Madden NFL 2012 Hall Of Fame Edition Review: The Return Of The King

Madden 2012 heralds another beginning into the world of football, and another year EA Sports finds a way to make their game truly incredible again. Madden 2011 revealed a bevy of improvements from A.I. to the newly dubbed GameFlow feature that made calling passes more intuitive than ever before. Equally as impressive, Madden 2011 brought a tremendous level of presentation style by Emmy winning announcers, splendid graphical upgrades, and moreover sheer online gameplay in Franchise Mode. With a lot of potential improvements for the next year on an already decisively beautiful title, Madden 2011 led the way for Madden 2012 to be something deserving of the wait. Madden 2012 brings better defensive A.I., hundreds of in-field visual improvements, voluminous Broadcast appeal to a new level, and moreover the dynamic skillset of player confidence. EA Tiburon’s Madden 2012 reveals that fans of Madden 2011 will find an extraordinary amount to love, and even more of what they have come to crave from the Madden franchise quality.

Madden 2012 truly makes a game come alive before your very eyes through the presentation style of the gameplay experience. Presentation packages of Madden always included entrances and genuine announcers speaking about the weather, and certain other in-game league performance styles given on the type of games being held in the Madden universe. All 32 teams in Madden 2012 have authentic entrances, most noticeably being beautiful cheerleaders, fiery pyrotechnics, airy flags, short and quick tunnels, long inflatables, dancing mascots, and even animals when the need calls for them. The core technical aspects that make Madden 2012 or any Madden franchise are the cutscenes and direction queues for elements that highlight the emotional drama. Electronic Arts’ proprietary camera capture technology Director Camera (DCAM) includes scenes shot by actual NFL Film cinematographers that utilize the various elements in the NFL filming scenes during live matches and make it truly authentic. The only concerns with steadicam work requires how well the actual direction was virtually filmed for certain scenes, where developers EA Tiburon actually has to “film” scenes using DCAM and camera setups around fixed point during games, creating an effect of dynamic steadicam. This is definitely unbelievable in terms of work, but it does make us hope that Madden 2013 comes with a dynamic steadicam along with dynamic camera features rather than sequenced features.

Madden 2012 makes one of the largest changes in the gameplay field ever in terms of sheer number to any Madden title. The new collision system allows players that level of undying control to carry a certain pass to the scrimmage line of choice, and it truly works in a way that is genuinely fluid along with the A.I. level of difficulty. While Madden 2011 did avoid any sort of open suction traps in terms of a wide receiver going for the goal, it was noticeable slightly that there was a general level of geared advance towards a certain runner end. Increasing the levels of animations from 40 gang tackles and 100 new tackle stances, there is a level of consecutive hit tackling that is noteworthy. Momentum is a huge aspect of the new collision system, where finally weight sizes with speed are attributable to the actual level of force tackling, whereas before this was a generic element in all Madden titles based on player statistics of speed alone. Chris Johnson hits the 30, and is finally tackled by Ray Lewis where the momentum really is there in this certain scenario we observed. Defensive A.I. has been widely improved, creating the level of zone-specific A.I. in terms of playbook assignments. Hook zone defenders call out receivers in a certain zone, while deep zone defenders come at the receiver from different variances. Another aspect of dynamic A.I. includes Dynamic Player Performance (DPP), which allows player behaviors to vary based on their real-time game performance, ups and downs. With this newer system, it is not just about raw stats but also about types of passes and success rate that can really turn the outcome of a game. Consistency and confidence ratings are truly important in Madden 2012, and EA Tiburon spared no expense to these players. More players have individual skill sets and divergency, every player will attempt to do things differently in his own personality. This level of gameplay with the intuitive A.I. is something we did not honestly come to expect from Madden 2012 as consumers, but EA Tiburon really shows that the level of complexity to the field and scrimmage points really show room for undying improvement with each iteration, showing nothing should be taken for granted despite the steadfastness of the releases of these Madden series titles.

Franchise Mode is back along with the host of online features Madden 2012 has to offer. Competitive gameplay is the heart of Madden, but the online franchise is where players and hardcore Madden aficionados will spend their time. leagueManager brings a level of community to the Madden series by providing data feeds and game information to truly make user gameplay real with contract data, complete tie-ins on draft, team intelligence and commissioner web controls. Players can create or join communities with up to 3,000 people and create custom rule matches, a high demand feature. Cheaters, quitters, and other gamers who do not follow a specific ruleset will not be in a community. Should anyone decide they want to play by a leaderboard customized to their own playstyle, they have the freedom to make their own community and bring others into them for matches. The matchmaking level controls and match creation process has been streamlined as a feature Madden fans will come to love from Madden 2012.

Improvements are not few in Madden 2012 and they show not only on the field but off the field as well. 3D Grass has been added that shows players actually interacting with the grass than a plain green field in Madden 2011. This is certainly added realism at best and truly makes an effort to create a unique setting within the context of environments. Lighting has been the most dramatic change across Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 achieving same visual splendor; because of this high contrast broadcast lighting is accurately portrayed and preserves bright and dark area. Equipment is also a great addition along with the blend of player proportions. Player proportions create a dynamic head and neck system, allowing players to pull off 6’4” 264 lbs Brandon Jacobs and 5’6” 190 lbs Darren Sproles from having small heads with longer necks or shorter necks with bigger heads. The minute of changes decrease ball scale by 20%, making the football more accurate to hand sizes while the new player specific animations add for a further depth of running styles, throwing styles, and authentic player celebration after touchdowns and even frustration bouts. Madden 2012 takes authenticity to a meticulous level than they previously did with the team from Madden 2011 and this shows in every element from gameplay to presentation.

Madden 2012 is simply the best Madden title to date. This should by now come as no surprise given EA Sports catalogue for always releasing titles that truly are better than their individual predecessors. Madden 2012 is without any bewilderment of thought a title to buy if you purchased 2011 and if you did not, you should buy Madden 2012 even if you are not a huge sports fanatic. Madden 2012 appeals to not just hardcore gamers, but also the sensitive masses that are not about the workings of the tackle and run persona.  Madden 2012 is truly a definitive football experience, yet again showing how we take for granted all the work that is put into the title. This is not to say that every Madden title might be worth not taking for granted, but there are elements that are consistent thus far. Madden 2012 is the premiere football title and still shows it still has what it takes to be king of the field.

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