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The play call screen in NFL 15 has been redone

Not convincing enough? Ok. Being the cover athlete in 2002, Daunte Culpepper went on to have one of his worst seasons ever, including throwing 23 interceptions and tying the NFL record for most fumbles in a single season. Want more? In 2009 Brett Favre, as a Green Bay Packer, was given the cover in honor of finally retiring. He quickly came out of retirement and ended up joining the Jets that season and was set back by accusations of sexual harassment and poor play. Longtime Madden NFL players will notice that the play call screen has been redone this year, with an added emphasis on data. While you can still call plays based on formations and/or personnel, new options have been introduced to provide a deeper level of customization and access. First off, those looking for suggested plays can now make calls based on strategy, community or favorites. All three methods employ situational play calling, similar to what NFL coaches do on any given Sunday. Most teams don’t pull from their entire playbook, instead opting to utilize a handful of formations and plays which are likely to be effective. Thus, rather than cycling through 300+ offensive and defensive plays in Madden NFL 15, players can utilize advanced strategic AI to help narrow the focus to the plays most likely to succeed in a given situation.
The defense is another thing that I feel is wrong with the game. It was advertised as being completely over hauled and the best defensive experience yet on Madden. I believe this to be completely false as it is not defense that got better, but offense that got worse. You can no longer click on to your WR’s and get inside position for user catches, the QB’s seem to throw every other ball into the stands, and the offensive lineman literally run right by defenders that they should be blocking. If you really pay attention to the game you will see that a lot of the defensive “improvements” are really just short comings on the offensive side of the ball. Madden NFL 15's player models have faces, bodies, uniforms, and equipment that are improved and optimized for next-gen consoles-there's so much detail you can read Colin Kaepernick's tattoos. The power of next-gen consoles is also apparent in Madden NFL 15's impressive weather effects, fabrics, and textures. Past Madden NFL games featured horrifying repetitive cut-away videos of post-play celebrations. Not anymore. They've been replaced with more lifelike and more spontaneous celebrations. Player introductions have received a NFL Films-style video packaging. Camera angles switch from offense to defense, for example during a kickoff or an interception, much more fluidly.

Presentation is a big thing in the NFL and oh boy have EA done the job here. Everything just looks the part. This isn’t a slight upgrade from Madden 25, this is a full blown upgrade, the visuals alone makes going from 25 to 15 a worthwhile purchase. It’s hard to not get excited by the effort put in, from the moment a player walks onto the field it’s all there. Player models are smooth with fans generally able to pick out their favorite players by face along or in the case of Kaepernick, his tats. One of the biggest issues with real world American football is that, despite a prescribed length of 60 minutes, a game can last close to 3 hours, depending on a variety of factors, with only a small percentage filled with interesting action on the field. Madden NFL 15 does not entirely manage to streamline the process, and while the dedication to realism is commendable, there are times when I wanted less reaction shots and more focus on the actual gameplay.
What truly sets this year’s edition of Madden apart, however, is the way the game enables players of all skill levels to compete by empowering them through various avenues. As mentioned before, the game strongly encourages players to jump into the tutorials section to learn the basics of the title prior to starting up that first game, but even if you choose to ignore that advice, it still helps players make educated decisions on the field, as Madden NFL 15’s playcalling has received an overhaul to cater to the less studious. If players so choose, they can use the “Coach’s Suggestion” section of the playcall menu, which will give them a single play that is calculated to be effective by the AI coach. Scroll to the next screen from that section and players will notice a new feature that shows how various members of the Madden NFL 15 community has called plays in similar situations, and how just successful they’ve been through those decisions.
The Madden franchise has devolved into a classic video game with a formula for victory in recent years to the point where speed-run videos were almost expected. Without rebuilding the game from the ground up, developers rethought their approach. As a result, Madden 15 is a realistic football sim that requires some knowledge of football. If you lack that experience, playing through the game’s Skills Trainer mode is necessary.