): Part 1 of 4

Madden 15 for Xbox One

Hello football fans. As you have probably seen advertised quite a bit over the past few weeks, it is officially Madden season. Time to renew your virtual rivalries with your friends and spend many hours neglecting responsibilities while using your controller to guide your favorite team to the promised land.

As of yesterday, Madden 15 has been out for a week. With a week of video game footballing under my belt, it feels like the right time to submit some overall thoughts and impressions on the latest product that EA Sports has produced. In addition, over the next few days leading up to the first NFL Sunday of the season, I’ll post some more detailed thoughts regarding things like Connected Franchise and Ultimate Team, as well as certain elements that may need patching or improving. For now, let me get to what I thought of my first week with the Xbox One version of Madden 15.

As shallow as it may seem, every year I find myself very anxious to pop in the new Madden for the first time and get a first-hand look at how the graphics and presentation have improved. In the waning years of Xbox 360 and PS3, the visual differences from year to year became less and less. Even Madden 25 on next-gen was a little underwhelming. Not the case this year. Madden 15 is gorgeous.

Madden 15 Kaepernick

Madden 15 Kaepernick

Things like stadiums and lighting are near perfect. Player models and fans are very impressive, down to the wrinkles on a jersey. The all new presentation, including things like real picture-in-picture footage of a QB as he takes for the field for the first time, is pretty incredible. I can almost have just as much fun watching someone else play this game rather than playing it myself. It looks phenomenal.

Jim Nantz and Phil Simms return, and they aren’t bad. However, I did hear them annoyingly repeating several phrases even just a few games in. Commentating has been something Madden has always struggled with, and there remains a lack of progress from that aspect.

Madden Simms & Nantz

Madden Simms & Nantz

Gameplay is much different, as physics have changed, and playing defense has become much more accessible and fun. There is a bit of a learning curve, even for Madden veterans, but the tutorials do a good job of introducing you to everything that is new. Online gameplay is very smooth and fluid. I can only attest from my small three-game sample size, but will have more games to report about in the coming days. Still, I’ve never been one to delve into online gameplay due to the presence of lag in most games from previous Maddens. That will definitely change for me this year.

Madden 15 Manziel

Madden 15 Manziel

Connected Franchise has been my favorite game mode for the past few years, and not much has changed. That is a good thing. It is a very in depth franchise mode in which you can be a player, coach, owner, or one of each. The possibilities are endless, and you can leave your fingerprint all over the league. Whether you’re throwing touchdowns, helping your team prepare for next week’s game, or moving your franchise to London, there’s plenty of fun to be had. I’m involved in two online Connected Franchises as well as my personal offline one, and could gladly start two or three more.

Overall, it’s been an outstanding first week of Madden season. Hope you are enjoying yours as well. Feel free to comment with things you like or don’t like about Madden 15 as well, and look for Part 2 soon.