Madden NFL 13 Complete General Impressions

Posted August 24th, 2012 at 3:03 pm

With Madden NFL 13 the series is coming off a generally well received iteration but one in which still didn’t meet the expectations of many. Several core improvements have been made to gameplay – including the highly anticipated “Infinity Engine” physics – which may do enough to change the perception of stagnation built over this generation. Presentation on the other hand still comes up notably short. 

The obvious thing to go into first is the physics which completely pays off by providing a dynamic and fresh feel to the gameplay. In some sense it feels toned down a bit from the demo – somewhat stiffer – with the experience found in the demo being preferred to an extent. That being said it’s really well contained for a first attempt at a dramatic physics engine and ultimately is a hugely beneficial addition to the series.

In one situation it was fourth and short, LeGarrette Blount ran up the middle and got stuffed, but he fell onto a defender and rolled over him for the first down. Moments like that are appropriately rare. The benefits though can be seen on just about every play. Momentum really matters and defenders swarm the ball carrier. Though there are occasional tackles in which the players just bounce off each other there are far more collisions that look natural and affect the result of the play in a positive manner. It would be nice for the hit stick to be more effective by going low or high though. The NFL probably forced EA into neutering it.

The improvements found in NCAA 13 such as the numerous pass trajectories, QB drop backs, working play action, routes that have been useless in the past no longer being such, and more successful screen plays are all present in Madden 13 and even feel somewhat enhanced just by having the physics alongside them.

The running game is especially rewarding with power backs. This is due in part to the physics but also because runs to the outside are often yard-losers. Some combination of the blockers not getting to their assignments to seal the edge and defenders having seemingly accelerated sideline-to-sideline pursuit contributes to the trouble. Tosses and sweeps are rarely effective – but when they do work they are often for big gains – however stretch plays seem to work really well. Offensive line blocking still can use a lot of work but the amount of times they’ve just inexplicably blown a block or assignment have been reduced compared to the past.

Special teams is definitely an area in which improvement has been made. Though it’s still the neglected third of football within Madden at least now kick and punt returns are blocked well and there is the potential to break a big play. I returned one kick for a TD during the whole season of play while my punt return average was 9 yards – which was more than double the average I had in Madden 12. The kicking game goes back to the right stick – which I’m not a big fan of – but that has at least caused me to miss a few more field goals than I probably wouldn’t have otherwise.

Possibly my favorite, which is somewhat of an unheralded addition, to Madden 13 is the “Ball Hawk” feature. Essentially holding down Y will get the player in position to attempt an interception and holding down RB will do the same for a deflection. Some may see this as taking out some user-skill, but given how inconsistently the controls would react to those commands in the past, this makes for a really nice enhancement. It’s allowed me to play better pass defense and get some user picks that I probably would have flubbed on prior. Playing as a safety in Connected Careers is especially fun because of this feature. In general the battle between defenders and receivers is much better and having the ability to make an intended play on the ball – whether controlling the offensive or defensive player – is a big part of why.

The CPU AI is definitely questionable at times. The coach makes predictable and generally conservative decisions. The most glaring one is that the CPU will never go for it on fourth and short in the opponent’s territory. They’ll either punt or attempt the field goal. Then, when they do punt, they just boot it into the end zone and don’t attempt to pooch it or go for the “coffin corner”. Late second quarter or late game situations have also yielded rough results for the CPU. It’s not as bad as found in the demo, but the CPU still needs some work done on play calling and clock management.

On default All-Pro the CPU struggles to consistently move the ball. They are generally competent on offense but hardly threatening. The main problem seems to be how often they have negative plays. They take too many sacks – probably to avoid throwing a bunch of interceptions as they’re usually coverage sacks – and get stuffed in the backfield on runs frequently. They’ll stick with the run even when it hasn’t been working. This leaves the CPU in 2nd and long and 3rd and long situations and they just aren’t equipped to convert them – nor should they be – but it means one bad play usually stalls their drives. In the Connected Career season my team finished 25th on offense and 1st on defense which will tell you a lot about how effective the CPU is on offense (hardly) and on defense (fairly strong).

The CPU also fails to put out the proper personnel on the field both in terms of splitting time and situationally. Taking the Saints as an example, Darren Sproles rushed over 20 times in one game. They had him running the ball at the goal line even rather than putting in Pierre Thomas or Mark Ingram. Thomas did get a few carries during the course of the game but Ingram never saw the field. Ultimately there has to be a better way for both the user and the CPU to bring out situation specific packages and tie players to the their strengths.

Games were generally close but more in the sense that I would have to lose a game for the CPU to win it rather than ever flat out getting beat. The CPU will hit the occasional big play but often would stall when in opponent’s territory and especially struggle in the red zone or on the goal line. Because of their inability to convert turnovers into points even a poor performance on my part would find me in position to win the game late.

Penalties are still relatively rare but when they are called it’ll either be holding or false start. There was one time when defensive pass interference was called – ironically it was within five yards of the line of scrimmage and shouldn’t have been.

The CBS feel to presentation is a welcome one – particularly the music and commentary booth lead-in – and the team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms add serious gravity to the games. The commentary flows significantly better than it has in previous years. At times their statements can be fairly generic, particularly within Connected Careers, but it’s easy to see the potential for the commentary going forward. They do occasionally make mistakes in their calls but that can be overlooked rather easily – that they call out every adjustment made quickly becomes irritating however. Still it’s a much brighter area than it has been this entire generation and it’s just the first year with them on the job.

