Madden returns for its annual update with Madden 20 and just in time for the first week of the NFL Pre-season and to get you in the mood for Super Bowl. As a PC gamer, its the second year in a row we get to play it as previously, it hadn’t been on PC since 2007.
Madden 20 is developed by EA Tiburon and published by EA and as well as being on PC (Origin), its also on Xbox and PS4. People luckily to have EA access (consoles) or Origin Premium (PC) would have been able to play the game before it.
So lets put on those pads, helmets and lace up those cleats as we head into the new NFL season.
Before we get into the game, just like other EA Sports titles such as FIFA, we always want to know what’s new in the latest season. SO what do we have:
- QB1 Personalized Scenarios for Franchise
- Signature Animations
- Create a College QB & Play NCAA Championships
- Superstar X-Factor
- Play the Pro Bowl
- Unique Playbooks
- New Option Plays
- Pump Fake Upgrades
- MUT Missions
- On-Field Trainer
- New Celebrations
As you can see, there’s are quite a few improvements over last season which include the Pro Bowl for the first time, a feature many have requested over the years.
When I play Madden, I play the franchise mode as I want my team, the Seattle Seahawks (Yeah yeah) to win the Super Bowl again. So my interest peaked when I saw the Superstar X-Factor and essentially what it means they have a “special move” sort of speak.
Playing with the Seahawks, Russel Wison has a move called Blitz Radar which essentially means that all the blitzing linebackers and defensive backs are highlighted after the snap. Doesn’t sound too much of a move, does it? However, it helps you in certain plays and to make that snap decision. Every team and players have abilities and the best list I found was on this thread on Reddit.
These are the different modes available in Madden 20:
Continuing on with the franchise season, I really liked a mode that I saw last season called “Play the Moment” which cuts the game down to around 20 minutes (as a full 60 can be a lot if you want a quick game). This option will allow you to play out certain points in the game that, up until that point, has been auto-generated. This allows you to still play offence or defence but can play it your way and can try new plays or use your tried and tested ones when playing against the opponent.
The face of the Franchise: QB1
I have started my career as the franchise QB starting in college and trying to work my way to the NFL. This is a long story and feels very similar to the career mode in FIFA where you create your player and guide them to becoming a superstar. This mode, personally, isn’t for me. I prefer playing what I see on TV and that’s the entire team though I know if you into roleplaying sort of speak as a QB for your favourite franchise, then this will be the mode for you. This is where you can spend many hours developing your player and becoming the franchise QB and hopefully, going to the team you support. Now, that’s the ultimate dream.
No not a dog but Madden Ultimate Team. This plays exactly like FIFA Ultimate Team as you get random packs of digital cards to build your team. Starting you off, you get enough players to have a full squad with addition to one or two decent plays to boost the team. With some pre-orders like my Origin Premium, you can get a nice Patrick Mahomes card to start.
However, this year they have added MUT missions which are there from the get-go. As you progress with your team, complete mission, more and more open up earning you credit which puts you on a roadmap towards those better items for your team. This can be very useful as the challenges can help you get those all-important throws out but its also quite generous in the player cards, the coins and just some nice boost for your team by completing their challenges. It’s worth doing as it will give you quite a head start.
I have already started to form my team and get to do the missions and I tend to come to MUT (like last season) in between my franchise games. Just to have a little different pace and build the ultimate Seahawks team.
Honestly, I can’t see much difference from Madden 19 but, they are still very very good. With EA having the licences, everything looks quite real. There doesn’t seem to be options to change the graphics on PC but that’s ok, out the box it seems to maximise what my PC, it plays so buttery smooth.
Just like last season, it has a Colourblind option to help with arrows and guides when trying to make plays. This helps so much which trying to quickly get the play you want.
Why or why have EA not fixed the sound on PC? Just like Madden 19, you will need to do a fix every time you load the game. This is what you need to do
- Go to task manager (Ctrl + Shift + ESC)
- Find Madden 20 and go to details
- Once in the details tab, find madden20.exe
- Right Click -> Go to priority -> Select realtime
As if by magic, sound works. Just a shame you have to do this each time the game loads as the game is almost unplayable with the crackling sound.
Once that one, the crowds, game and commentators bring the whole NFL world to life. It’s really good wearing it with surround sound headphones too.
Just like FIFA, how many people will play last season addition of an EA Sports title when a new one is out? Chances are very slim as you want the latest teams, players and any new bits added. Not because the game is bad (quite the opposite), but Madden 20 is good until next season as every fan wants the latest additions. Its a shame but it’s a formula that’s tried, tested and sells lots of copies each year and I, for one, are one of those people because I want the updates for both teams and the game itself.
However, with Origin Access Premier on PC you can get to play Madden, passed, present and future games under EA for £89 a year or £14.99 a month. On the outside, it seems quite a lot but I always buy FIFA, Battlefield (Check out my review of Battlefield V) and with Madden making a return last year well it made sense to pick up as I save quite a bit of money and you know, I will be buying these games next year too.
It’s a shame that the consoles don’t have the premier option as they have the EA Access for both Xbox and PS4 which is around £20 a year where you can play a 10-hour trial of new games until they enter the vault. hopefully, that will change in time and they can have the same benefits that PC currently have.
If your an (American) Football fan and don’t own Madden 20, why not? This game is perfect to go hand in hand while the season starts and to get over the post-Super Bowl blues. There’s a lot of fun to be had, hard tackles to be made and way too many hail mary’s too. If you on the fence about it and not convinced, grab an EA or OPrigin access for a month, download it and play it, you really won’t regret it as its the best football you are going to get this year. I give this the Thumb Culture Platinum Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.
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