The lights are on
It's time for EA to reset the franchise.
I wanted to think the GI review was a bit harsh. I'm an older gamer that has owned every Madden. I even played the EA football when it was Joe Montana and Bill Walsh. However, after playing 2012 more than a dozen times. I don't think the review went far enough.
Gameplay has returned to the horrible abomination that was presented when PS3 launched. Menus, Franchise mode, and even how players are rated have become cumbersome. Why worry about the system to simplify play calling or cutting players that have no shot at playing in franchise mode when your gameplay issues have actually reverted to a horrible state? The camera work is different and acceptable, but again, it's an improvement outside of gameplay. There are too many things wrong with the gameplay to worry about fringe issues.
The entire franchise has band aid after band aid on it, they can't even see the problems anymore. The infamous 2k2005 influence and the vocal community have not helped EA and their approach to Madden, they have forgotten what their identity is and haven't stopped trying to be something else. The short development cycle has Madden stuck in a vicious cycle. They need to reset the entire franchise.
New engine, new approach, new team... new blood is needed. Gameplay includes un-natural amounts of interceptions and the pick your poison bomb is back (you'll only need to play a half dozen games online to see the trend). This is the worst Madden I've played. I forgave them for their launch title, but I have finally given in to the naysayers.. the exclusivity contract the NFL and EA have has put the football gaming experience in the toilet. Competition brings innovation and excellence.
The only way for EA to fix this IP is to start over. Sales are driven from people who love football and diehard Madden folks, like me, who buy it every year as part of the preseason football build up to the NFL season. My opinion is that they should develop an entirely new game. Release new rosters, and a significant patch next year to fix 2012, as DLC and charge $20, or set up a completely different development team to create a new version while they release another iteration of the current style Madden.. something.. anything.. so they can spend two or more years creating something new, fun, and of higher quality.
The money will prevent EA from taking the proper steps to giving us a better game, and the exclusivity contract has us locked into this franchise. Maybe they could at least swap out the development team for a fresh perspective. This is a sad excuse for a Madden game. I'm a very diappointed diehard Madden fan that is growing tired of not seeing progress.