Madden NFL 12 delivers a touchdown

Football season started, and that means one thing: a new Madden arrived. It doesn’t matter whether you’re 40 years old or 10 years old, anyone who’s anyone enjoys playing this game. The newest installment to the series is Madden NFL 12, and you’re about to find out why purchasing this game is a wise investment.

One thing about the gameplay that jumps out at you is speed. The game just feels faster, and when you’re running the ball you cannot hesitate, because those 250–pound linebackers are ready to knock you out. Everything else as it relates to gameplay, pretty much remains the same, which is not such a bad thing, and the halftime highlights with the gladiator–themed music do a tremendous job of pumping you up.

Franchise mode has its fair share of new features, but my favorite is the new free agency system. Free agency has become a silent auction, because not only will you be bidding against other teams, but the clock plays a factor as well. Didn’t get that final bid in for Adrian Peterson on time? Oh well, you can try to acquire his services again in six seasons. The key to signing a free agent is to make the final bid. Entering bidding wars makes free agency a thrilling and enjoyable experience.

Madden NFL 12 implemented a new and improved scouting system for the franchise mode. Every four weeks, scouts will focus on different attributes when evaluating players in the draft, and you control who they should scout for those four weeks. For example, one scout session will unlock player speed, while another will unlock a player’s ability to catch the ball. The days of unlocking an offensive lineman’s speed and how high he can jump are over. In addition, you’ll be able to fully evaluate five players before the draft, so choose carefully.

Superstar mode has been modified as well. You now have control over how your player progresses. Based on your performance in practices and in games, you are given reward points, which are used to improve your player. This is a nice addition; however, it’s a little too easy to improve your player’s attributes. For instance, Patrick Peterson starts off with an overall of 83, by the time I finished preseason, his overall was already 89.

Madden NFL 12 does an excellent job of introducing new features without losing its identity. This game gets a B+ in my book and is definitely worth purchasing. Have fun playing.

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