Yesterday I spent the day reviewing Madden 22 on PS4, and so I thought I would write up a quick review for the site. This game is a pretty big deal for me, as it is my favorite sports game of all time, and I am always excited to see what EA Sports has in store for its game. The first thing that you will notice after starting the game is that it is very similar to Madden 19, which I reviewed recently, so if you have played that game, you will feel right at home.

I was put off by Madden NFL 22’s AI from the start. The thought of the game, the coaches, the commentators, the whole thing gave me serious flashbacks to the NFL2k5 and Madden 06 days of yesteryear.  So naturally, when I saw that the developers had been listening to the fans this year, I was hopeful that there’d be more teamwork and less “goose” from the AI.  I was wrong.

The Madden franchise has been around for a long time, but it took a while for it to make its way to the mobile platform. That changed with the release of Madden NFL 18, which was the first game the series released on smartphones.

As someone who started their Madden NFL adventure on the PlayStation 2 with Madden NFL 2002 and has continued to play every version over the past 20 years, I believe it’s fair to say that fans of the legendary sports series are ready for some major improvements.

While fans receive modest improvements every year and it’s easy to get bogged down in basic roster resets, EA hasn’t placed a premium on improvement outside of modes where microtransactions are the priority (i.e. Madden Ultimate Team).

Despite the fact that Madden 22 maintains the new trend of minor tweaks, the list of changes to the ever-popular Franchise Mode is beginning to seem substantial. The issue is that the franchise continues to be harmed by flaws and malfunctions. 

Short of the Line to Gain in Madden 22

This year, the home-field advantage and gameplay momentum features in Exhibition Mode add strategy to on-field action. While adding an RPG-like layer to your regular Madden mode is fun (and adds a cool new bar at the top of the screen), it mainly highlights problems that have been in Madden for a long time.

Gameplay effects, rather than the coaching skill trees seen in Madden’s earlier Franchise modes, may now impact screen shaking from crowd noise and player skill increases. These effects, known as M-Factors, aim for realism by concentrating on “being on the road,” as well as how X-Factor players may change the game’s momentum.

However, it seems that these features are just receiving a new coat of paint and being spotlighted in Madden 22, rather than developing into anything really new. The enhancements are nice but insignificant when combined with Gameday Atmosphere, which gives gameday a more intimate feel, and an upgrade to Next Gen Stats. 

The focus on cosmetics and purchases linked to your profile in Madden Ultimate Team remains mostly unchanged, and it’s a welcome step forward for gamers who rely on this environment. The Yard returns with a single-player campaign for simulation purists, rounding out the experience.

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Face of the Franchise also returns with a more simplified narrative, which, unfortunately, does more harm than good to the mode. Although certain conversation sequences were longwinded in previous years, this year’s mode is so short that it just serves as a stat-improvement tool. 

Even if the drive for games-as-a-service means the focus in MUT is on repeat buyers, removing the life from narrative mode isn’t the right approach for making Madden a more comprehensive experience. As we’ve seen with many FPS games on the market, resources have certainly been siphoned from narrative and franchise material. 

However, EA has given the defensive side of the ball some love this year, with players being able to become linebackers, which is a big bonus. It’s a fantastic addition to be able to finally join the fight on the defensive side of the ball.

Franchise Mode contains some of the most important modifications outside of the basic gaming experience. The user interface has been enhanced to prevent you from scrolling through many unnecessary pages; metrics, transaction information, and news are simpler to find; and navigation has been fine-tuned in general. 

Furthermore, include coordinators on the coaching hiring sites makes things more realistic, even if it falls short of its own promise. Outside of the current cast of 32 head coaches, Madden 22 lacks real-life coaches, with coordinators filling in with randomly generated names and data.

The redesigned head coach and new player personnel talents, as well as the skill trees linked with those coordinators, are excellent touches. The most major change coming in September is revised scouting, which will involve the employment of a team of scouts, but it’s too bad it won’t be completed in time.

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The greatest letdown in Madden NFL 22 is the recurrence of numerous problems from past editions, as well as the inclusion of a few new ones that continue to irritate players.

Madden continues to bog down in numerous, years-long Franchise Mode saves, and a new glitch counts your Practice Squad as part of your total 53-man roster, forcing you to trim your team too short. 

Players may also disappear when recruited from other teams’ practice squads, as I discovered when I attempted to sign Ravens rookie fullback Ben Mason (Go Blue!). Game crashes are also persistent, which means you’ll be reloading a lot while you attempt to traverse menus. Though problems are unavoidable with AAA releases these days, it’s sad to see things deteriorate rather than improve on that front.

Fortunately, the game plays smoothly at 120 frames per second on the Xbox Series X (in Performance mode), and the graphics are sharper this season.

The Bottom Line in Madden NFL 22 Review

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Pros

  • Franchise Mode is gaining popularity.
  • A single-player campaign is coming to The Yard.
  • Improvements to the gameplay are always appreciated…

Cons

  • But it’s not nearly enough.
  • Bugs and glitches are more common than they’ve ever been.
  • The majority of upgrades are rehashes of previous versions’ systems. 
  • Even more emphasis on content with microtransactions

Madden 22 makes an effort to enhance its gameplay, The Yard, and Franchise Mode, and these improvements seem like a step in the right way.

However, due to the rehashing of previous systems and concepts, the continuing drive toward microtransaction-laden content, and the increasing severity of problems, this iteration will need more time to mature as a software. 

[Note: The copy of Madden 22 utilized for this evaluation was supplied by EA.]

The NFL season has finally arrived, and with it a new version of Madden. This year’s version of Madden is EA’s most realistic yet, featuring gameplay improvements and much more. The biggest change is the introduction of a new shot stick, which allows gamers to control the trajectory of their pass by tapping and dragging the phone’s screen. The shot stick can be used to perfectly place the ball in any area of the field, which is great for gameplay.. Read more about madden 22 review reddit and let us know what you think.

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  • madden 22 franchise mode
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