The game intros won’t stay interesting for very long, but when understanding they’re essentially covering up for some loading time they aren’t a bad thing to have. It would have been better if the players used in them were consistently more relevant or changed up and if the poses weren’t always the same. The team entrances which debuted in Madden 12 are gone during the regular season but the Nantz and Simms lead-in works well enough – there just isn’t that sense of initial excitement that came with the entrances. The halftime show is probably something best skipped through. It doesn’t even have actual highlights from the game.

Like the NCAA Football series replays are a mishmash of shots that come from cameras that don’t exist and are shown in ultra-slow fashion. In this area Madden 13 regressed from Madden 12 which had some really nice, timely, camera cuts and an overall broadcast feel. There was room for a lot of improvement still but instead of building on that they once again changed the vision and that makes it one of the more disappointing aspects of the game.

Crowd noise is improved – though ultimately it just seems like the crowd has been made louder and that they stay at too constant of a level. Their reactions are not always on point and they don’t ramp up the noise in all situations that are warranted. There have been times where they’ve seemed quieter on third down or when in the red zone. The crowd also doesn’t react to the results of challenged plays.

One area that is severely lacking and oftentimes frustrating is the challenges. The NFL instituted a new rule this year in which every turnover – just like every touchdown – will be automatically reviewed. This doesn’t happen in Madden 13 and in many cases on turnovers there isn’t even the option presented to manually challenge them.

Graphically the game still excels, with player models looking better than ever, but the lighting can be problematic. During day games dark jerseys can look black depending on the direction of the sun and shadows and in some cases the two team’s uniforms can be difficult to distinguish under those conditions. Most of the coaches look so exaggerated in stature that it’s questionable how they got approved. It’s still a shame that Madden doesn’t have a screenshot feature. The game looks fantastic in pre and post-play scenes, replays, and images.

The Game Face feature has gotten strikingly accurate. Faces can be built through the website here. Unfortunately everything tested using the Game Face within Madden NFL 13 seemed to be broken. As a created Game Face coach in Connected Careers the game continually froze up – with there even being the problem of the league settings never being presented at setup. In Connected Careers as a player my guy came out ghost white. Ultimately I just had to restart both and go with either a created coach/player not utilizing Game Face or just to take over a current coach/player or a legend

Kinect for Xbox 360 voice commands are still hit and miss like in the demo. What has been discovered is that the game noise seems to adversely affect how Kinect picks up the commands. In Practice mode, where there is no crowd or commentary, it recognizes the voice commands much more consistently. Within games though shouting for “no huddle” is about the only thing I’ve found myself using it for. There simply isn’t enough time to make multiple worthwhile adjustments through Kinect particularly when it isn’t reliably interpreting the requests.

The legends have been implemented in a clever way. Sadly only a portion of the full roster of legends is actually available to use in Connected Careers. However having the option to take those guys into the mode is great – and they even wear their old gear. It’s a shame that 16 of the 25 players and 6 of the 7 coaches eligible for CC are currently locked away. Those held back as pre-order incentives will be unlocked for all in September while the others can be unlocked by obtaining them in Ultimate Team mode. The full roster of legends is presumably available to collect immediately within Ultimate Team mode.

Other Notes
•Seems that surprise onside kicks have been removed.
•Like the effectiveness of pump fakes. They’re just a little too drawn out.
•Like the ability to cancel play action with RT.
•Like WR fades into the end zone.
•Lack of stadium specific quirks. Ex: Altitude in Denver affecting kicks.
•The no-huddle system needs to be revamped.
•With accelerated clock on there’s no downside to huddling in the last 2 mins.
•Star players make big plays.
•Sacks and fumbles tend to come in bunches. Can make it feel sloppy at times.
•Assisted tackles aren’t being recorded.
•Fair amount of injuries though not enough minor ones happening.
•The ability to tweet and post to Facebook game results is a nice addition.
• Fantasy Football has a tie in with the game again.
•Can’t believe the Jumbotron graphics like “sack” and “injury” are still around.
•Nice touch having Jason Witten and Tony Romo on the sideline with hats on backwards.

Madden NFL 13 won’t necessarily be the turning point for the series in recapturing consumers who may have soured on it. However it’s done enough in one year that anyone will be able to recognize the improvements to gameplay and at least the attempt to advance presentation which has much farther to go. Content wise Madden NFL 13 is rich with the impressive Connected Careers in play – and hopefully a carry-over of the excellent online play from last year – in addition to more niche features like Ultimate Team and integration of legendary players and coaches.

Madden NFL 13 may not represent a revolution but it does achieve a sense of revival that could generate the momentum needed to really take the series to the next level. Check out the comprehensive write-up on being a Coach in Connected Careers here. Look for online impressions next week and the full Hits and Misses review to follow!

  • Bricks8884

    Nice job in the review Pasta. Now off the iPad for me till this 5.11gb game downloads!

  • Mac

    I appreciate the review Pasta. Not overwhelmed however by the demo or your description of the game so I will probably pass this year and stick with Fifa, which has become a much more fun game to play for me. I bought Madden 12 last year because I figured I have bought it every year before and figured I just “have” to, but got very bored after about two weeks and ended up trading it in. I have the sense from playing the demo that buying this year would lead to the same outcome – boredom and trading it in. Just my opinion.

