previews\ Jul 26, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Madden NFL 10 - 360 - Preview 2

One of (if not the) most storied sports franchises in video-game history, EA Sports’ Madden football franchise has been around for several console generations and have seen its way into the hands of millions of gamers. The series is consistently one of the best-selling games around, so it can be safely assumed that gamers are looking forward to the latest entry, which is scheduled to drop this August.

Madden NFL 10 puts the focus on the on-field gameplay instead of adding in groundbreaking new modes. The game adds in a solid new tackling animation system, a slower more accessible pace, and several other small changes to help players feel like they’re really on the field. Madden NFL 10’s modest gameplay changes aren’t extremely groundbreaking, but should do more to bring players into the game’s level of immersion.

One thing that is immediately apparent when playing the game is the change in pacing. Whereas previous entries have been fast and frantic, Madden NFL 10 feels much slower. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the more deliberate pace will allow players that aren’t the most hardcore Madden players to be able to get a better gauge on their receivers and make more calculated decisions on running plays.

Aside from the pace, Madden features some more gameplay changes, including the new injury system. Players have to decide whether to keep a player in the game after they sustain a non-serious injury, but at a stat cost. Additionally, injured players will move differently than others, limping as they leave the field, which is a pretty cool touch that adds some realism to the game.

Graphically, Madden NFL 10 looks pretty sharp, sporting a whole new crop of animations, including some great looking tackles, courtesy of the new Pro-Tak system. Aside from looking good, the result has some pretty cool gameplay implications. Tackles are more of a team effort now, often requiring several players to take down the opposing player. This has some great effects on the running game, and allows you to really get the most out of juking and other moves in order to get some decent yardage.

Madden NFL 10 makes modest additions over its predecessors, but the slower pace should help make it more accessible to casual players while the animation improvements will help keep players engrossed in the game. Look for our full review next month.

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