Is Madden finally on the level of the PS5 and Xbox Series? After a first failure two seasons ago, a relatively dull episode last year, the American football simulation is trying to put the package with Fieldsense, a technology to deepen the gameplay. Focus on Madden NFL 23, as a tribute to John Madden.
On December 28, 2021, John Madden died in California at the age of 85. A heavy blow fell on the National American Football League, the most powerful NFL. The former player saw his career hampered by a serious injury, before becoming one of the historic coaches of the Oakland Raiders between 1969 and 1978, with a championship at stake in 76. A career as a consultant followed for Fox, from the commentator to lend his voice since 1988, and his name to the license of the cult across the Atlantic. 44 years later, he’s on the cover of Madden NFL 23, a tribute edition. At the top?
In addition to being on the cover, John Madden also has the right to be on the initial loading screen, and in the game to introduce the new title game. A “Legacy” showdown with Madden coaching two all-star teams for each conference. A nice little wink, which allows you to see most of the new features of the game described below, but above all a more lively transcription of the performance. From commentary by Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis, replays, on-screen stats, and more realistic stadium and crowd modeling, Madden has reached the pinnacle of realism in terms of ambiance. However, the saga has not yet opened up to the public and US football fans in France. Madden NFL 23, however, still does not offer a French translationfor comments or texts.
A more complete Fieldsense, but not impressive
EA Sports loves little tweaks to the game of sports licenses. On PS5 and Xbox Series, FIFA players discover Hypermotion, a technology where the movements of dozens of players are scanned to obtain the most faithful animations possible. Madden introduced Fieldsense technology exclusively on next-generation consoles this season. Like Hypermotion, it introduces many new animations during actions, such as aerial defense or contact between players away from the ball. It is much more pleasant compared to the previous games, although some visual bugs spoil some of it. There are also new animations on the side of the field as a bonus, with an assistant coach stopping an angry head coach for example. A great moment in sport.
In addition to always large playbooks (the choice of defensive or offensive systems depending on the position of the team), experienced quarterbacks can enjoy. a new pass system that can be activated in the menus, with a timing system to throw the ball. In addition, Fieldsense includes new moves to evade defenders. The title continues to Momentums, which is reflected in the duration of the match above the score. As a reminder, each team has a Momentum gauge that fills up with good actions performed (a good defense or a sack – tackle from the opposing quarterback -, a successful attempt or a touchdown …). This gauge is divided into two or three levels, and the team playing at home is easier to reach the first. Each level provides an incentive to progress faster or a penalty to the opponent.
When it comes to game modes, there is nothing new under the sun. The career mode in which you control a player, named Face to the Franchise, disappointed last year with its scenario divided into 5 chapters until the Draft and entering the NFL player. No worries this year, almost no scenario ! The player is a free agent and can integrate into a team a few minutes after the launch of the mode, which must be chosen according to the salary, objectives… The path taken by the license at this time risks dividing the career.
Yard mode, a “Street” version of US Football with 6 vs 6 matches on shortened pitches (80 yards), up to three player co-op is still available, as well as Superstars KO mode. A mode similar to battle-royale where you have to eliminate your opponents online one by one with rules like “register a Touchdown first” to win. This is the slightly folky part of Madden NFLwhere the real interest is to have fun online with a player to fully customize, the attributes or the outfit in general … flashy.
Finally, if Ultimate Team mode just doesn’t work, the Franchise mode where the player forms a manager to lead a team hides some new features. It is possible to check Free agency (the market for players without a team) with new selection parameters, or recruit “scouts”. The latter are the recruiters who go and identify the nuggets of tomorrow or the available players who suit you. In short, it is dense, one of the main and more time-consuming ways to play online is growing, which is not a bad thing.
- New animations on and off the field
- Good transcription of the show
- Great possibilities for attack and defense
- Momentum, a great idea
- Greater Franchise and Ultimate Team modes
- Excellent PS5/XSX mods
- Fieldsense fleshes out the gameplay a bit…
- …but don’t revolutionize it
- A scenario without career or franchise mode
- Bland menus despite the tribute edition
- Still some visual and technical bugs
- Exclusively in English (text and voice)
The slap is not for this episode’s tribute to John Madden. Madden NFL 23 is as usual greedy in the number of game modes, faithful in the level of modeling and the performance offered, but still slowed down in some points. The American football simulation is still not translated, decided this year to offer a career mode without a scenario, and unfortunately was not saved from some visual bugs. EA Tiburon can still rely on small changes made to its game using Fieldsense technology for the next games, which are full of potential.
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