We all know and have played a Madden game before. Even the non football fans have tried it at least once. It’s iconic in video games. However, over the years there’s been complaints that the series has become stale and stagnant. The franchise is lacking any real improvements year after year. Well this year the marketing push for the game promised real change. They advertised a massive step forward for the franchise, putting a heavy emphasis on the game’s new Precision Passing and FieldSense features.
Did they deliver and is Madden 23 a good Single Player Experience?
Let’s dive into it.
To answer the first question these improvements do change the game substantially. In the NFL, quarterbacks have to not only pass the ball accurately, but attempt to place the ball in a position where only his receivers can make the catch. Being good at the skills reduces the risk of the pass being deflected or worse intercepted. So the inclusion of Precision Passing in this year’s Madden is kinda of a big deal.
Just like in the NFL, the precision passing feature in Madden makes a solid difference in the game. Albeit there was a lesser version of this feature in the previous installments so this isn’t quite as new as the Franchise would lead you to believe.
To use this feature you first choose the type of pass that you are going to do (lob pass, straight bullet, side arm throw, etc) and then use analogue stick and then the on screen meter to set up exactly where you are going to throw the ball. It’s nice to have the freedom to decide if you are going to lead the receiver or throw towards his back shoulder. This is a well thought-out feature that could use a bit of polish visually to make it a bit more user friendly but it’s a solid first attempt.
The FieldSense feature is a different story. FieldSense is suppose to provide new branching animations with the goal of making the game more unpredictable. It has some new tackle animates for better more realistic hits. It’s also beneficial on offense with new animations to help break tackles and run the ball in a more realistic manner. It’s a good idea but often the results are a bit janky and robotic visually. This seems like a very good idea that has potential, but needs more time to be as good as it needs to be.
The Game Modes:
Let’s talk about the modes you can choose to play.
Right off the bat I just want to say that I will not be reviewing or proving any insight on the Ultimate team mode. I don’t play these types of modes in games so I can’t speak to the quality or improvements of this year’s Ultimate team mode. I’m the type of gamer that cringes at microtransactions and modes like these that encourages them.
The Franchise mode, which is, the mode I play the most was given some much needed improvements this year. The addition of free agent logic was much needed feature. It’s great that the free agents now consider things like whether or not a team is a contender, the money aspect and how well they are going to fit on a team. Another welcomed addition is the new scouting info we get in the game. Before scouting was really just surface level, but here you can scout talents from regions and get alot more useful information about a potential prospect. The assistant coaches and the coordinators system needs more attention and depth. They play a huge role in the NFL, but Madden hasn’t quite reflected that in the game yet.
The Face of the Franchise mode was also given small improvements. Most of the poorly done cutscenses are gone and instead the game places you in the action more. The emphasis is on playing more football and earning more XP to grow your player. This is a much need step in the right direction. There are certain things like the drive objectives that feel poorly thought out, but this mode is starting to go in the right direction.
Madden 23 Flaws:
Here are some overall flaws with this year’s Madden. First off the game still seems lacking content wise to other sports games like MLB the Show and NBA2k23. When you compare what NBA2K is doing this year withs it’s Jordan Challenges, MyCareer mode, and it’s MyEras Franchise mode Madden pales in comparison. It’s a shame that the game doesn’t allow you to play a franchise mode with historic teams in the mix. It’s crazy considering the historic players are already in the game being advertised in the Ultimate team mode. Next years Madden really should copy NBA2K’s My Era mode to add some more depth to their Franchise mode.
Also it’s a bit hard to find the street football mode in the games main menu. This could be an indication that this mode isn’t long for the Madden games.
Overall/Should You play Madden 23:
Overall should you play Madden 23? Is Madden 23 a good single player Experience? The answer is a tentative yes. Everything about Madden 23 is marginally better than the previous years in many ways. This game has solid improvements in its Franchise mode, and it’s Face of the Franchise mode. The inclusion of the Precision Passing and FieldSense features add some much flavor to the gameplay even if they need more time in the oven.
This is the best Madden game in years, but it seems like a small step forward rather than the 40 yard dash that fans were hoping for.
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