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Madden NFL 06 Review

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Luscious graphics but lacking in gaming content and thrills.

★★★★★

A wise man once said that ‘graphics maketh not the game’. Sadly, this argument just about sums up John Madden’s 360 debut.

For pure eye candy the game is unbeatable, with over 200 of the NFL’s finest players rendered in minute detail, right down to facial expressions that make each digital jock look uncannily like their real-life counterpart. The player animation is also unbelievably lifelike, helping to breathe life into the frantic matches, and the dramatic sound effects and bombastic music also capture the atmosphere of an NFL stadium and the feeling that you’re taking part in truly monumental matches.

But, bizarrely, EA chose to remove many of the features that made Madden on the PS2 and Xbox a classic – including the referee challenges that can enliven even the dullest game, and the compulsive mini-camp where you can hone your footballing skills to perfection – leaving behind a rather hollow, underwhelming experience that lacks the depth and ambition of earlier incarnations.

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