    • Agreed

      same sentiments here. although the difference between this year’s madden and every other year of the next gen iterations is I have a positive outlook on the direction they’re taking things, something I surely couldn’t say about 11 or 12. a part of me wants madden 13 just because i’ve played madden since the genesis days, but i’ve just gotta stop cold turkey. there’s other sports titles that i enjoy more these days (fifa, nhl, mlb the show, nba 2k).

      i hope they do well and those who choose to buy it this year enjoy themselves but i just have a feeling, in my own case, that this years version is just gonna have an extended honey moon stage. i’ll get bored of it in a couple weeks tops, unfortunately. also let’s be real here, cc mode is behind on the ball, almost every career mode in other sports titles have had rpg elements,
      for years at this point.

    • Santino Marley

      I can’t emphasize how HUGE editiing is to me and all of us. NO DRAFT CLASS TOO… I dont hate madden but to just eliminate that was just a kick to the balls (or arrogance)

    • daley7199

      If your just playing by yourself then that most likely will be the case, but if you tend to play more online, then the game will hold much more appeal. The reason, most likely, why you favor FIFA so much is the fact you, indeed, bought Madden every year. Did you buy FIFA every year too? Madden doesn’t change that much from year to year and it IS still football so it stands to reason that it will become a bit stale.

      All sports games are like this. If you play them too much then you are bound to get bored with them. The sport doesn’t change and there is only so much you can do with a sports game. A developer is confined by the rules of the sport. You can change the wrapping but the present will always be the same.

      That is why I prefer shooters much more than sports games. The mechanics of shooters don’t change much which is a good thing but the maps and such always change which keeps the genre fresh.

      • Derrek

        Fifa has made far more year by year advances than Madden the last 3 years. I buy it every year, and it improves so much more. People are upset with Madden’s gameplay whereas people love Fifa’s gameplay and improvements seem to just add on. The next Madden version just tries to fix it and mostly fails or adds more gameplay problems.

        • Keith.

          Also doesn’t hurt that Fifa has a lot more, and a lot better, gameplay and replay cameras than Tiburon football.

      • Crimson

        If your just playing by yourself then that most likely will be the case,
        but if you tend to play more online, then the game will hold much more




        • Christopher5

          Hahaha…true, true.

      • Mac

        What you say definitely makes sense – I just started playing Fifa a lot this year and growing up in the US not playing soccer, it is all new to me. Maybe I don’t know all of the problems that are in Fifa because I am naive in terms of the overall sport. Nothing I can do about it however in relation to Madden. We are all I think just looking for that one year where everything lines up and we say, “wow, this is what we’ve been waiting for” and it just never comes from EA in terms of Madden.

  • Bricks8884

    What IS up with leaving out the fake onside kick? They need readd next patch

    • I’m guessing its cause they went back to the right stick kicking. The surprise onside kick mechanic was implemented with the button kicking Madden had. Wouldn’t think it’d be hard though to shift it over as an option to select.

      • Khadeem

        I dont know why they went back to the right stick kicking. I believe most Madden fans are not a fan of it. The best kicking to me was Madden 05 with a number representing the power and accuracy.

    • jr


  • AbstractVision_

    When you play someone online and you post the game results on twitter, does it show the user name of the player you played against?

    • Good question – I haven’t gotten to playing online yet so I haven’t seen the tweets about those games. I do like that the Facebook postings go into some stats though (top rusher and passer mentioned).

  • NELL86

    I didnt expect a revolution in one year but if it play a good game of football im good!!! It seems there on the right track now and hopefully with patches we can get a even better game

  • Mark

    Do rookie qbs still have those ridiculous linemen facemasks? Can Uniforms be edited?

  • roopan111

    Pasta do you mind super simming a couple of games with different quarter lengths and posting the results?

  • Mark

    To clarify, I mean can you edit drafted players facemasks, jersey numbers, sleve styles, etc?

    • There’s no editing at all within Connected Careers. Not even changing a jersey number.

      I’m still of the belief that they’ll possibly patch that in. They notably never ruled that out – the silence tends to mean they’d at least be investigating the possibility.

      • Mark

        Thanks for clarifying that. Hope they patch that in. How hard could that possibly be? Thanks again.

        • Keith.

          You’re talking about a development studio that hasn’t figured out how to add in-game saves or a chain-gang (NCAA) in 8 years. “Hard” seems to mean something different with these guys.

  • wolf onatshirt

    In Player mode offline, are you able to control other players let’s say if you’re a qb can you control defense as well? and are you able to make trades, acquire fa, etc?

    • No. As a player you just control your one guy. Though you do have control over play calling for your side of the ball and pre play adjustments for the whole team. Just the other side of the ball is supersimmed.

  • Brain

    “•Nice touch having Jason Witten and Tony Romo on the sideline with hats on backwards.

    MUST. BUY.

    • 49ersfan1

      dgaf about the cowgirls, but thats pretty sick, i hope u can do that in CC for ur own player…

  • JL

    is swat RB or LB?

  • 49ersfan1

    haha i like how romo and witten have their hats backwards…

  • I wionder if it’s true that there are no user replays in this game (i.e. you can’t call up a replay from the pause menu). if that’s true, that would be a travesty.

    • KCmizzou852

      instant replays are still in?

  • Fantastic review. I totally agree with the presentation comments. I absolutely HATE the change to the replays. The garbage NCAA system of constantly switching angles during slo motion is terrible. It’s not TV style. Where are the broadcast replays or any variety? I don’t get it.

    • Keith.

