Two Strong Gamemodes Make the Game As Good As Ever
It is time once again for Madden to take its spot in the sports gaming limelight. As always there are new features that add new dimensions to the game, some that the fans will love, and some that fans won’t. Every year, the PC version is one of the worst versions of Madden. This year is no exception, the PC version is missing a few features, which will cause more and more fans to turn away. But overall Madden 07 is an upgrade from Madden 06, and in fact has better gameplay than the 360 version.
The sound track is compiled of Rock and Pop songs along with some classic NFL Films music. The NFL films music was featured last year as well, and it is great that EA brought it back. But the Rock and Pop songs simply are bad. You’ll find yourself trying to get the game started, or even listening to the Tony Bruno Radio show more often, instead of listening to the music. The sound quality is fine, however in superstar mode, the commentary seems to lag about five seconds behind on some occasions. The in-game announcer in the superstar mode is a pain to listen to, regardless of the significance of the play, the announcer’s voice is flat. But the on-field sounds that you will hear are great. They really make you feel like you are in game.
Although many gaming computers can handle next-gen graphics, Madden PC gamers are stuck with current generation graphics once again. The graphics are about the same as Madden 06. Graphics should not be a reason to buy this game, nor should it be a reason to reject this game. They are good enough. As for player visuals, the rookies in the game do not look anything like themselves in real life. All of the rookies have the same hair style and color, and the faces are not at all accurate. This is not a huge problem, as the faces are never even seen in the helmet, but it would be nice to see A.J. Hawks’ hair coming out under his helmet, or Vernon Davis’ dreadlocks just to add to the realism.
One of the big new features in the gameplay is Lead Blocking in which you can control a blocker and lead the runner. Whether you try to turn the corner or run between the tackles, this feature can help you run for huge gains. This is a very fun new feature, but gets old fairly quickly. You’ll find yourself forgetting that it ever existed. There are not many flaws with the blocking system, you either like it or you don’t. Another big addition is the highlight stick, which gives smaller elusive runningbacks moves to get by defenders, while big power runningbacks can continue to run people over. This feature really advances the running game. It gives users a strong running option if needed, unlike the past Madden games where passing was the easiest and most efficient option. A strong running game makes gameplay more complete. The highlight stick is a much bigger feature than Lead Blocking. However EA left the new kicking meter out of the PC games, PC gamers get the traditional kicking meter. Just like Madden 06, PC gamers still cannot make their own plays.
The franchise mode is the same as the past maddens. The training camp is the same, regardless of what you may have heard, however scouting is different. For scouting players you must put them through certain combine mini-camps, some of which are new, to get information. This basically makes the scouting more personal. It’s nothing special, but it’s certainly an upgrade. In addition to this new scouting, you can play the college all-star game and really get a feel for the prospects. This is a great feature, 40-times, bench reps, and Mel Kiper can only tell you tell you so much, but there is nothing like actually playing with the players. You can really get personal with the prospects. The franchise mode is still strong.
Superstar mode has been significantly upgraded from last year. Anyone who has ever had a dream of playing in the NFL will love this mode. Like in franchise mode when you put the prospects through training camp tests, in superstar mode, you are put through those tests and eventually drafted. The in-game play of superstar mode has been greatly improved. You only have control of your player only, but you control the whole team on the other side of the ball. The camera angle changes, and is in the player’s point of view. The whole point of a football game is to give you the player experience, and nothing does it better than this. Superstar mode is as good as franchise mode this year, if not better.
The actual football gameplay has been improved also. Many players move and seem just like their real life counterparts. The animations of juking are great. Playing with Reggie Bush is almost as exciting as watching him in real life. This is where alot of criticism comes in. Some say that the highlight stick is too powerful, that users can easily get by three or four defenders which makes the game unrealistic. However it is not powerful enough to be considered a cheap move. It was just like the truck stick last year when weaker guys could run over big linebackers. It was like Madden 05 when small defensive backs could take out power runningbacks. The same flaws come with the highlightstick. Maybee they’ll perfect it next year. There are some noticable glitches here and there, but nothing that will significantly take away from the game.
The only reason for buying this game on PC should be for the gameplay. The gameplay is improved over last year’s Madden, and the two strong gamemodes make the game great. I recommend this game for one of two conditions, one, if you haven’t had a Madden in a while, and two, if you’ve loved the past two Maddens you’ll love 07. If you thought Madden 06 was mediocre, you probably won’t like 07.