All random impressions are based on default settings. Still early days, but figured I would share some thoughts:
- Lots of interceptions. The good news is that most of mine are fairly obvious; throwing into double coverage or miss reading zone coverage. The bad news is that a couple appear to be some sort of super human (well computer AI) feats of wonder.
- Playing as the Falcons results in most kickoffs ending in non-returns; clear out of the endzone or downing the kick. Michael Koenen has a hell of a leg in this game.
- Punt return coverage appears to be a little better than past games. Blocking is still suspect, but there is a chance to get a return. Still too many fumbles on the first hit.
- The new symbols that show different player’s characteristics are interesting. On one hand, I think it is nice look for match-ups (throw away from that great coverage DB), but on the other hand, the symbols sort of take away from the “realistic” experience, reminding me that I am playing game. If there is not a way to turn this off, the super sim crowd should be going nuts by now.
- In one game managed to tackle a CPU HB in the endzone for a safety. I have not seen that in a while.
- I have not given up many big plays. The only long TD reception against me came when I tried to jump in front of the ball, missed, resulting in an easy 50+ yard TD for the CPU.
- Averaging about 1 penalty per game; usually holding. Par for the course for EA.
- The CPU tends to not manage the clock. They break the huddle, line up, and run a play. I would guess that only 5-7 seconds run off the clock. This means more plays, but so far this is my biggest beef with the game. Not sure if there is a setting to accelerate the clock.
- In one game, I was up 14-0 at the two minute warning before the end of the second quarter. The CPU had the ball on third down, did not convert a running play, and called for a punt. Instead of trying to run time of the clock, they simply punted. Very poor clock management.
So far I am really enjoying the game. The last Madden I owned more than a couple of weeks was Madden 2004 (collector’s version with that SOB Vick on the cover), so maybe my Madden break had something to do with a “fresh” experience.
More impressions later. The good news for me is that I do not think the game is nearly as bad as a lot of reviews are claiming. One man’s trash I suppose.