This title was reviewed on PS4, but is also available on PC and Xbox One.
I never thought much of EA Sports‘ catchphrase “It’s in the game” when I was growing up and being an absolute EA Sport franchise nutter, I heard it countless times. Until one fateful day, the slogan slowly phased out of the games and it became a distant memory. A distant memory that stuck with me all these years, never fully understanding what it meant…. Enter Madden 19!!!
Having not played the Madden franchise since 2004, isntead opting to stick with FIFA, NHL, and NBA it was a massive breath of fresh air to experience a game that I had not sat down and played in such a lengthy period of time and fully get to appreciate just how much development, improvement and passion has been put into the game over the years. Frostbite is the current gaming engine of choice by EA, and Madden 19 is no exception to this. They’ve continued to push and develop the boundaries of the game engine in extraordinary fashion, in what I can only describe as giving meaning to “It’s in the game”, because for me it literally is ALL in this game! So come along and get to understand why this NFL deserter is telling you that Madden NFL 19 is a must have for new and old Madden players alike. Get ready to sack, catch, throw and dance your way into the Madden NFL 19 hall of fame!
You had me at “Longshot:Homecoming”. Being a sucker for a story mode, this was where I spent most of my time. Seeing as sport is all about passion, it has you following two NFL prospects: Devon Wade and Colt Cruise. I love that these stories incorporate events outside of sport too which really pull on the heart strings and also gives players a taste of what it can be like when you are reaching for those Dallas Stars! Not only was I happy with the story mode, there was a decent amount of game-play that featured throughout the story. For new players or those with a long absence like myself, included a lot of tutorial work and also helped you to understand the game. It also helped show what would. It is worth noting that whilst Longshot: Homecoming is a sequel to Madden 18: Longshot, the game has been developed well enough that whilst it is great to have played the original story, it is not essential and you are still able to thoroughly enjoy the story in Madden 19…. (I went and got Madden 18 from a friend just to see what the hype was behind the original story and to enable myself to give a better comparison and I promise you, it did not disappoint!)
So following Longshot: Homecoming, we have managed to do good by Devon and Colt in their NFL careers and now we are looking for the next big thing… Well folks, grab your half time hot-dog because we are heading to the big leagues in Franchise mode! This brilliant game mode is similar in respect to other games such as FIFA’s Career Mode whereby you are able to choose a team and guide them through the season by either being a coach, player or owner with the goal of winning your state and trying to secure your spot in the illustrious Super Bowl. I personally have always been more of a player than a coach or owner so I tackled the season as a specific player, gaining XP along the way through either playing every game or allowing the games to simulate automatically. As a player I didn’t need to worry about signing players, team injuries, stadium entry prices or controlling set plays….I had my eye on the prize with the ultimate goal of playing in the Super Bowl with thousands of fans cheering my name…..
Speaking of Ultimate, EA Sports have found the golden egg and utilized this in a number of their sports games. Madden offers what is called Madden Ultimate Team, AKA MUT and you’ll love it! There is just something special and satisfying about opening packs containing player cards of legends, constantly looking to bolster your team with the next better quarterback or wide receiver…. Ahhh it takes me back to when I used to buy NFL player cards from the supermarket, the smell of new cards… Doesn’t get better! EA have somewhat perfected Ultimate Team in the sporting games they release and MUT is no different. You are gifted some starter packs to build a basic team and your goal is to constantly improve your ultimate team through more player packs and trying to gain further points by competing against other players online. A feature that I found really exciting and something that is different from other ultimate team games is the ability to upgrade your collected players. So if you have set players you want to improve, Madden NFL 19 allows you to do just that.
Through the Frostbite engine, the team at EA Sport have been able to execute real player motions in the game so you can dive, cut-infield and burst towards the in-zone in a beautiful animation that flows and looks natural. The vast range and variation of game modes including Franchise, Madden Ultimate Team and Longshot: Homecoming accompanied by the beautiful aesthetics both with the players, stadiums and real player motions in-game will have the most fanatic Madden fans in awe of what is quickly being labelled as the best NFL game to date.
If there was one area I would look for improvement and this is purely from a newcomers perspective, if you did not go to the story mode at the start you can get a little lost and not understand the game. I believe maybe a better or more direct tutorial which contains a basic explanation of rules and how to play would see more new players enter the franchise and grasp the game and concept quicker.
Madden NFL 19 has been the game that has rejuvenated my love for NFL and I cannot recommend it enough regardless which sport you normally enjoy. With the increased popularity that the Super Bowl is gaining globally, if you haven’t tried the franchise before I can guarantee you will have a blast in the varied range of game modes. EA have reached the end zone with their new real player motion breathing life into the game for new and old players alike and have given us a touchdown with Madden NFL 19!