      Amazing the replay guy still has a job.

      • The funny part is, when Ian was in charge of replays, they were actually awesome in Madden 11. You know you’re in some sheee-it when you long for the days of Ian Cummings on any aspect of the game.

        Though, as a final disrespect. the replays were the only good part about Madden 11. Everything else was ass on a sesame seed bun.

  • clubsteve

    doesn’t look bad…..just disappointed that a game (2k5) still has better presentation than madden (even with the espn license). why did ea buy the license if they aren’t even using it?

    • To get rid of the competition.

      • Keith.

        And because they’re pu$$ies, afraid to compete the fair way (on the field).

      • Jr

        Smh. once again someone claims EA wanted to get rid of competition when all along the NFL only wanted one company to have exclusive rights. EA had the money, Take Two didn’t. its that simple

        • Nope, there was more to it. EA approached the NCAA, Arena Football League, and ESPN for exclusive licenses. It was a very obvious tactical block-out.

          What makes me shake my head is that all of these years later and with documented info, people STILL don’t get it.

  • Lionus



  • infemous

    damn. was hoping that playcalling would improve. have you checked it with sliders?

  • Keith.

    Decent review, Pasta. I would’ve liked to have seen you call them out also for not having in-game saves or for not having many more gameplay camera options, but if they haven’t listened in 8 years no reason to think they’d care to hear it now.

    The whole game’s just so half-assed, top to bottom.

  • HelioLoco

    I know I’m in the minority for this but I have to ask, is there broadcast commentary in connected careers?

  • i think EA finally made some progress

  • Dan

    I wanted so badly for this game to be good. Early on it had loads of potential; unfortunately, the demo spoke volumes in terms of differentiating upgrades from simple smoke blowing. For instance, what at one time was considered a “Major upgrade in presentation”, turned out to be what I deem as a pretty pathetic attempt at realism. EA promised their presentation to resemble “Everything you’d see on Sunday.” In reality, they delivered THE WORST replay engine that I’ve ever seen in a sports game. The halftime “show” is nothing short of a joke, and the pregame “show” is redundant and was clearly neglected beyond initial development. As a matter of fact, it’s hard to imagine a football game being any less realistic in this day and age. As far as gameplay goes, the physics engine won’t ever reach it’s true potential, EVER. Unfortunately; EA will drop the ball, per usual, and this “improvement” will quickly be replaced by some other “improvement”, that ultimately fails long term. With all of that being said, the CPU AI was probably the most disappointing aspect. Simple football logic does not apply in this game. Imagine a team, down 28 points in the third, starting a drive on their own 6 yard line. They bang out 10 plays for 59 yards and find themselves in a 4th & 1 situation on their opponents 35 yard line. You’re already thinking, “You go for it! Your down 28 and clearly establishing some momentum on this drive!”… Nope… Alright, “Settle for 3 and hope for a quick turnover!”… Nope… “Punt the football into the 3rd row and give the opponent the ball on the 20?”… YEP… EVERY, FREAKIN’, TIME. There is no worst feeling than that off actively helping the CPU to put itself in realistic situations in the attempt to obtain realistic results. The decisions made by the CPU are truly bizarre at times. One would have to belief that most of the people working on this game aren’t tuned in on Sunday’s. Show me a real NFL game where the home crowd turns ghostly silent after a TD challenge goes in their favor, and I’ll show you a respectable version of Madden worth 65 bucks. Personally, I haven’t been this disappointed in a game in a very long time. I will never again contribute my hard-earned money towards this fraudulent series until they appear competent enough to understand football and the nature in which it is played and presented. Shame on EA, once again, for false advertising and falling completely short of expectations.

    • Crimson

      Wow. You just said it all right there. I could read Pasta’s version of the game again, or I can hang onto your every word as the real truth. Sorry Pasta. I’m afraid of cavities, and your review of the game has sugar just dripping off of it. Thanks Dan. You just set it straight for me, and a lot of others who read this site. I wish you would go and post this write up on Metacritic, as I have a bad feeling that some dirty money was exchanged somewhere.

      • Keith.

        Exactly. I’ve already seen one 9 review (IGN) which stinks from payola.

        Tiburon has mostly gotten away with falsely inflated review scores for 8 years. If more reviews were like Dan’s, we’d all be a LOT better off.

        • Crimson

          Metacritic is at 82 or 83 right now. Unfucking believable. The big payoff. Manila envelopes full of cash being exchanged in dark alleys everywhere you turn.

          • Wink

            Crimson and Clover: (err Keith) Love your constant negitivity on this site. Thanks for giving me a chuckle each day. You both have something called eCourage. Like I explained to my students, you wouldn’t say half the junk you do if the conversation was face to face. You love to “show your muscle” behind the keyboard. Sad.

          • Keith.

            I prefer to think of it as showing my brain — as in, EA can sucker some people every year, but it hasn’t been since 2009 since they last suckered $65 (or $DLC more) outta me. Hope your students are smarter than you.

          • Crimson

            LOL, I’m sure they are a helluva lot smarter than this teacher going by the name “Wink”. You really never know “Wink”, guys like us may be the types that would probably kick the living shit out of teachers named “Wink”. You never know. Tell your students that too.

