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Madden NFL 15 remains well balanced

The annual release of the sole NFL video game is making its way to a console near you. Did EA fumble the ball, or is this the Madden we have always wanted? As far as the game is concerned, all of your standard game modes are still here, such as Connected Franchise (a career mode that can be played either online or offline and play as an owner, coach or player), Exhibition Match (online or offline), Madden NFL 15 Ultimate Team (a fantasy style career mode where by accumulating points you can purchase random packs of players to make your team better) and skills trainer (a tutorial that teaches basic through advanced skills).
 
These are just a few of my issues with this game, as I stated the list could go on for quite a while. In the interest of keeping it moderately short I will cut it off at that. On a scale of one to ten I would give this game a four, and by far in my opinion is the worst Madden I have ever played since Madden 11. It sure does look pretty though! In addition to the typical tutorials, Skills Trainer now includes football concepts (like how to read a zone defense), strategy (like when to call a zone defense), and a new Gauntlet mode. Gauntlet, the ultimate test of Madden NFL skills, pits you against 40 increasingly difficult challenges on offense, defense, and special teams.
 
Early challenges may be as simple as using turbo (a speed boost for running) to gain a first down, while more difficult challenges involve preventing the opposing team from getting a first down. There's a boss stage every five levels that tasks you with completing an extremely difficult challenge such as kicking a 110-yard field goal in hurricane-force winds or dodging defenders to run 100 yards for a touchdown. Taking on each challenge is surprisingly exciting. You get five chances to see how far you can progress through the 40 levels.  Each level is worth points, so you can compare your Gauntlet results directly to your friends'.

 
Connect careers is where I feel the games at its best, the detail in the development of your player is in depth but doesn’t put you out of your depth at the same time and for those who prefer to be the club owner or coach the options just continue to grow yet still never have you feeling out of it. This is coupled with more intelligent teammates in order to make it easier to read the offensive intentions of the other team and move to stop them as soon as possible, but EA Sports has also introduced a new level of variety of quarterback passes to make sure that the Madden NFL 15 remains balanced. When it comes to the offensive, EA Sports has introduced a new way of calling plays, which makes it easy to choose how to proceed based on previous favorites, community choices or favorites, while offering a chance to scroll through the entire catalog for hardcore players.
 
This year also sees the introduction of the new defensive Player Lock camera, which places the camera behind a player of your choosing so you can get a better view to read the formation, then locks you in to control that player as the play unfolds. Needless to say, defense is a much more enjoyable venture this year than it has been in a long time. Offense is the most exciting part of football, but defense wins championships. EA Tiburon revamped the defense to stress the importance of that side of the ball, and the results couldn’t be better. For the first time in the series, playing defense is actually enjoyable, and gamers will feel truly in control of their defenders.
 
One Criticism however would be on the part of the game that EA has said is its strongest point – the offense. Throwing passes – particularly longer ones – can almost feel like the outcome is random. I believe that the success of the passes is based on various percentages of the players involved. The issue then could be construed as the game is too lifelike in its calculations. In certain games it just felt that playing a passing game was a waste of Downs. Toning down the amount of times your passes are intercepted magically might be a difficult ask or it may just be down to this reviewers lack of experience but it was the one thing that detracted from the overall enjoyment of the game.
 
In fact, it's impressive just how intuitive the game is. Training drills are there if players want to perfect a certain skill, but we found the unobtrusive in-game tips provided enough information for us to get by. Less intuitive are the menu screens and pages of stats that drive Connected Franchise Mode and, to a lesser extent, Madden NFL 15 Ultimate Team. However, as much as we struggled to penetrate these game modes, the sheer depth of content is plain to see. It's worth taking the time to explore and try things out, even if you're not sure of the outcome.