Game review: Madden 25 Demo

Michael Klein, Editor in Chief

John Madden Football has ended its first quarter of a century. The ups and downs that the franchise has brought fans can best be described as a revolving door of features that leaves, this fan at least, nauseated. Last year’s effort is a prime example. “Madden 13,” finally, brought a “physics engine” with much-improved tackling and realistic player interactions. However, the removal of a fantasy draft local franchise mode made playing with friends impossible without an additional investment in a second gaming system and copy of Madden.

The “Madden 25” demo, released Aug , was a promising first glance at EA’s attempt to make amends with their fan-base and attract newcomers. Practice mode and a choice of two head to head matchups were added to the standard preview videos. To be fair, I’ve only had a short period with the review version so I will only comment on the demo.
After kickoff, there is an immediate noticeable difference in control. The “run free” addition gives runners the ability to string together jukes, spins, hesitation steps and trucking. While foot-planting is far from precise, it does add depth to ball carrying, which used to rely almost entirely on speed and initial pursuit angles.

The demo completely falls apart, however, when your opponents’ defenders begin vanishing. This will appear to leave receivers wide open and usually end up badly for your offense. Some players may find this to be a minor glitch, but it truly sacks the entire project and makes me skeptical of the full game, which will be released Aug. 27. I’m still optimistic that the return of favorite modes like local franchise and fantasy draft coupled with more precise running and tackling can make for the great game that football fans deserve.

From EA Sports: “This year’s title will allow you to unlock the power, precision, and creativity of the NFL ball carrier. Whether you’re a slashing running-back, dual-threat QB, or ball-hawking safety, unleash 30 new moves and string together devastating combos with the all-new precision modifier in Madden NFL 25. You can also cement your legacy as one of the all-time great NFL players or coaches in the new Connected Franchise, or step into the front office and run the entire organization with the new Owner mode.”