          • Riposte

            Wait, wait. Lets be real here for a second. NBA 2K12 has a 90% on Metacritic, but we don’t think that’s payola do we? When I first started lurking on this site, I was thinking that EA Sports hate was just an ironic joke that you two were doing, and it was funny. But as time went by, I noticed that you do exactly what you claim Pasta does. You bring forth extreme bias because of one title, when the title tries to change for the better you rip it down. When someone disagrees with you, they are suddenly a “Gamechanger” or person hired by EA Sports to post on a message board (If they are up for sale, they should totally have enough money to hire hundreds of folks to post on message boards on their behalf.). But It’s like 2K can do no wrong. I like 2K12 as much as the next guy, but neither of you two have even played Madden 13. Like at all. I fail to see how that makes either of your opinions valid in the matter.

            @363911f89f650452b1ec5d127e31e9de:disqus I pray my play-time won’t be as bad as yours, as you seem to be coming from the same place that I am. Someone who wants the game to be good. I’ll still drop the $60 because September looks to be a barren month for gaming other than this, so I hope it’ll be good, but I’ll keep your opinion in mind while playing it.

          • Keith.

            I’ve played the demo, read enough impressions from guys like Dan, and know what Tiburon has delivered in the past — which is more than enough to know it’s not in the same category as The Show, NBA2k, and even NHL. If you like the game, great — don’t let my posts bother you, just skip right over them. If you continue to read what I have to say, then that’s on you champ.

          • Riposte

            @Keith. But you consistently accuse other people of being hired by EA to defend the game when they bring up valid defenses to sidestep them. You see the game get good reviews and think, “Must be payola.” Don’t you consistently post stock information on EA, wouldn’t payola for so many different publications be a little out of their price range? Just to make sure it doesn’t clash with your other arguments.

          • Keith.

            Re-read Dan’s review. Then consider the game also doesn’t have in-game saves, and that only the default camera angle works in CCM, the mode they’ve been hyping since March. Do the math. If you still believe an 8th iteration game with that background deserves a 9, which is Show and NBA2k territory, then I don’t know what to tell you, other than we’ll never see eye to eye when it comes to sports videogames.

          • Riposte

            I don’t think we will, because I think that in-game saves are more of a luxury than something completely necessary for a game to be great (seeing how FIFA lacks this feature). The camera angles seems more like a pet peeve with you, in my opinion I’m playing a football game, not taking a photography class at the Learning Annex. NBA 2K12 does have multiple camera angles but most people gravitate towards the one (Turbo in MyPlayer) because without it you can’t see some people. The default camera doesn’t hinder my playstyle, to me it seems like the lack of options makes you dislike Madden more than anything else. I think I see where we diverge in opinions. We both realized that Madden was shitty, and I take this release as a reboot, it seems like they’ve got a new engine, a new fun franchise mode (I’m comfortable with XP and the lack fantasy draft and editing) and the ability for me to play in a “Be A Pro” style league online with my buddies. You take this release as, “more of the same” but as someone pointed out before, or multiple people have several times, what is stopping you from creating your own football game? Even if it’s sim only? In the day and age where Kickstarter and Rockethub are funding indie projects, what’s stopping you from praying for a title that will most likely never happen (as much as it pains me to say) and making that next step into actually fixing the problem?

          • jamarcus2russell

            You”re completely wrong, madden can be such a good game but every year they feed us bullshit and say it will be better and hype up the stupidest features ie. gameflow… EA fails on even the simplest part, which is presentation something simple like loose arm sleeves has yet to be put into the game. The franchise mode in madden 2007 was better than the current version that shows what the bums at EA have been doing for the past 6 years… Everyone that’s saying madden is incredible is a bum at the game. I rank top 1000 every year and the features that a true madden player like myself wants never get put into the game, instead they just put in features for the guy who’s going to to play the game ten times a year with his friends… #boycottmadden #jamarcus2russell… if you didn’t know well now you know

          • Riposte

            I don’t think being in the Top 1000 entitles you to a better experience. But, lets take a look at your argument here.

            “Every year they feed us bullshit and say it will be better.”

            What bullshit did they feed us this year? They straight up told us everything. Connected Careers is in the game. There’s a new physics engine. They delivered everything they said they were going to. They said the game would be better? Is it? From a critical standpoint, no one can say. Sure Madden 13 has an 85% at Metacritic currently, but only with 10 reviews compared to Madden 12’s 78 with 55 reviews. On a fan-standpoint, they delivered, and they didn’t. A Madden fan will buy this game, and have their faith restored in the series. A Madden fan will buy this game, and decide that they hate it. So on a subjective level, they made the game better and worse.

            “A true Madden player.”

            People say stuff like this online, and it confounds me to no end. So because you’re in the Top 1000 you’re more deserving of the title than the rest of us? We like Madden because we’re bad at it (because that makes a ton of sense). I hope I’ll play the game more than 10 times a year but uh, thanks for posting?

          • jamarcus2russell

            The bullshit they feed us is that connected careers will be great but then tell us you cant edit players, and pretty much all they did was put superstar and franchise mode into one game mode whats so great about that NOTHING!!!… that there’s a new physics engine that causes players into unnatural spins on the ground after they get tackled… on all madden receivers cant even make a catch i’ve played ten games or so on the demo and every game i’ve had at least 7 drops a game… and yea i am entitled to a better game because i’m gonna play the game 500 times or so from online franchise and just with friends as oppose to you who will play ten games with your friends and never touch the game again… i dont understand what you have going on with EA… because i wont feature in the game that would make it better you bash me… right that makes so much sense… and to your point that they delivered on everything they said they were going to do… yea too bad everything they delivered on blows…. #jamarcus2russell dont hate me cause i tell it how it is

          • Riposte

            What makes you think that I’ll play the game ten times with my friends online? I’m almost strictly an offline gamer and I look for games that’ll give me good single-player experiences first.

