Madden NFL 09 Review

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Fun for the Madden crowd...


After two decades, countless editions and millions of sales, it’s encouraging to see gaming behemoth EA working hard to welcome new players into the Madden fold, yet still gifting sports fans with the deepest American football simulation on the planet.

To make NFL 09 friendlier for players who may feel it’s too late to jump on the Madden bandwagon, the game uses a series of special tests to determine how comfortable you are with the controls, players’ performance in these exercises allowing the computer to tweak the gameplay automatically to suit different levels of experience. And while the results of these tests can often be unreliable and present newbies with a learning curve that seems insurmountable, the option to use a series of simple sliders to adjust the difficulty allows even the greenest player to feel in control of the action, as does the clever handicapping system that skews the action when a Madden rookie faces off against a pro.

But even for long-time fans of EA’s series, Madden NFL 09 is still a sublime sim: the attention to detail is incredible, especially in terms of animation during receiving and the lifelike reactions of your players; formation subs on the fly and improved bluffing help make for more intense and engaging matches; the addition of insightful commentary from Tom Hammond and Cris Collingsworth helps bring the action to life; and the graphics throughout have been polished to within an inch of their life, with grass that looks and reacts in a more convincing manner and makes playing the game feel like gorging yourself on an American football cable weekend blowout.