Title: Madden NFL 20
Developer: EA Tiburon
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: Xbox One
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 02/08/2019
Price: £ – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
I’ll be the first person to admit that I’m not a huge fan of sports other than motor racing. It takes something to really pique my interest, and Madden NFL 20 is that game. I would watch the occasional Superbowl, and when the NFL would come to London. However, every time I watch, I forget the rules of the game.
With recent EA sports games, there are always new modes, and features that encourage longevity and the Ultimate Team and managerial aspect would be the key part for me to play the game. The last Madden game I had was ’06 when games with easy Xbox Achievements were wanting me to thrash my friends as much as I could so after no actual gameplay and simulating seasons I would get rid of it.
In actual football matches, it is key for the hardcore Madden player that the gameplay is realistic, accurate and plays well, keeping players coming back for more. Straight away, the visual presentation looks like a proper live match as you would see on TV. I felt in awe of the graphics on display and the real likeness of the players.
When the match gets underway, you end up taking control and aim to score points either via field goals or touchdowns. Having to move forward 10 yards with the quarterback each play, and set strategies, was so much fun and agonising. As I said at the beginning, I’m not proficient in the NFL or know much of the rules. It has been amazing to learn this. One feature which stood out to me was that each play and progression triggers an X factor player.
During the play, a player who has achieved all of their goals will have an X under them. They will play with more vigour and can become a threat to the opposite team. Players will have to factor in defensive moves as well; otherwise, the whole game can be taken away. The commentary by Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis compliments the game well, the intensity at key moments of the match made matches feel like hours instead of minutes. I didn’t want to put this mode down, but I had to cover all the others.
An issue I had with the general gameplay was during defensive plays. Often I found while picking a strategy some of the defences that the AI take control of would fumble and not move, giving my opponent perfect runs at the endzone. It feels like they are stuck there and needs some patchwork as it doesn’t look natural.
This leads me onto Ultimate Team. I had heard how this works in other games, and yes, the paid currency is always a challenge, and the temptation is always there. Luckily I don’t gamble so grinding the standard way is what has hooked me more on Ultimate Team — earning in-game currency via constant challenges and regular updates, picking new packs with perks to move the team forward.
Having EA Access can help as this will reduce the cost of the packs to unlock and provide a few free ones too. Levelling up in Ultimate Team isn’t too hard and only becomes a chore if you don’t maximise each of the missions or online games against other player’s teams. I have spent over 10 hours on this and will be easily spending another 10 due to the fun and addictive nature.
As with what FIFA has done in recent years with a dedicated story mode, Madden 20 has a franchise mode. You play a high school leaver who wants to play in the NFL. Firstly, you make your way through the NCAA. If successful, you will get to play for one of the over 15 teams and work your way to the top and through all of the politics of the sport. I had fun with this although I felt it lost its appeal after a couple of seasons. In multiplayer, I found a lot of fun although I’ll admit here and now that I got beat ed more often than not due to my lack of experience. However, I feel that for more hardcore players of NFL, Madden players will be playing for ages to come.
In conclusion, Madden 20 has been an absolute thrill to play. As a relative newcomer to the series and not playing recent versions, the longevity of the Ultimate Team has given me 10+ hours of fun. The gameplay is easy to pick up, the commentary is exciting, and the game is visually stunning on the Xbox One X. The career mode with all the updates on the seasons and players has actually helped me understand the game so much more and given me an interest in NFL going forward. I highly recommend Madden 20, and a must pick for casual and hardcore gamers alike.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Madden 20 from the Microsoft Store on the following link, https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/p/madden-nfl-20/bz289tv4qvck?activetab=pivot:overviewtab#