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 Review: Madden 21 Next-Gen is a “Blocked Punt” In the 4th Quarter of Blowout Loss

Madden NFL 21 Next Gen/ Trailer

Review: Madden 21 Next-Gen is a “Blocked Punt” In the 4th Quarter of Blowout Loss

After logging 24 hours of Next-Gen Madden 21 game play, the controversial football title fails to safely execute.

It’s been a difficult year for the popular sports franchise. Earlier this year, other sports gamers began tweeting #NFLDropEA and the hashtag began trending. Rightfully so, users were upset at the lack of progress that the monopolized NFL title has made.

I waited to purchase the title until I was able to get my hands on a Next Gen console. Playing the game on XBOX SX, I wanted to love the game so much; simply for the sake of the sport that I love. However, the game just doesn’t get the punt off in time.

Even in a blow out loss where we had just hoped that EA would be able to get one thing right, M21 Next-Gen couldn’t even execute a punt.

Let’s dive in:

Franchise should just leave the game.

Many won’t like that statement. Among the sports gaming community, many disagree with my sentiments on the idea of Franchise mode leaving the game.

Madden’s once famed mode is now literally the worst in sports gaming history. Playing Madden 21’s franchise mode is arguably less interesting than repainting my parent’s living room. I think that if the game were to separate itself from the idea of Franchise Mode, us franchise fans may get a better product from a different company or development team.

It’s clear that EA is now only concerned with modes that use micro-transactions to survive. For us Franchise mode-rs, we are handicapped as a result. We are treated like jailed convicts, offered a biscuit and water twice a day.

M21 recycled its Franchise Mode interface from the last few titles. Actually, recycling would be a step up because when we recycle things, we break old things down and make them into new. M21 literally just uses the same Franchise interface that we saw in M18-20.

A small list of Franchise Mode issues:

Among the lengthy list of needed Franchise changes, here are 3 that stood out to me the most.

  • Dense interface – How cool would it be if we could get detailed contract negotiations? Coaching trees? Updated stat comparisons with coinciding commentary? Intuitive off-seasons? Improved and realistic media coverage? I hate to be “that guy” but these are things we got in 2004 with NFL 2K… Never mind.
  • Boredom – There’s nothing exciting about playing the next game in the season. When I compare the Franchise mode of NBA 2K, I’m always interested in what will happen the next time my team takes the court. I’m also excited about what’s going on around the league. I don’t know whether it’s lack of story line depth or the shear density of the mode but it’s not fun to keep up with.
  • CPU Logic – In one game, I’ve noticed that the Broncos have signed Colin Kaepernick (who is rated entirely too high) and the 49ers picked up Earl Thomas. Now for some people, those signings don’t mean anything but for me it’s super unrealistic. It makes me nervous about continuing to play the mode because the CPU logic has traditionally been a problem in Madden. I’m nervous about the story lines in real life and whether they’ll translate to the Franchise.

Glitchy McGLitchens.

That could be the name of this game.

As a Franchise sports gamer, it’s a golden moment when you finally get your Franchise mode set up (gerryrigged) enough to begin your story. I’ve finally done that and I have started playing into the season. I’ve been frustrated more than elated.

The game is broken. There’s no secret about that and I kind of believe that EA should begin refunding people for it. In these first few games, I have seen players running through each other, excessive “illegal man downfield” penalties on RPO plays, amazing games from traditionally bad QBs, tacklers taking horrible angles, and so many other glitches that I don’t even feel like typing anymore.

Look at this trash moment during my Week 2 match-up in Denver:


It’s nearly impossible to play the game. I don’t want to admit it, but I’m slowly getting closer to just focusing on building my NBA 2K season and putting Madden on the back burner. Just when you begin to enjoy the game, a glitch strikes and ruins the moment. I find myself having to do a lot of extra work to thoroughly enjoy the game and I’m on the edge of deeming it completely unplayable.

Deepest pain.

That’s what makes the pain so tough to endure.

Not only am I an avid franchise sports gamer, I’m also a spirited fan of Football. I think it’s the next best thing ever created besides coffee. I watch NFL Sunday and can’t wait to get some free time so I can check on how my league is doing. It’s a place where I can live out my team-building fantasies and watch these simulations play out according to my script.

It’s like I get to write a book while playing a game but the glitches make that difficult. This game is so broken that even if you’re rooting for EA, it’s hard to find any good.

The rating.

Let’s take a look at the game according to a system I’ve drawn up. We can use it to rate other sports titles as they arrive as well. The games will be broken down into an 8-point system based on the game’s soundtrack, graphics, realism, presentation, gameplay, simulation, arcade, and Next-Gen Maximization (NGM).

NGM analyzes the game’s performance based on Next-Gen capabilities. It’s like asking, “has this game made the jump to Next-Gen?”

Now, here’s Madden NFL 21 Next-Gen.

  • Soundtrack – 2/10
  • Graphics – 8/10
  • Realism – 1/10
  • Presentation – 2/10 (New Pre-Game intro and voice might be the most annoying thing)
  • Gameplay – 0/10
  • Simulation – 3/10
  • Arcade – 4/10
  • Next-Gen Maximization – 2/10

Final Rating: 28%

That’s almost 1 1/2 stars. We’ll get some stars in here later.


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