EA have been leading the drive on the NFL games for countless years now and 2019 is no change to that. Madden 19 is out, with face paint on, helmets secured and football in hand
As per every year, the latest edition of Madden hits the shelves and many argue that it's a repeat of the previous year. But straight off the starting line, it feels that EA have pushed their everything into M19. Continuing the use of the ever evolving and brilliant Frostbite engine, the extensive coverage of all teams, kits and stadiums and as always, in every EA Sports game, some of the best soundtracks to grace gaming.
The first thing you're thrown into is a kick off game set at the increasingly popular UK American Football annual game at Wembley. For a primarily US based title, it's amazing to see how well they've recreated the English stadium. The starter game is per any 'Kickoff' Madden game from the previous titles and gives the chance to either ground new players or help returning players find their roots.
The typical gameplay options are available, with the 'Longshot' campaign returning for a new chapter in the story, 'Homecoming'. Bringing back Devin Wade and Colt Cruise is a loving continuation of the mode and highlights the previous arc well before picking up where it left off. However as per the previous Madden 18, I felt this mode was a little shoe-horned in and not as fluid as the rest of the game. It's not game-play focused and when I managed to get through it in under 3 hours of solid play, it's not something I went back to or wanted more of.
This however does not apply to either MUT 19 or Franchise mode. The Franchise mode continues to be a great mode for those who want to control everything about their team, with this year adding in the ability to create your own draft classes, something that people have been asking for a while. Tie this with the new schemes (offensive and defensive) and Franchise is quickly becoming near-perfect. EA have worked magic with this game mode for the past few years and it's really starting to show off.
If Franchise is the magic, MUT is the might of M19. What is arguably the most played game-mode for myself, it's always a treat to see how the developers improve and make this card-collection mode fresh year after year. Some may argue it's a grind, but the constantly rotating challenges, upgrading of your lineup and the new Solo Challenge Tournaments give a continual pull back feeling. With the added ability to train players up from lower ranks with the new training points, it gives the chance to have favourite players in your team without them being an issue to your gameplay.
Overall M19 continues the trend of the Madden games for the past 3 years. Graphical improvement, gameplay improvement and MUT/Franchise improvements. It's a pickup for anyone who is a fan of the series and a great starting point for anyone new to the series.