Review: Madden NFL 19 – PC Edition

 

After a ten-year absence from the PC platform, Madden NFL 19 has returned. Electronic Arts gave us the chance to check out this game, of course we didn't turn it down!

The Madden NFL games are made to really show the player how this popular American sport works. There are of course some mistakes here and there that have been taken over from previous games, and the game will not come across as "new", yet Madden NFL 19, with its Frostbite engine and attention-grabbing Longshot story mode, is the best Madden NFL game to date.

A balance for both sides

Madden NFL has never looked or played better on the field. This is also mainly because Electronic Arts uses a new system regarding the players, which they call Real Player Motion. One of the biggest aspects of this system is the new “one-cut” part. Ball carriers gain the ability to quickly change direction and orbit around defenders with a small boost. Of course that includes good moves, “hesitation moves” as they are called, can make a big difference in crucial moments. This way you can still save that small open piece. Running a daring run to reach those last inches can make the difference between winning and losing.

Of course there has to be balance in the game. Similarly, new mechanics have been added to Madden NFL 19 for the defense. If you move your player at the right time during a snap, you can get him into position faster than usual. This will increase your chances of stopping a play, possibly avoiding a touchdown. EA has been striving for some time to give players more control on the pitch. This year they succeeded, even though the adjustments are miniscule. To give the game even more detail; this year it is possible to perform your own celebration after a touchdown. This can be an individual celebration or one with your team mates. Whether you spike the ball to stop time or score a touchdown, Madden NFL 19 gives you more control on the field.

Better gameplay thanks to the Frostbite Engine

Madden NFL 19 is the second game to use EA's Frostbite engine and it pays off as the game looks a lot better. Player models now look more alive, for example: the player's sweat, the way a player falls and takes blows. Even the weather and time of day are unique, so every time and weather condition has its own feel. The sun that falls low on the stadium in the evening, a heavy rain shower or even playing in the snow; all this brings Madden NFL 19 more to life, almost like a live TV broadcast. While the game looks good graphically, the gameplay still has its flaws. There are stupid things like: a ball that disappears into the ground or a player's arm that bends in the most disastrous ways. There are also things we know from the FIFA games,like a ball flying into space after a collision with a player. The public also has its problems from time to time. The NFL games have (almost) always had these mistakes in them. However, all these things have little or no impact on the gameplay.

Comment where to cry

Madden NFL 19 also has strengths, the commentary is one of them. Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis return to the game, this time again with excellent statements and knowledge about the game. Their mutual humor also gives the game more depth, so you get the feeling that you are watching a live match instead of a game. Their talk is about different things: from knowledge of teams and players to food and Seinfeld references. While Gaudin and Davis do a good job, the Texas high school commentators from the Longshot story mode steal the show. They have unique but humorous statements about everything from their opinion about a choice of arrangement or supplying information. ESPN commentator Jonathan Coachmen is also in the game. He has taken on the role as pre-game and halftime host, replacing Larry Ridley.Coachman is an enthusiastic commentator and fun to listen to, but he gets into the bits that most gamers skip. Madden NFL 19's commentary is updated regularly, giving people who play the game information about a team or player in real life.

Every unique fashion reworked

One of the deepest modes of Madden NFL 19 is Franchise. Last year's game also had this mode but it wasn't handled nicely. This year the mode has been given a major update so that it always remains challenging. The Ultimate Team mode is also back, which we mainly know from FIFA. A mode where you can put together a team with the players you want. Take on the weekly challenges or go on a warpath with your team to defeat other players online.
The Longshot story mode is of course also back from Madden 18. This year it's called Longshot: Homecoming. The story follows Devin Wade who is having a rough time at the Dallas Cowboys training camp. The audio dialogues are very strong in this mode, so there are real actors. Think for example of Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider or Jimmy Tatro.
Madden NFL 19 is a good football game that improves on last year's edition in almost every aspect. There are problems, of course, but there is no other game that represents the NFL as well as this one.

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