Discouraging news regarding Madden 08 online play

Posted August 6th, 2007 at 4:22 am
Madden 08 John Lynch 4

With the recent debacle that was the complete online experience for NCAA Football 08 came the concern that much of those problems would carry over to Madden 08 as well. Previously I have gone into detail of how numerous aspects of online for NCAA were causing an inordinate level of frustration as well as how reviewers practically ignored those issues.

So with the history of EA Sports titles greatly lacking in online options and performance and coming off of the NCAA release it was obvious why many would be hesitant to expect much better with Madden. Unfortunately it seems that much of those concerns have been realized.

Granted this is only after one online game, and it hasn't even been officially released, but many of the details that are brought up were either done with intent or would seem incredibly unlikely to simply be a coincidence after what has been realized playing NCAA online.

Fred at SportsGamer has posted his first online impressions and responded to a couple questions on my part. Continue through to read summarized observations.

No alternate jerseys online or variable weather

The game was laggy

There is no Live Opponent feature and no sign of another way to use custom rosters or created stadiums online has been found. This is despite a producer talking about this feature in a recent video.

Not enough time to choose plays on defense. Only gives you 7 seconds like with NCAA. The new play call screen makes this even worse

Play call screen button lag and depth chart lag are apparent such as they were in NCAA

When the offensive user zooms the camera out it freezes the defensive user from switching the player they are controlling or making defensive adjustments 

Now there have been some cool additions to online including playing for trophies and challenging calls. Yet if the surrounding aspects of the game are this frustrating they really aren't going to matter that much.

The lag patch that was released on the 360 for Madden 07 a few months after the game had been out completely cleared up the distance based lag that had plagued EA Sports titles for years. Now that it may be returning is crushing even just to imagine. Some of the other problems were evident in NCAA so those weren't as much of a surprise to hear. As upset as I was over the effort for NCAA, that was a game I had only intended to play for a month. Madden is a game I look to play for a solid five.

Hopefully some of these issues can be addressed immediately. However even a potential patch does little to make me feel better about the situation. My patience with the deficient online aspect in these games has all but evaporated.