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BY DAVID SCHIELE
Hey, EA Sports.
Your football game needs a facelift.
It’s only been a month since Madden NFL 19 was released to the public, and my verdict on the league’s official video game is overwhelmingly negative.
I barely want to play. Ever since EA Sports obtained an exclusive license from the NFL in 2004, those in charge of Madden have lacked competition. Good for them, because courtesy of that coup by EA Sports, rival developer 2K games had to cease operations on its ESPN NFL video game more than a dozen years ago.
This is bad for the avid sports gamer.
In 2K’s final football game in 2004, players could participate in first person, create custom tournaments, compete against celebrities such as David Arquette and Carmen Electra, customize a house in “The Crib” mode and re-live classic NFL games. At launch, this critically acclaimed game cost only $19.99.
For nearly $60, Madden 19 features oddly shaped player models, cartoonish running animations and overall funky game play. Common injuries, like concussions, are also non-existent. In all, this seemingly realistic football simulator falls flat in the area of realism.
In addition to the wonky physics, Madden’s “Longshot” story mode from Madden 18 had a sequel to forget this year. In the first edition of the story, you control quarterback Devin Wade. Your goal is to get drafted. Your decisions and ability to perform in drills directly affected Wade’s destiny, thus giving the mode re-playability.
I can’t say the same for Longshot 2. The story has already been written out, so no matter how Wade performs, the outcome will be the same. And with hardly no decisions to make during the cutscenes, this sequel is just a poorly written animated football movie.
Some of the best Madden features such as create a team, create a stadium, create a play, create a fan, classic teams and animated broadcasters have been taken out of the game series. In their place, we get weekly roster and commentary updates, but they cannot hold the weight of the crushing disappointment.
And with games NBA 2K19, NHL 19 and FIFA 19 recently released or on their way, all of which feature modes that Madden no longer possesses, more sports gamers won’t be simulating football during football season. But the EA folks probably couldn’t care less.
They’ve already received our money.
David Schiele is a journalism major and an African American studies minor at Georgia State University, graduating in December. He’s the former sports director of GSU’s student TV station. In his free time, David watches pro wrestling, plays video games, and reads. Follow him on twitter @Deacon_Schiele