Quick Madden 10 Demo Thoughts

Posted July 24th, 2009 at 7:24 am


Reaction to the demo for Madden NFL 10 thus far has fallen on the positive side. Well, at least that is the case for those who can actually get a feel for the game by having access to the extended demo. While I haven’t had a lot of time to dedicate playing the demo I wanted to drop some initial notes I took from running through it a few times and from thinking back to how it compares with the E3 build. Continue on to check out the impressions, screenshots, and video.


The first reaction (as expected) from most people has been about the noticeable change in game speed. This is the same thing that happened back at E3. It catches you off-guard at first especially if you’ve been playing NCAA Football 10. However it doesn’t take long to get used to it and see the numerous benefits the more realistic speed provides. Slowing things down slightly ended up being one of the most praised changes for Madden while at E3.

Running, especially up the middle, remains difficult. It seems like the DTs penetrate the backfield on every run play. I had more success running to the outside. Later in the games I started to find some more room up the middle but my feeling from E3 stands. Passing offers much more reward because the run blocking is inconsistent. This ends up pushing towards the feeling that a passing-oriented offense is the way to go.


The pass rush was a big topic of discussion at E3 and after when the Madden devs were working on tuning. Pash rush was primarily seen as a problem in user vs user games rather than games against the CPU. I haven’t played against another user yet to compare though I did notice that my team was not as capable at getting to the QB as the CPU was coming at me. The pass rush from the CPU seems consistent and strong. I found myself getting sacked quite a lot since routes weren’t developing as fast as they have in the past.

I was able to complete several deep balls on All-Pro which I don’t remember happening at E3. It didn’t really feel like they were being contested, as I was able to get my player under the location indicator and come away with a reception.

Because of the slower speed it seems more difficult to lead receivers, almost as if the ball floats for a period of time allowing the players opportunity to get to the spot early. There were some cases though where I was able to drop balls into tight spaces which is a very satisfying feeling.

In the cut scenes following “fight for the fumble”, challenges, and measurements the wrong teams are seen celebrating. For example I threw a questionable TD. The opposition challenged and it was reversed which took away the TD. However in the scene my players were celebrating while the opposing players appeared dejected. On Twitter I asked Ian Cummings whether they were able to get this fixed as it was pointed out back at E3. He stated it was corrected with either the final version of the game or with the release day patch.


For the first time I saw refs confer to discuss whether a player crossed the goal line and it was not deemed to be a TD.

This is supposed to be the Super Bowl so why are the Cardinals treated as the home team by the crowd? There should be a neutral crowd for the SB.

I got a late hit in the video and flagged for unnecessary roughness which is a nice touch this year on close plays on the sideline. Blatant late hits aren’t possible though.

Not sure why but the CPU quick snaps on extra points. Not that there is much, if any, chance to block them but you don’t even have time to change the player you’re controlling. One of the best things about the player lock feature in NCAA Football is being able to reverse the camera when attempting to block kicks. At the very least it makes them more interesting and enjoyable to play through.

It’s going to be tough for those people who switch back and forth between NCAA Football and Madden this year. The controls are different for some functions, the play call screens are radically different, and the fast vs realistic game speed takes time to adjust to. I’m not sure I’ll be able to get completely comfortable with either as long as I’m playing both of them.

Overall Madden 10 remains very promising and the extended demo does a good job of displaying that. With the new presentational elements it has a fresh and exciting feel and the gameplay is clearly improved. Unlike NCAA everyone will notice the progress Madden has made there. Pro-Tak is a big part of that but so is the reduced game speed. If Online Franchise works as advertised then it is obvious the bulk of my gaming will go to Madden this year which hasn’t been the case in a long time.