            They said that Connected Careers would be great, as opposed to saying it would be shitty (because that’s a horrible marketing line, ‘Connected Careers! It’s sorta shitty but still buy it.’). I’m not one of those guys who spends 3 days editing my players until they are up to reality level standards. I dabble with fantasy draft, games don’t break for me when that feature isn’t included. It’s like finding out your cake comes with extra icing, that’s nice but I didn’t buy the cake just for the icing.

            Now from “I don’t understand what you have going on with EA…” down, I don’t understand. I think you’re responding to when I replied to an earlier statement you made that everyone likes this game because we suck at it (“Everyone that’s saying madden is incredible is a bum at the game.”) because that’s a really redundant statement. They delivered on what they said they were going to, and you judge but the posts here that the reaction is mixed. In a world with opinions as varied as they are, I think that’s the best that a company can hope for after several lackluster instalments.

          • jamarcus2russell

            yea you said it yourself these guys at EA dont care about the “Icing on the cake” this is why the game will never be great… Its like anything in life if you want it to be good you have to make everything good down to the smallest details… i also never said you would play 10 games online with your friends i just said you would play 10 games with your friends (offline)… also im not saying market the game by saying that “it sucks” but every year they hype the worst features and act like they are great… Madden 2011 they hyped gameflow like it would revolutionize the game but no good player ever uses gameflow… and whats with all the connected careers talk about “trying to become a legend” is that not what superstar mode already was? and franchise mode once again disappointing… and the difference between you and i in our thinking is this that you dont care for the small things like fantasy draft but i would put it in the game and give the option to play with or without it, but they dont even give that option… on EA forums people have a lot more dislikes than likes so im not just talking out of my ass… go ahead enjoy the same BS again this year not worth 70 bucks to have a roster update…

          • Riposte

            Down to the smallest details? I think you’re mistaking the distance between good and exceptional. I’d love for this year’s Madden to be exceptional, but I don’t expect for everything to be like that. It looks like it’s going to be good, not exceptional and I’ve abstained from buying the last 3 – 4 instalments in the series.

            “But I would put it in the game and give the option to play with or without it.”

            I think the biggest difference between us that I’d rather something to be nixed entirely instead of jumbled together a day before deadline. I’ve had that shit happen to me before. I’m excited about playing a great shooter or something and it’s fun but either the single player or multiplayer is tacked on just for the sake of it, and it ends up sagging the entire experience for me. In the case of gaming where development means time which means money (and adding on a Fantasy Draft isn’t as simple as copy and pasting an Excel file five minutes before deadline), I’d rather they just be honest and completely nix the whole damned thing, rather than having a less than satisfactory fantasy draft full of bugs and glitches or hey, maybe releasing it through a patch.

            I do care for the small things, but my side of it usually falls into presentation, it hurts that Madden 13 won’t have the halftime show and such that makes it the perfect football video game for me, but I remember Madden 09. I remember how horribly put together that halftime show was, something that stank of a tacked on feature rather than something fully expanded upon.

            But I guess what you’re saying is true. If you want things to be great, you have to make everything great down to the smallest details. That is until deadlines come in. Then it becomes a matter of focusing on some thing over others, and it’s a gamble because you’re not going to appease every fan.

            But I’ll enjoy the same BS again this year, or rather for the first time in 3 years that isn’t worth 70 bucks. Maybe it’ll be worth the 60 dollars I pay though.

          • jamarcus2russell

            they shouldnt have to just put it together before the deadline, instead of adding dumb features like gameflow and connected careers they should focus on more important things… also i now understand why you feeel this is an improvement from before because u havent played the last 3… so that is all

          • Riposte

            More important things like fantasy draft? Or jersey editing? Importance is subjective.

            I haven’t played in 3 years, but shit will be shit. If it’s good it will be good. I don’t have a background with the game like my father died while typing the final line of code so it’ll be good no matter what, and John Madden didn’t rip my first born’s head off. I’ll find it quality if I find it quality. Straight.

      • Nova

        what a surprise. Haters Crimson and Keith (who are probably the same person) jumping on the contrarion bandwagon. Why do you come here again?

        • Keith.

          What part of Dan’s review do you disagree with?

    • Keith.

      Great review.

    • Mac

      Excellent comments – what you said summarizes the problems so well for me. The game just isn’t fun anymore (at least for me) because of issues that are always there. The issues may change a bit each season, but there are always several that take away from the game so much. And the frustrating thing is they don’t seem to be ones that would be hard to fix.

    • Ugo

      who the hell cares about halftime and pregames shows. How is the gameplay especially online?

    • Kelly

      I enjoyed your write up. EA has a great marketing dept. I see M13 commericals everywhere now. they look great with Paul Rudd. Too bad the game is such a letdown. It’s like meeting a girl whose tits look huge with her nice dress on, but when you get into the sack and take off the dress, you discover she had a pushup bra on. That girl’s name is Madden!

  • Joey

    Shitty color lipstick on a fat, old pig

    • Keith.


  • Read the whole thing. Nice write up pasta!

