New Madden games are like football seasons: each one arrives full of promise and hope, and inevitably it's either disappointment or excitement depending on who you are. Anyone who's even slightly confused, apprehensive, or disinterested in the NFL will find no friendly hand of welcome from Madden: at its heart, this is a game for football fans, not football hopefuls. We start with that observation because, unlike last year's efforts to make Madden 11 more accessible for the newcomer, Madden 12 chooses to deepen the deeper parts of its game instead.
Scott:I'm speaking mainly of Franchise Mode, that perennial way for fans to endlessly play out alternative NFL season histories with obsessive detail. Franchise mode now has a deeper free-agent bidding system, between-game practices, and player attributes beyond mere ratings that flux on a per-game basis like a role-playing game, to name a few. My favorite is the more realistic preseason period, where games now cycle first-, second-, and third-streamers more realistically, and cut-down days make you force hard decisions on your rosters just like a real NFL team, turning your preseason into a mini reality show.… Read more