With just a few weeks to go before the NFL starts all over again, EA have done a great job of ensuring that Madden 20 still feels fresh despite not changing too much.
The biggest change you’ll notice in Madden 20 is the introduction of Superstar X-Factors, select superstars of the NFL have special traits that really make them stand out on the field, faster movement on receiving and more accurate passing from QB’s are just a couple of traits that you will see from some of your favourite NFL stars. Playing Madden in arcade mode is the best way to experience the X-Factors.
Some general gameplay improvements include quality of life improvements to minimise dead ball time and new in-game feedback that helps players with dynamic tips and notifications, as someone who still struggles to understand ALL the rules, the feedback is really useful. There have been additions to the playbook soon, with the introduction of the Run Pass Option and team-specific plays too.
Longshot, the entertaining story mode from the previous two titles is no more and has been replaced by QB1. Instead of looking after the career of Devin Wade this time it’s all about you. You’ll create your own character using the player creator before embarking on some college football before getting your chance in the NFL. As you would expect the presentation is pretty solid with a clever mix of real life TV shows discussing your potential and CGI cutscenes, however they are a little clunky and some of the characters are just plain annoying.
Once you get through the initial stages of the game, the mode really comes to life you’ll improve your player through conversations with your mentors via text message and scripted conversations, take part in training and as you stats get better you’ll get more play time. Depending on how you perform you could end up being the number QB winning the Super Bowl or getting cut if you don’t make the grade, at the end of your roomie year they’ll be an individual wrap up video of your highlights which is pretty neat. It would have been nice to be able to choose a position rather than just QB but maybe that’s something we’ll see in later games.
Franchise mode makes a return but you’ll struggle to notice any sort of changes here, this certainly feels like it’s the lowest priority for EA when it comes to improvements in Madden, however I still enjoy looking after the Seahawks and leading them to victory.
Of course, no EA Sports title is complete without Ultimate Team and this year is no different, there is a huge amount of time (and money) to be lost here but it’s so much fun putting together your dream team that it’s almost worth it. I’m someone who never puts money into Ultimate Team but still get a lot of fun out of it.
New to Ultimate Team this year are Missions where you will work through a series of challenges that will in turn unlock you all sorts of items from Superstars, Coin packs and Training Points that can be used to upgrade your team.
Ultimate Team has a huge amount to do, with Challenges, Solo Battles, Head to Head Seasons and for those of you who are especially good at the game you can get signed up for the Madden Championship Series.
As you would expect from an EA Sports title the presentation yet again is top notch. The visuals are superb and the player animations have improved yet again, as I mentioned before some of the visuals in QB1 could be better but it certainly doesn’t ruin the experience.
There is just about enough in Madden 20 to make it feel different to 19, hardcore fans of the series will no doubt swap straight over while newcomers will have a fantastic experience no matter what. For those of us who only have a passing interest may struggle to notice what has changed apart from a fancy new look. If you live your NFL, you’ll love Madden 20.