First Thoughts on Madden 11 Demo: Pros and Cons


I downloaded the new Madden 11 demo that was released late afternoon yesterday, and after one game I had to stop.

Looking around forum boards and blog post comments, it appears most people felt the same way I did. Disappointed.

It seemed like the developers made too many unnecessary changes and not enough focus was placed on the major issues. For example, commentary was stale and clearly re-used from last year’s game, while a brand new kicking feature was introduced. I think most would agree that the overall experience and presentation of Madden would have benefited from a broader range of commentary, rather than having a simpler kicking meter.

From my initial take on Madden 11, here is my list of pros and cons:

—Slightly improved graphics
—More catching animations, including sideline catches
—More tackling animations
—New dual stick controls when carrying the ball
—Ability to “GamePlan” before the game to set up GameFlow play-calling
—Faster cut-scenes

—The “Strategy Pad,” an unnecessary and hard to use replacement for pre-snap adjustments
—Boring and repetitive commentary
—No kick/punt return coverage whatsoever
—Automatic GameFlow recommending terrible plays, especially when on defense
—Crowd noise being stale and inconsistent

These are just my first thoughts after playing one full game. I chose to play as the N.Y. Jets, and easily crushed the Indianapolis Colts 28-3. Running the ball was almost given yardage. On my last drive, I was able to run the ball every single play down the field and score.

Hopefully, as most demos do state, this wasn’t an an exact representation of what the full game will be like. But with a release date of just a couple weeks away, I can only assume they must be going into production very soon. So if all these problems exist in the demo, where and when will EA developers find the time to address these issues?

The demo also failed to assure fans whether or not improvements to franchise game mode has been made. I’ve been a fan of the Madden series for a very long time, but this year’s lack of significant new features lessens my desire to purchase the new Madden 11.

Check out a video of the demo being played by gaming blogger, PastaPadre.”