Impressions of the Madden 11 Demo (PS3)

Madden 11 Demo Impressions (PS3)
Publisher: EA Sports
Release Date: August 10, 2010

The demo clocks-in at just around 1.7GB, and allows you to play a full game (5 minute quarters) using the Jets and the Colts. The venue this year is Jets Stadium, in East Rutherford, NJ, and so far I haven’t seen anything but a single weather condition, sunny and nice with very little wind. All 4 skill levels are available, and a couple of the other options (like run-off time) are selectable, but of course with almost any demo, options are pretty limited. One other option that is quite welcome for a demo is the ability to custom-build both an offensive and defensive gameplan, so there’s actually quite a lot of depth for a demo. If you use this feature in the demo, it will actually unlock a trophy in the full game, which kind-of a neat incentive to try new features like this out.

The biggest addition for features this year is the ‘Gameflow’ system, which allows you to let your virtual coach call your plays for you. It’s selectable in real-time throughout the game, so you can actually switch back-and-forth depending on the play. I’ve played 3 full games using this mode only, and so far it seems to be very well done. The coach will talk to you after the play is called to explain his intentions, and even though he can get pretty wordy, the explanations actually help quite a bit. The great part is that if you don’t like the play that’s called, you can still audible out or even hit the playbook if there’s enough time on the clock. Also available is selectable coverage options, all accessible via the d-pad. Again, very streamlined this year and very easy to use once you learn where things are.

The other change this year is in the announcing team, which this year consists of Chris Collinsworth for commentary and play-by-play from Gus Johnson. Even though the audio seems a bit glitchy in the demo, the announcing is great this year (if you like Collinsworth.) They seem to be a more cohesive team this time around, but who knows how everyone will feel after playing through a season or ten.

Gameplay seems much more streamlined this year, as a lot of the functions have been moved from button presses to the right stick. The controls feel very natural, and especially the running game seems a lot more realistic. Tackling this year is better for the most part, but I had a couple of instances on kickoffs when I barreled straight at the guy returning the ball, and when I dove at him, I merely bounced off. Other than that though, the game feels a lot tighter than last year, and the new kicking mechanic is a very welcome change.

The presentation overall is very similar to what we’ve seen the last few years, but one improvement that really stands-out to me is that the random hitches that we were getting in Madden 10 seem to have been eliminated, at least in the demo. The flow of the game is great, and the fact that you get to play a full game in the demo is pretty sweet.

The demo hits the PSN on Tuesday, July 27th, and I encourage everyone to give it a try. It’s pretty solid overall, and after seeing the full game at E3, I’d say that it’s a good representation of the full game. It would have been nice to try online, but other than that, if the sound issues are fixed in the full game, Madden 11 is looking like it’ll be a winner.

ps I’ll try to post some video tonight 😉

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  • Thgilyad

    Thanks for taking a lot of words to tell me nothing. Does it play a good game of football???

  • It plays very similar to previous years and Glenn listed the differences over past iterations. Feels more smooth and the controls are toned down a little which is really refreshing in my humble opinion. Should make it more accessible and maybe I'll even play it past the one month mark this time around; what I've done the last couple years with Madden. Yet I line up and buy the new one every year.