The clock ticks down to the last twenty seconds of Super Bowl LI. My team, the Carolina Panthers are currently drawn with the Cincinnati Bengals at 0-0. The commentators announce that this is the first time in history that a Super Bowl has gone into overtime. I can only assume it’s also the first Super Bowl to remain scoreless at the end of regulation playing time. Unfortunately for me, the Bengals are looking to end this stalemate with a 30 yard field goal attempt. As the ball leaves the boot of their placekicker – I make a frantic scramble for the rising ball and somehow manage to smother the kick. As a result of this block, the ball ends up in the hands of my fullback, Mike Tolbert aka ‘Fat Boy’. As Tolbert waddles towards the end zone as fast as he can – commentator Brandon Gaudin poses the question “Does the big guy have enough to bring it home?” Thankfully, Tolbert was able to bring it home in what was a hilarious end to my road to glory. An adrenaline fuelled road that was marred with technical issues and plenty of incomplete passes.
With the release of Madden NFL 17, EA Sports have managed to perfect the juxtapositional balance of remaining true to the intricacies of the sport while still keeping it universally accessible. With a dedicated focus on educating players about every facet of the game – Madden gives players every tool necessary to enable them to become the player they want to be.These skills can be put to the test via such outlets as Madden’s marquee modes – Franchise and Ultimate Team.
As per previous iterations, Franchise mode provides a single-player campaign that allows you to coach and manage a team over several seasons. For a game that provides such a myriad of choice in every aspect, the amount of effort that has been put in to allow a player to blitz through a season is astonishing. Don’t know which players to sign? Madden will suggest some for you. Don’t know which players to focus train? Madden will pick for you. Want to only play attack and simulate playing defense? Madden will let you do that. It’s a self-aware component of Franchise mode that recognises that there are some people who don’t necessarily enjoy everything gridiron has to offer. This air of efficiency also permeates the games you play, as you can now skip in-game cinematics and get straight into picking your next play.