Just take a look here, Madden. I’m not enraged in the least. Simply put, I’m dissatisfied. It seems like Madden has been improving the game just slightly year after year for the past, and Madden NFL 22 continues to have the same issues as previous editions. Even though it’s an improved version of last year’s game, the additional features aren’t worth the extra money. It has potential in certain areas, but it just adds to the overall bitterness of the experience.
When Madden 21 came out last year, I assumed it would be a game-changer, taking full use of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S’ new capabilities. I was wrong. It was not the case. Compared to other sports franchises like NBA 2K21, Madden 21 didn’t see much of an improvement in graphics on next-generation systems. FIFA, EA’s other major sports game, was also given a nice upgrade for the next generation of consoles.
EA received a lot of credit for Madden 21’s poor performance, with many people attributing it to the creators’ inexperience with the new next-generation technology and the pressure of creating during a pandemic. However, I believed Madden 22 would be a big success after a year of next-gen gameplay.
Franchise Mode and Dynamic Gameday are the two main areas where Madden 22 innovates this year. Other features have been added, but these are the two that will most likely entice gamers to make the switch. Franchise Mode now includes coaching staff skill trees and a slew of new narrative situations that appear during the season. Since scouting isn’t in the game yet, I can’t comment on when it will be available. While it’s encouraging to see Franchise finally receiving some attention after a lengthy period of neglect, these enhancements aren’t quite enough to make the game seem entirely realized.
Dynamic Gameday, on the other hand, is a giant stride forward. The Momentum system rewards the team’s benefit that fills up its side of a tug-of-war meter at the top of the screen. Using Home Field Advantage, teams playing in their home stadium get an extra benefit. “Gameday Atmosphere” adds additional crowd animations, noises, and responses. Momentum and Home Field Advantage are interesting new additions to the Madden formula, improving attendance. I really hope that these elements continue to be developed in the future since football’s atmosphere is a critical component.
The face of the Franchise’s other modes is ridiculous as they are right now. It’s no secret that Madden’s stories and characters have never been good, but this year is particularly awful. For some reason, this mode is more buggy than the others. Although the problems aren’t game-breaking, they were numerous and inconvenient. As a result, players would sometimes collide on the field or have their boots dig into the ground while speaking. The mode’s strengths aren’t as great as they might be due to a general lack of polish.
However, this year’s version of The Yard has been enhanced, and the mode is still a blast to play. It’s great to see this mode back since it’s one of the most fantastic additions to Madden over the last several years. This year, there are four parts to The Yard’s campaign, each with its own set of locations and house rules. To advance to the next chapter, players must beat the chapter’s boss, usually an NFL star. Even if the narrative and advancement system has been enhanced since last year, The Yard still offers a welcome respite from the game’s more somber activities.
Although I’m fed up with the Franchise’s decline, I must acknowledge that Madden NFL 22 improves over Madden NFL 21. It looks and performs somewhat better than the previous year. If you have a home-field advantage or momentum going for you, such things may help you win games, but they are not revolutionary. Despite its potential, Next-Gen Stats remain a mostly untapped resource. Even though Franchise Mode received the most attention this year, it is still a marginal improvement. In the end, the changes are very slight.
But the most significant issue with Madden 22 is that it falls short. Yes, it has improved somewhat. That’s correct; you may play it and have a wonderful time. However, it’s insufficient for a $70 game that’s been the subject of years and years of user input and experience. Madden is entitled to better, but its laziness hurts all the more.
It’s absurd that Madden is so well-liked while being so far behind its rivals in the industry. MLB is adored by baseball enthusiasts around. It’s the same show each year. While NBA 2K has flaws, the game did get a significant visual upgrade on next-generation platforms. Madden has a lot more talent than this.
The business is in desperate need of redevelopment. Because Madden has been utilizing the same foundation and skeleton for years, there are several issues with this game and previous ones. Give yourself a break. Reappear with a new stance. Develop a Madden game that really represents the next step in Madden’s evolution. Madden NFL 22 has flashes of the real next-gen experience, but the game as a whole seems stifled.
In the end, Madden NFL 22 is a letdown. EA still seems to be coasting on its exclusive rights to NFL simulation football after all these years. I enjoy the way the game is heading with crowds and the gameday experience, and The Yard is still entertaining, but the heart of the game still lacks excitement. Every play left me thinking what this game might be like if it had any competition or had a significant revamp of its fundamental mechanics. It’s still football, so it’s at least somewhat entertaining.