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Nantz and Simms have also recorded a whole host of new commentary for Madden 13, and this really adds to the feel of watching an authentic NFL game on television. Players get specific lines for introductions and when certain plays are made, and the comments are often fairly constructive, rather than being there for filler. Of course, you’re going to hear some lines more than others, but the variation means repetition shouldn’t become too much of a problem.
The other big feature lauded on the back of the box is the inclusion of the Infinity Engine, which promises to bring real-time physics to Madden and make the game more realistic in terms of hits and player movement. A similar engine was introduced in the FIFA series last year, and like FIFA, Madden’s version of the engine is prone to teething troubles. Replays show players’ limbs clipping through other players, and a lot of the time they will fall over each other when returning to start a new play, making for some comical, if immersion-breaking, interactions.
There is nothing on the level of FIFA players’ legs disappearing into their bodies, or randomly breakdancing when fouled, but it still looks like the engine could do with some fine-tuning. When it works, however, it provides some of the most crunching and wince-worthy tackles I’ve seen in a football game.The presentation issues aren’t limited to clipping issues and player stupidity, however. Much has been made of the fact that each NFL stadium is included within Madden 13, and whilst each has been faithfully recreated in terms of architecture, there are certain elements which take away from the TV-like package, and leave the bare bones showing. Crowds are still a series of repeated character models and animations, making them look almost like a moving diorama at a museum, and panning shots over the stadium reveal the exterior areas to be almost like film set backdrops, painted on canvas.
I appreciate that these points aren’t game-breaking, or even crucial to game of football, but if EA Tiburon has gone to such lengths to make the game as close to TV-authentic as possible, it’s strange to see such blatantly artificial elements still present in the game. It looks incredibly poor, and reminds you more than anything else that you’re playing virtual football as opposed to watching it on TV.On the other hand, Madden 13 also contains some of the finest texture details I’ve encountered in sports games. During replays, you can actually see the texturing on the football as it flies through the air, and the player likenesses are amongst the most accurate I’ve seen.
For a sport where the vast majority of a player is covered in a uniform, it’s impressive to see so much care has gone into still making players recognizable. All this detail doesn’t come without a cost, though: On several occasions, mainly whilst attempting to throw as a quarterback or on a rush, slowdown crippled my attempts to drive up the field. Slowdown is inexcusable and game-breaking at the best of times, but in a football game, just after the snap?! It is the worst time imaginable for a game like this and can fifa coin trader really put a dent in your attempts to find your man. Throwing a football successfully to a receiver is about timing as much as anything, and this lag knocks you off your stride to a crippling degree.
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