As we near the NFL Draft in a matter of days it is starting to leak out of the rumor mill that Madden will be focusing on ramping up the quality of Franchise Mode. Hopefully this means we can expect a bit more depth in terms of how the mode is represented in a few different ways.
They have tried to change how free agency works from the Auction system a few years ago to making offers before advancing and hoping the guy you wanted chose your low-ball offer. Between bad financial logic and worse player and team logic – Madden hasn’t exactly been a beacon of realism for wanna-be GMs.
They must find a way to push gamers in this mode to eventually spend their money on veterans without looking at every 28 and 29 year old player like they are going to become Stephen Hawking at the age of 30. Yes, there is certainly a youth movement in the thinking of NFL General Managers. Yes, this means that drafting top talent over keeping ‘aging’ players is a common strategy. It doesn’t mean that Madden should get a pass in making players in their late-20s and early 30s relevant in Franchise Mode.
On top of the age nosedive in terms of player ratings, the other aspect that needs the most help in Madden is the Draft and Scouting.
Scouting has quite simply been a lazy effort by the developers. It isn’t difficult to find the superstar players later in the draft. It isn’t hard to find the busts in the first round. By the time you figured out the scouting dynamics in Madden 17 you were more than okay with the point reversal in Madden 18 that was supposed to make that aspect more challenging. All you need to do is look for the first rating to be a B+ or higher and you are on your way. It’s not rocket science… and that makes for an insanely boring experience that is arguably one of the most involved and talked about in all of sports.
They must address the lack of immersion in our experience week by week. There is ZERO immersion in Franchise Mode from an overall league perspective. There is no feeling for the salary cap when it comes to managing the team. There is no excitement in Franchise Mode… NONE. The Super Bowl has been the same stupid celebration and musical experience for years.
Madden 18 was the final straw for me as a Madden fan in a lot of ways. It was the only Madden I have stopped playing before the Super Bowl was over. It says more about the staying power of Franchise Mode than anything else.
Madden Ultimate Team has killed what made Madden a fun experience for those of us that don’t enjoy online sports gaming. I am hoping that Madden 19 will make good on their chance to convince me to buy this game as a pre-order for the sake of giving my annual guides for all of you out there.