Madden NFL 11 Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | Wii | PSP
Madden NFL 11 box art
System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: EA Tiburon 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: EA Sports 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Aug. 10, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

After you’ve built up a sweat in Franchise, you can take a break with the Mini-Games mode. There are eight mini-games to choose from, each with a focus on teaching the player the basics. Mini-games such as Pocket Presence and Chase & Tackle do a fine job of conveying their respective gameplay mechanics, while other mini-games only served to further confuse me about how to approach a particular position.

Madden NFL 11 screenshot

Lastly, there are the multiplayer modes and online play. Multiplayer consists of Road to the Super Bowl, a co-op component for up to four players, ; Madden Showdown, where you compete for showdown points, ; and Huddle-Up, a co-op option in the vein of Super Mario Galaxy that allows a buddy to zap opponent team members in order to give you a clear path to the end zone.

In spite of a few rough patches, Madden NFL 11 is a completely solid package. EA Sports could still stand to do a better job of easing newcomers into the experience, and again, there’s not much actual new content here. The online gameplay is almost non-existent; the lobby menus were completely empty during my testing of the online experience, and I experienced significant lag when I finally did manage to find others to play with. Local play, however, is rewarding and fun, and in light of past entries into the franchise, this latest addition is generally more accessible.

Though the presentation isn’t perfect, the visual style serves the Wii well. Sure, the players look more like high school athletes than pros, but the animations are smooth and authentic looking. Aside from a few hiccups during transitions, the framerate holds up well during local play. The backgrounds are plain and the crowds look terrible up close, but vibrant colors and smart camera pans make Madden NFL 11 on the Wii feel like an exciting football experience.

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The music was my only real disappointment in terms of production values. Crazy Train? Really? The song selection is crusty, and the variety is sparse. Luckily, you won’t have to listen to any of it during actual gameplay, but in the Franchise mode where you’ll be tinkering with team management, the few tunes on offer here grow old fast. The announcers, however, do a bang-up job of keeping the actual gameplay interesting, and the cheers and crowd noises from the stadium are a convincing addition to the presentation.

I enjoyed my time with Madden NFL 11, but then again, it’s not a vast improvement over last year’s offering. The multiplayer and Franchise modes are fun and built to last, but players likely won’t get much mileage out of the online component. It’s been touched on before, but perhaps it’s time EA Sports consider a new way to deliver updated content for big franchises like Madden. The updates and tweaks to Madden NFL 11 would make great downloadable content. As a full retail product, however, it doesn’t quite satisfy.

By Tony Capri
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.5
Graphics
Luckily, the devil isn’t the details with Madden NFL 11. Though many individual elements are poorly rendered, the overall look of the game is quite pleasing.
3.5
Control
The gesture mechanics feel tacked on, due in large part to a lack of tactile feedback. Point-and-press controls, however, work well and feel satisfying.
3.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Depending upon your taste, you may actually enjoy the licensed tunes on offer here. Regardless, the audio associated with gameplay is enjoyable and authentic.
3.5

Play Value
The measure of value for Madden NFL 11 is dependent upon whether or not you already own last year’s game. What’s on offer here is pretty darn fun, though it may feel like mostly recycled goods for many folks.

3.5
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Completely Re-Mastered Franchise Mode: The four key components of Campus and Perks, Legacy, Assistants, and Scenarios are the foundation of a redefined Franchise mode. With assistant coaches guiding you through every scenario thrown your way, and a passionate fan base hungry for championships, all eyes are on you in your quest to build one of the greatest legacies in history.
  • All-New GameFlow System: Whether you’re a rookie player or a veteran looking for a casual experience, let Madden NFL 11 manage the playbook while you execute the plays to perfection. Play without the interruption until you’re ready to take over playcalling duties when the game matters most.
  • Weather-Based Gameplay: The schedule in November and December matters more than ever as weather affects gameplay like never before. Playing on a wet or icy field, or in the mud or snow, players slip, slide, and struggle to maintain footing based on four types of inclement conditions.


  • Screenshots / Images
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