I try my best to enjoy playing Madden every year. As much as I gripe about the game every year in one way or another I truly go into each iteration with high hopes only to have them dashed by the time I get into my Franchise Mode.
I tried to play with the Bills on All-Madden after winning the Super Bowl with the Browns on All-Pro in the first season. It was the same old story – All-Madden is artificially difficult while All-Pro wants to be challenging, it is still hamstrung with the same problems. The CPU doesn’t adjust to certain plays being called on succession (HB Toss plays from a Twin WR set will almost always get you 7+ Yards if the CPU is in Man Coverage, for instance.). Money plays are alive and well – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The other issue that plagues this game is the idiotic Free Agency process and logic of the CPU. After the latest update you will see that LeVeon Bell becomes a free agent (which is nice), but then I see him get signed by the Cardinals… the same Cardinals that already have David Johnson. I rolled my eyes when I saw the signing during this latest run with the Browns (I used the Cloud Franchise to start my season in Week 12 or so). It doesn’t stop there, unfortunately.
By the time the draft comes around and after I see Bell get signed by the Cardinals the idiocy continues in the draft. I am convinced that the CPU is programmed to look at your Draft Board and make picks that will push you to take certain players earlier than you should if you want them. While I enjoy the idea of this at face value I am also annoyed by the relative troll mentality.
Furthermore, Franchise Mode continues to gut the experience and immersion that should be the primary focus of the mode itself. There is no living breathing league for you to enjoy – its as stale as the cereal at your grandparents’ house. The ‘News’ section is hidden in the depths of the CFM menu and it’s basically a bunch of crappy tweets from Captain Obvious with a few half-assed tips about the draft class. I don’t understand how this mode continues to be included in the game if they obviously don’t care about it from the revenue perspective. The effort all goes into Ultimate Team and the cash cow that it has become.
Madden continues to be the distant second place in sports games for me as MLB The Show maintains a clear advantage in consistent efforts to improve. Both games are going towards the Ultimate Team/Diamond Dynasty slippery slope, but I still have hope that Franchise Mode will become what I have dreamed for over the years. I doubt I will get this for Christmas… but I can always hope.