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Madden NFL 15 looks significantly more next-gen than its previous version

The wait is finally over. "Madden NFL 15" hit store shelves on Tuesday, August 26, giving football fans and gamers across the country reasons to rejoice. Cynical fans of EA Sports' long-running franchise might feel "rejoice" is a bit of an overstatement for Madden NFL 15, as the franchise of Madden NFL 15 has had its fair share of underwhelming editions. That being said, "Madden NFL 15" is not one of those. It is instead a smart step forward that could be the building blocks for an even more addicting, realistic and challenging future for football gaming.
Let’s start this review off with the bad in Madden NFL 15. Normally, I like to break things down to give you an idea of what is going on, but quite frankly, this issue in Madden NFL 15 is bigger than that. We held our review of Madden NFL 15 back for a few days to watch as the servers came to life and people had a chance to truly test Madden NFL 15 by themselves, and in doing so we found two game breaking glitches that weren’t mentioned by a lot of publications.
Both of these glitches occur in online Connected Careers games, with the latter being a result of EA’s fix for the former. Initially, playing games for online franchises would simply not count. How a glitch this big managed to get through the testing process is baffling. There was a hot fix that allowed games to count, however, at the time of writing these games will often simply de-sync without any sign of problems. EA is aware of the issue, although they have yet to respond to our request for comments, so I do have to think that the problem is going to be addressed sooner rather than later.

If your idea of a good time in Madden is to launch the pigskin 80 yards downfield on every possession, you’ll love Madden NFL 15. Granted, it’s unlikely to prove a successful tactic on higher difficulty levels, but the new user interface makes selecting plays a breeze. This year’s title marks the first edition that has been created with next-gen being the focus in design. Copies of Madden NFL 15 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 will still be available, but it’s all about full steam ahead, making progress forward. Like they say, out with the old, in with the new.
Madden NFL 15 feels like a reboot for the series. Defence, which previously felt like a time to check text messages and emails, now becomes an integral part of play. For instance, the newly revised Skills Trainer is one of the first things newcomers see after they fire up the game. It’s still the same collection of minigame-styled tutorials that it’s always been, but the Madden NFL 15 take goes way beyond teaching controls. In addition to basic offense and defense categories, you also get deep dives into specific football concepts and play strategies, as well as a Gauntlet mode that mixes up a playlist of drills into a scored, multi-round challenge.
Compared to the incremental graphics upgrades seen in Madden 25, Madden NFL 15 looks significantly more “next-gen.” Player and uniform textures look dramatically better. Games that take place at night under stadium lighting and in midday shadows look great, especially next to last year’s blown-out nightmares. Stadiums, too, are notably improved. This is much more like the intensity and hype that a Sunday night game has on TV. Unfortunately, this makes the travesty on the sidelines and in the crowds all the more apparent and noticeable, as the characters seen there continue the trend of looking significantly worse than anyone on the field and repeating every five feet. Every time the camera pans across the sideline, you’re sure to see no more than five faces repeated throughout 80 people. It seems that even the PS4 doesn’t have the horsepower to beautify the masses.