  • Malick Niane

    does anyone know if Jeff Demps is in the game

    • Jr

      Not yet seeing that he just signed over the last week. Should be in the second update

  • Jr

    I observed a game this morning while I was cutting my hair and noticed that there were more penalties being called than when I play. There were pass interference calls on both sides of the ball, clipping, roughing the kicker and roughing the passer. Normally I may get 2 penalties called on me per game

  • Dave3979

    The game doesn’t excite me anymore, hasn’t for years. I’ve got the Season Ticket and even debated downloading it. I did, but I’m not impressed. As Pasta pointed out: the cpu AI is just so stupid! It’s not competitive, it’s not challenging, it’s just boring!

    Can’t wait for NHL and FIFA, those games I love. Madden is a complete bust.

  • Crimson

    Like everyone said…nice write up Pasta!!!

    Its complete bullshit, but you spread it out so very nicely all over the page.

    • Crimson

      Word on the street is the game is all shine and collisions and….




      • Christopher5

        man jpdavis82 is all over the OP forums praising this turd. I was expecting greatness when i waited about an hour for this demo to load up. Boy was i shocked when the RTP didn’t appear to be that much of a different feeling than all the other games. I really like the running into lineman glitch and falling to the turf!

        • Crimson

          LOL…Is he? That figures. Its just the same old game. Now with less AI.

          • Christopher5

            i just can’t understand what the point of putting HOF greats in a game is, whenever they play like TY Hilton? HOF greats should have their own special moves and likeness in the game, bottomline. This is nothing more than saving us the time of creating all these players and slapping their face on the screen. I will say that bringing the gameface feature back was a nice touch, but why did they ever take it out to begin with?

        • Keith.

          He got passed over to be a Game Changer (again) this week — saw him congratulating the newest douche bags who got picked. My guess is he’s getting a start on next year already.

          • Christopher5

            hahaha yea i saw that…never too early to start lickin EA ass!

  • is anyone else completely dominating? I like realism, and usually Madden puts up a pretty good challenge on All-Pro. This year I’ve been using the Rams, and I just beat the Lions 45-0. Something isn’t right. And then All-Madden is just ridiculous. No catches, can’t run, etc. Someone needs to make a good slider set.

  • Wolfy

    How can I install the game to my PS3 hard drive??? I know I’m a newb. Please take it easy on me.

  • Willy_Beamin

    I feel as though as it is exactly the opposite for me, my Offense seems to fly down field on All-Pro/All-Madden but my defense can’t get any pressure whatsoever. I get turnovers like it’s nothing but I can get maybe 2 sacks a game it is beyond ridiculous…I’ve even gone has far as adjusting the sliders and going to rookie difficulty just to see if it was any different, even with doing all that still only 1-2 sacks per game.
    I understand that getting 8 sacks per game isn’t norm but I’m not expecting that I would like to at least get pressure, hit the QB a bit and average maybe 4 sacks per game.

  • Kaylab

    The darkness of players which they are saying is from shading from the sun on the players needs a patch ASAP! I can’t believe they are putting that much focus on lighting, now look they put so much focus on it and now jack it rite up, it’s hard to tell offense from defense and even the ref from that ignorant move EA choose to do on lighting in the gameplay. Out of all the madden games that ever release this M13 has to be call the most cartoony looking 1 during gameplay, EA let me give your’ll some ideas take madden 2010 and add the infinity engine and we would have a alright madden game.

  • khalidx

    I am the biggest 2k fan . I think the game is impressive

  • AmazinsCowboys

    Wait so all of the players and coaches available for pre-order will be available for everybody come september? so if I pre-order from gamestop I get Barry Sanders and John Madden now, but can still get Tom Landry and everybody else later?

  • Keith and Crimson

    My name is Keith and Crimson, I like to only talk about how bad EA Sports is, but when comes to 2k sports absolutely nothing is wrong because they are 100% perfect. I love being a 2k fan boy, and quite frankly i like penis as well. Oh and remember their is absolutely nothing wrong with 2k only good things happen in 2k. Oh and did i mention i like to eat penis?

    • Keith and Crimson

      I should also add, that the NBA dunk cams look just like the ones in 2k, even though they do not i will still say they do because 2k is unfailable of course. Oh and when you get sucked into an animation dunk and are not able to defend it, that also happens in the NBA all the time (not), oh and also Tyson Chandle is just as fast as Derrick Rose so thats why he can keep up with him on fast breaks (not), oh and the reason you can simulate a whole season and have teams like the Wizards, Golden State Warriors, Raptors, Piston, and Cavs in the playoffs, well thats a simple answer that happens in real life right? (nope again) but never mind that 2k never fails. I like penis.

      • Crimson

        Do you like penis? Its a choice. We ain’t here judging you. Would you like to actually talk to somebody about it? Are you confused about it? You don’t have to keep it to yourself. There is a lot of support out there for you. You should seek it out.

        • My Name is Crimson

          You need help because you think their is nothing wrong with 2k, whenever they do something stupid and bad you praise it. I bet if they put a legendary team on Madden, then forgot to add a player you would be all over it, but NBA 2k adds the dream team and misses Pippen you dont give a shit because it 2k. It all has to do with what the title says. You need to regroup the parts of your fucking head because you honestly do not think right, just because one title says EA and one says 2k does not mean you need to choose one to hate for no reason. Also if you do not think that NBA 2k13 isn’t the same exact thing with a few little things added you a fucking dumb ass and have no sense at all. Oh but i forgot you can’t see the bad in 2k because of the way you think.

