Video gaming football nerds are in their glory today as Madden 13 is officially released. Of course, if they were true video gaming nerds they would have had access to the game since Friday, like me- EA in their money grubbing wisdom (if you need an example of how money grubbing they are look up the story of The Old Republic- a Star Wars MMORPG they rushed into the marketplace last Christmas) decided to offer a premium service that gives you perks, access to web based content and three days early access to the game.
It feels incredibly polished compared to Madden 12, which may be a backhanded compliment. The passing is much better. I still throw a copious amount of interceptions, but routes that have seemed broken for many incarnations of the game, the fade route being one, are functional. They also have improved on targeting. If you want to throw the ball low where only your guy can get it, you can. If you are like me and think every linebacker is stone hands McGee you can try to lead the target just past his range.
The running is more difficult for me at this point, but I think it is more realistic- that is until you collide with a player, any player. At that point it looks like the developers took their cue from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and the Matrix series. Bodies fly everywhere and in very hyperbole driven fashion. I have witnessed more realistic physics in the Tekken series of fighting games.
The defense feels improved as well. If you want to succeed you need to mix your coverages up, much like you have always had to mix up the offensive playbook. I think they did a solid job with the new skill breakdown as every player seems to be somewhat unique, though I will complain that every left end I have rushed the passer with seems to eat grass courtesy of the right tackle… which makes little sense as the best tackle is usually the left on a team. That is being slightly picky I suppose.
The best part of the game for me has yet to come. My twin brother, my cousin and I are playing an online connected career. We will all be playing in the NFC West and I am at the helm of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I had first pick. Yes, I am a glutton for punishment.
To me that makes the game a solid purchase before even loading it into my system. Family time in the 21st century cybersphere.