It's often been argued that Madden, EA's premier exclusive sports franchise, has had nowhere to go with its yearly editions--that users are paying for glorified "roster updates." Though it's true that many of Madden's yearly tweaks have bordered on the nearly invisible to those who weren't hard-core fans, EA Sports has taken a decidedly opposite approach to Madden 11's improvements.
Here, we look at the console version of Madden, specifically on the Xbox 360. Read here for our take on the iPad version.
Scott: "Simpler. Quicker." These are advertised on the box boldly. Clearly aware that the video game version of football has become a little like gridiron Street Fighter, with too many moves to explain without hours spent on proper training, much less the 40 seconds between plays, the emphasis in this year's Madden has clearly been placed on streamlining and mainstream appeal. Is that a smart idea, and more importantly, does it work?
Edging toward simplicity is not a trend limited to Madden. Shooters, RPGs (Fable III, in particular), and casual games have all been boiling down their interfaces, removing text and icons, and making complexity easier to grab in a shorter period of time. … Read more