          • My Name Is Crimson

            is the same exact thing*

  • khalidx

    Played the game extensively. Had a great game Dolphins vs Bears in the rain . The rain really affected gameplay . Running was hard and passing was difficult. Hard hitsyou could see the rain bounce off players . Incredible . Field degradation was noticeable and dirty uniforms were great. Both teams looked terrible. Halftime score was 14 -7 ,Bears. I took a 24-14 lead in the 4th quarter . Got cute and made a bad pass . Dolphins s score. Its 24-21. I try to milk the clock with 3 minutes left and fumbled. Dolphins score on 4th and goal take a 28-24 lead. I get he ball with 50 seconds left. Nothing doing . I lose the game. O I failed to mention I was playing All Pro Football with Ratesports NFL rosters.

    • CSaintSwag

      Sounds like a shitty game. I am sorry.

  • khalidx

    The graphics to me are downgraded. Playing the Saints. Why does the Astrodome have blades of grass?

  • khalidx

    Pasta where are the hot routes ? I do not see where I can make an audible on offense ?

  • Dave3979

    Okay, I’ve spent many more hours with the Early Release and my thoughts have changed slightly.

    The new physics engine really does make for some amazing looking player interactions. Of course there are plenty of strange and odd looking ones as well. Seeing guys being twisted and bent on the ground in ways the human body was not designed to bend needs to be corrected. But seeing a running back twist and turn out of a tackle looks amazing and very realistic. So I suppose this is a good base to build off of.

    I really like Nance and Sims in the booth. They really do a pretty good job and it sounds like a real broadcast. It doesn’t sound like sound clips strung together.

    The problem for me still is the cpu AI. The play calling the cpu makes is so stupid at times. It makes it impossible to know if you’ve actually won the game because of your abilities or if the cpu gave you the victory because it’s so inept. Because of this I can never shake the feeling that I’m just fooling myself about this game. It looks good, although many of the player models look like monsters, it plays pretty smooth, sound is decent. But am I actually earning anything?
    If I do decide to buy this game I will look to buy a used copy late in the year. FIFA and NHL are going to take up most of my gaming time.

  • TNTraek24

    aight well i might be the only person on here who is actually excited about Madden 13 but im sticking to it. The only thing that gripes me about Madden is SOME of the player ratings but that isn’t THAT big of an issue. I played the demo countless times, have been playing Madden since i can remember, and will STILL be playing madden when im old and dying (im 23). You people who hate this game so much need to realize that…. *drum roll* IT’S A VIDEO GAME!!!! of course the people aren’t going to ‘move like real people do’ because they aren’t real people if you haven’t noticed. EA has done an amazing job of listening to criticism and doing their best to make the game as enjoyable as possible. I remember last year a bunch of people were bitching about the tackles being fake and how people always fell forward, now they fixed it and people are STILL bitching about that. I remember last year when people were bitching about the Receivers not catching the ball how they should because they slow down too much, or they rocket catch or whatever, they fix that and people are now bitching about some receivers being TOO good? I hated how the CBs seemed to win EVERY jump ball and as far as I can tell, that has been remedied.
    Do ya’ll not remember Madden 2007 for ps3? that game blew and the only route you could complete was a drag, literally just crossing drags. This game is Totally playable and enjoyable, and that’s coming from someone who ONLY plays online. (add me by the way, PS3: TNTraek24) if you hate the game so much, dont buy it and shut the fuck up. we all know your gonna buy it anyways, so enjoy it and stop acting like everyone online isn’t playing the EXACT same game you are playing. You still win on your ability to play Defense, Offense, and display your stick skills (and of course a little luck sometimes, but it’s sports, it happens) …. yeah i think thats it. ; ) #RavensNation by the way

    • jamarcus2russell

      you sound like you suck at madden… madden 2007 was sick if you were actually good you know that you could complete more than just drags…also its not about graffics its about small details like loose arm sleeves that EA never put into the game… and connected careers is a joke they just joined franchise and superstar into one game mode and called it connected careers madden 2007 had a better franchise mode with feature like training camp drills… #Jamarcus2Russell ,

  • Haven’t played a Madden game since ’10. Got this last night..loving it. I wish people would stop talking about NFL 2k5 though..let it go..that’s like saying MVP 2005 is better than the Show.

  • skimydia

    -Madden really needs to step up their game.

    -Ben Tate is a 71 with Justin Forsett being a 78. This is only one debacle made by the game makers but there are plenty more to be seen. Tate should without a doubt be the highest rated back up RB and probably ahead of RBs from AZ, DET, IND, WASH.
    -The new motion engine is cool, but a little too sensitive at times.
    -Freaking Gameflow needs to DIE!!! Isn’t it the same damn things as Ask Madden? Kill it and use that manpower/comp technology to make the game better.
    -The passing game is awesome, but again still a little sensitive.
    -NO FANTASY DRAFT??? are you freaking kidding me?? prob one of the coolest features of every single madden was this and they took it out? MENTAL DEBACLE!! someone may have to lose their job for that call.
    -the game is way too over thought. i understand trying to widen the market but lets be real, anyone who likes football will buy madden and has since it came out. swing the pendulum a little bit more to the real football peoples way a little more.
    -auto anything is lame. does COD have an auto anything? get real.
    -more sport oriented people, less brainiacs. play the game at some level before you do anything other than graphics
    -go back to Madden 12s menu interface. no one liked this interface on NBA 2K12 either…. copy cats
    -Donnie, shoot me an email and let’s salvage what we can.
    and big ben is not clutch