Madden 11 review roundup

Madden 11 review scores suggest this year's football title is good – yet still not perfect.

EA Sports
Madden 11 review: This year's game seems to focus on offense play over defense.

Madden 11 review posts say the EA Sports crew has done it again. Thanks to new features and improved mechanics, the annual release – which hits stores Tuesday – once again proves why this is the blue-chip football video game. The Madden NFL team has continued to polish its core game, even if some areas are now a tad overwrought.

Here's the review roundup:

The authentic look

" 'Madden 11' is closer than ever to a broadcast presentation," according to MTV. "More in-game and out-of-game fan models have been added, stadiums have been tweaked and polished, and there's a decent bit of interesting on-the-field and pre-game commentary included in the package. From eye black to, to Dallas' insane HDTV spread, to Brett Favre's old man beard, [developer EA] Tiburon is starting to pull it all together."

The gameplay

"My biggest concern I have with Madden each and every year is the gameplay," explains IGN. "Is it really going to feel and look like the NFL that I know and love? Well, this year's game comes as close as ever to bringing you every spin move and sternum-rupturing tackle that you see on Sundays. Little touches like deemphasizing the suction of the hit stick so that landing big hits actually feels special are great. As is the dual analog stick control scheme which allows you to perform all the jukes, spin moves and stutter steps you could ask for. It also gives players the ability to pivot their upper-body to guard the ball from incoming tacklers. It all looks cool and works well on the field.

The "Gameplan"

"In playcalling, this should be the fulcrum where simpler and quicker produce deeper, the three components of Madden 11's marketing mantra. It can, but it's not simple," writes Kotaku in its positive review. "My biggest disappointment with Gameplan is its lack of integration with either the Franchise mode or Practice. This is a huge disconnect, one whose technical necessity I think I understand (Franchise would have to create its own set of Gameplans and edit them from within Franchise; Practice is probably not used by the majority of players and not worth an upgrade). But if you're a tinkerer, it nonetheless forces you to leave Franchise altogether to fool with your coach's Gameplan. And without the ability to call your Gameplan in Practice mode, you lack any laboratory outside of live competition."

The caveat

"Finally, just like NCAA Football and Tiger Woods before it, all online features require the online pass activation, via a code included in all new copies of the game," reminds GameFocus. "One can also buy a new code if the game is purchased used. Gamers should expect this strategy in NHL 11 and NBA Elite 11 and other future EA Sports titles."

The final word

"If you want a football simulation game, this is it," concludes MTV. " 'Madden' has always been it. But the tweaks to the running game and O-line this year are solid improvements that not only make the game feel more authentic, they make it more fun and complex. If you can stomach the ad assault and Gus Johnson's vocals, you'll be able to dig into this 'Madden' as much as you have any 'Madden' before."

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