Madden 15 brings ‘Gridiron’

Daniel Ojeda, Sports Editor

As the calendar flips to September, there are only two things that can mean, that the football season is fast approaching and the anticipated release of the new Madden 15 for the Xbox One.

Last year’s game, Madden 25, was the first to be released for the next generation consoles and was supposed to give us a glimpse into what this franchise was capable of. Sadly, the game was a letdown due to poor graphics that didn’t resemble anything that was promised and a gameplay that was filled with holes.

Luckily, Madden 15 is able to achieve what last year’s Madden game couldn’t and is also able to build on that success by allowing you to control the defense in a way that wasn’t possible before and also adds the type of presentation to the game that closely resembles what you would see on a Sunday just before kickoff.

But first things first, once the game has been loaded the menu screens and the way you maneuver around seem about the same as last year’s game except for a noticeable difference in movement from one menu screen to another. Everything seems more fluid and tends to load much faster.

The type of game modes available resemble last year’s game with everything from ultimate team to the fan favorite connected franchise.

The one thing that I was looking forward to the most in Madden 15 was the new graphics engine for the game and it does not disappoint.

Before hitting the field you are given a brief summary of the game changers based on the team you picked. Then you are treated to new animations that include a flyover above the stadium that looks amazing and includes close flybys on several players warming up on the field. Top players like Tom Brady and even rookie players like Johnny Manziel are easily distinguishable.

The developers for this game rebuilt it from the ground up and it shows.

During a game, replays of highlights you’ve had throughout your game only add to the amazing graphics that the game is displaying.

During games you’ll notice that jerseys get dirty, the field gets worn as the game progresses and even player’s helmets get scratched.

Despite these advances in the game play and graphics, the biggest changes have been made on the defensive side of the ball. When playing as the defense you are able to rotate the camera angle behind you, for the first time you are able to put it at your back so that you get a better angle once you select your defensive player.

Picking a defensive player during a game has never been easier. The old ways of mashing down the B button until you get to your selected player are gone replaced by simply holding the B button down and flicking the left thumb stick in the direction of the player you want to choose.

All of these changes make playing defense fun, which wasn’t the case with previous versions of Madden.

On offense, running and passing is harder than ever. No longer will you be able to run the same play and pick up the same amount of yardage. Defenses learn what style of play you tend to use and become better at stopping the drive and forcing the punt. Passing becomes more of an art, as passes that are under thrown tend to get picked off and passes that are thrown deep get batted down.

Running the ball means finding the hole in the line and running through it before the defense collapses around you, player ratings have never been more important.

All of these additions help add a level of realism that was missing in recent editions of Madden. There are glitches that happen throughout the game and some you can even look up on YouTube because of how outrageous they are. But those glitches are rare and don’t take away from how far the game has progressed since last year’s version.

After the letdown of Madden 25, this year’s Madden feels like a fresh start and looks as if the franchise is headed in the right direction. A greater control of the defense and a new graphics engine make this one of the better Madden games in recent memory.

As a lifelong Madden fan this game is very impressive and any Madden fan deserves a look, Madden 15 shows that EA Sports isn’t wasting opportunities to improve the series on the next generation consoles.

4/5 Stars