Madden NFL 12 Review

Madden NFL 12
Platform(s): PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Reviewed on Xbox 360
Developer: EA Tiburon
Publisher: EA Sports
Released: August 30, 2011
MSRP: $59.99

We have a new CBA, the preseason is in full swing and Madden is here. It’s football season! Does Madden NFL 12 live up to our hopes and dreams?

Not really.

The most hyped aspect of the new Madden is the new collision system EA Tiburon built this year, and it is a nice touch. Fundamentally, it doesn’t change much about the way the game plays, but occasionally it results in a cool-looking end to a play. Oddly enough, I noticed the new collisions most when a player slipped a tackle, but I think that’s only because that seems more obvious than a regular ole successful tackle.

Beyond that, the biggest gameplay change is the addition of the speed threshold option, an option that was also included in NCAA Football 12. What this does, essentially, is narrow the speed difference between the fastest and slowest players in the game. On the default setting, even Chris Johnson isn’t going to be able to get the corner ever. In last year’s edition, running the ball felt too easy, and this is obviously Tiburon’s solution to that. Still, in both NCAA and this I’ve turned this setting way down because I don’t like it renders some of the best players less special by almost utterly negating the speed stat.

Player traits and confidence fluctuation are another new addition; traits serve to make certain players more unique within the context of the game, and player confidence is the return of an old feature that makes players’ talent rating change based on their performance.

Otherwise, the game will play pretty much as you remember it from last year. Last year’s game played great, so that’s not necessarily a negative.

But there’s still more to talk about, of course, and most of these “other” things are presentation things I found irritating. First, though, I’ll give them props for finally putting together a new soundtrack. Yay!

My biggest gripe is with the commentary, which is generally annoying and as poorly implemented as I’ve heard it. Chris Collinsworth and Gus Johnson are generally wrong about everything they say, and the delayed reactions on big plays (you’ll encounter upwards to a five-second silence before Gus starts screaming about the touchdown you just scored) are just stupid. I also encountered other curiosities, like: “And at halftime our score is [long pause] 17, [long pause] 7. Basically, the game glitched out and forgot to say the team names.

GameFlow is my other main presentation gripe; it’s been changed to basically make it utterly useless. In previous iterations, GameFlow would select a single play for you; now, you can scroll through an endless number of plays, but you can’t see the play art or formation, which means it’s gimped as hell. I like that you can scroll through plays, but it’s not fun to have to guess at what you’re going to get out of it.

One last thing I was disappointed with is a missing feature. In NCAA this year you have the option of playing as a coordinator in Dynasty, which means if you hate playing defense, like me, you don’t have to. No such option exists in Franchise here. Sad.

I’m being too negative. New rookie scouting and free agent bidding in Franchise are fun and add a lot to the experience. There, I was positive.

But, really, Madden 12 isn’t bad. It’s just a step back in more ways than it’s a step forward. In the end, though, it’s still a high quality game of football, and that’s what matters most. But there just may not be enough here to warrant an upgrade from last year’s edition.

Rookie scouting and free agent bidding in franchise
New player collisions
New soundtrack
Doesn’t change up the gameplay formula too much from last year’s excellent edition

Commentary is worse than ever
GameFlow sucks more than ever
Doesn’t change up the gameplay formula too much from last year’s excellent edition
Peyton Hillis is on the cover

Final score: 80/100

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4 Comments on Madden NFL 12 Review


On August 26, 2011 at 3:09 pm

I bought and still have Madden09 and still haven’t seen a enough of a compelling reason to buy a new Madden. Shouldn’t these yearly releases just simply be a update or dlc for just $20. I mean I would pay $20 and they’ll get some money from me. As it is now, nothing and I know if I just wait this game eventually will be $20 anyways-eg)Madden2011 can be found for $20 or cheaper used now. I can wait a full year for Madden2012 to drop because there is nothing that makes me want it badly.

I’ll wait till Madden2013 now lol


On August 26, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Ready to pay for the same with only minor changes? NO


On September 3, 2011 at 10:04 am



On February 8, 2012 at 11:43 am

The makers of Madden seem to be rather lazy or just think people are flat out dumb. They have release the same game three years in a row with a different cover each year. That alone would be fine because many game producers do the same thing. But this game needed to make changes to the game play. The game still freezes and glitches quite often. The game is also predetermined meaning that there are certain situations in the game where no matter what you do the same outcome will occur, Such as when the quarterback rolls out of the pocket it is a holding call everytime and if you are in the redzone winning or losing in the fourth quarter if you chose to run the ball you will fumble.
All in all I would say to the average football fan and video gamer don’t waste your money on any madden games in the future, all you are doing feeding the pockets of lazy graphic designers who think we have no intelligence at all.