|System: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, DS, PSP|
|Dev: EA Tiburon|
|Pub: Electronic Arts|
|Release: August 30, 2011|
|Players: 1 (2+ Online)|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
If you're feeling extra managerial, Franchise Mode isn't the only place where you can satisfy your inner team owner; you can also check out Madden Ultimate Team mode. This mode is back from last year and allows players to build teams using special player cards. You start off with a deck of pretty standard players, but can trade, purchase, and auction cards off to get access to better players and even legends to add to your team. While Ultimate Team isn't as all-encompassing as Franchise Mode, it is a fun little diversion, and watching out for special trading events is a great way to stay connected to the world of Madden.
The only real issues I found with Madden 12 were on the technical side of things. Though visuals were technically proficient, there weren't very many moments when Madden 12 really stood out as a great-looking game. Couple that with several visual glitches that ranged from pixilation to disappearing players, and I couldn't really be wowed by what I saw. The audio is a similar story; though it was technically proficient, commentary would sometimes drop out, which was painfully noticeable in two-player games.
Madden 12 definitely proves that no matter how old it gets, how many features it adds, and how immersive the game feels, there is always room for growth. The drastically revisited A.I. system, new gameplay elements, and deeper Franchise Mode make Madden 12 the ultimate football game that you just have to buy. Again.
Small visual shortcomings and some audio annoyances might keep Madden 12 from being 100% on top form, but with the crazy amount of content and nearly endless gameplay possibilities, these seem like minor grievances. So get your bowl of chips, settle into your favorite chair, and make sure your eyeglass prescription is up to date. It's going to be a long football season, and living it along with Madden 12 seems like a perfect way to experience what's sure to be a blockbuster year for the sport.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Senior Contributing Writer