REVIEW: Madden 20
The first of the EA 20's has dropped, with Madden 20 going for the first down in the 2020 sports line up! So take a knee and have a read!
Year by year it can be a challenge to define the differences between EA games. Being someone who has played and reviewed sports games yearly for 4 years, going into M20 I didn't think there would be much of a jump from '19. I was severely wrong.
Off the bat - I will admit that graphically there doesn't seem to be much of a leap. It's not an issue as the standard is already incredibly high, but there is a slightly nicer pop and sharpness to the whole game. However noticeably the gameplay has been altered, primarily through the player balances. There does seem to be a higher focus on the speed of your players (which is a gripe I've had with FIFA in the past), but even with a top speed RB or WR, they can be covered with smart plays and experience. The off-player gameplay seems to have improved as well, with the defensive lines and pocket handlers seemingly being tweaked to be more realistically - deciding plays by breaking lines or shifting to adapt to on the fly plays.
An additional improvement is the introduction of the Superstar X Factors, abilities and attributes for superstars of the NFL to highlight their specific advantages and skills. What may seem on paper as a slightly overpowered system, is very well balanced by only bringing these boosts out if specific moments in a game are fulfilled.
But even with these changes to the gameplay, there is still a disappointing amount of mis plays from the CPU. It's understandable that A.I is difficult with a game like American Football, but it would be good to have this worked on as it's an issue that's stood for a few years now.
Typically my time on Madden sinks into both Franchise, which I won't be discussing in depth in this review as bar a few small changes (mainly to player development) I feel EA is continuing to ignore what is the favourite gamemode for a big portion of the fanbase, and MUT, which I will touch on later. However M20 has pushed me deep into the QB1 mode, forcing you to start as a nobody in college football and following every step to starting Quaterback in the NFL. There's no linear path (which is a drastic improvement) but the cinematics flow in and out and create a seriously good story mode for a sports game.
And finally there's the usual EA Ultimate Team. MUT I've always favoured over the others however, with the challenge modes, the progression system seeming to always be smoother and packed with more content and in general more fun to play. M20 improve on this further with their glidepaths for challenges, to-do lists with easy one click buttons to take you to next steps and in general somehow making an already smooth and easy to use MUT even better.
M20 has impressed me throughly with the changes they've made and the jump of improvement for the title. For those who enjoyed Madden 19, I would recommend picking up 20. In fact I would push anyone to pick up M20. It's a title for those who enjoy the series, for those who are new to the series and to those who haven't played it in a while.