*We have had multiple posts about Madden since this article. Please check those out for more details. We will have full reviews of Madden as soon as it is released!
The improvements being made to Madden 13 are catching some eyes around the sports gaming world. The problem is that outside of some improvements being made to make the game’s eye-candy stick out we are still waiting to hear about the much needed improvements to Career Modes. They have already announced that there will be something that ties career modes to an interactive web-based experience. However, the fact that Online Franchise Mode has been bare-bones for three iterations is something that really takes away from any sort of community experience.
With the still struggling interactions between O-Lineman and D-Lineman rendering many plays broken (Play Action Passes, just for one example) and then coupling that with other poor AI and animations… you have many questions still left unanswered. Granted, we still have a few months until the game is released, it is worth considering whether or not Madden 13 will be something you are better off buying pre-owned rather than brand new. Rest assured that the game isn’t something you will need to pre-order in most cases as it is often readily available on launch day.
Outside of the chance that Madden 13 blows everyone away with some sort of new gimmick that EA will remove (See ProTAK, Procedural Awareness, Tuners, etc.) it will remain as a game that should be approached as nothing more than a roster update with a slight graphical facelift. You can find Madden 12 online for around $20 on Amazon right now; if you are having that football itch that requires Madden to fill the gap, you would probably be okay to spend $20 on Madden 12 before pre-ordering Madden 13 at this point.
The moments of truth will hopefully come around the time that E3 starts in June. Keep in mind that in our last brief write-up for Madden we focused on the hype machine and how it can suck people in early on in a game’s cycle. You should keep your hopes up but also keep your expectations low. Even with the reactions from EA Tiburon’s Community Days and the ‘dedicated Madden fans’ being posted, it would be a good idea to take their impressions with a grain of salt. Remember, they have to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements and you don’t often hear too much negativity coming from people that get preferential treatment (why would you bite the hand that feeds?).
Once we get to June and July there will be a lot more information out there that EA wants to release. In that case, you shouldn’t lose total hope in Madden or NCAA Football just yet; but you should also keep yourself grounded if you are hoping for groundbreaking improvements.