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Madden 22: Early Expert Reviews of Top Modes Ahead of Official Release Date

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIAugust 18, 2021

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) passes against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Tony Avelar/Associated Press

Another year of Madden NFL is here, which means it's time to power up those consoles and hop onto the virtual gridiron in what has become an annual summer tradition. This year, football fans can experience the game on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X for the first time.

Madden NFL 22 will be released worldwide Friday. If you need help deciding whether or not to buy this year's edition of the game, there are already plenty of reviews out from those who preordered either the MVP or Dynasty Editions and could play the game starting Tuesday. So, what exactly are these reviewers saying about this new era of Madden?

Let's start with franchise mode, as that's what many people were most excited for in Madden 22. Last year, EA Sports hadn't intended to provide many new features to franchise in Madden 21, and the social media reaction to that decision was loud.

In response, Madden 21 applied some midseason updates to improve franchise mode, but there was always an expectation that a more substantial overhaul would be coming in Madden 22. And according to Mark Delaney of GamesRadar+, EA Sports has come through for the fans.

"The exciting thing is that now Franchise will enjoy a similar rollout of content [to Madden Ultimate Team], but even on day one, franchise is the best it's been in years," Delaney wrote.

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Among the upgrades to franchise mode are the reintroduction of staff management (now with talent trees and skill points), improved weekly game plans and an updated story engine that Delaney mentioned needed refinement. Sometimes, the cutscenes you get featuring players and coaches may not always make the most sense, considering the context of your season.

Most features in this year's game are included in all versions. However, the new Dynamic Gameday presentation is exclusive to PS5 and Xbox Series X, and it's clear that these take Madden gameplay to the next level.

"This year, Madden focuses on making the atmosphere of the game feel more true to life," Brian Shea of Game Informer wrote. "In that regard, the title is largely successful. New spectator animations deliver a stronger sense of realism and presence, and the remastered crowd sound makes those big moments in games feel more impactful."

There's also a momentum meter and home-field advantage boosts that can impact the game, making things even closer to what football is actually like. Plus, NFL Next Gen Stats have been implemented into the game, improving the quality of the broadcast and the information displayed.

While many reviews have waited to give Madden 22 an official grade at this point, Anthony J. Nash of Windows Central gave this year's game four out of five stars and had mostly positive things to say about it.

"Madden NFL 22 injects some much needed improvements into a series that was dangerously close to growing stale," Nash wrote. "Coupled with some big changes to core modes, Madden NFL 22 elevates itself into one of the best from the long-running series."

So it sure seems like it's worth checking out Madden 22, especially if you have one of the new-generation consoles.

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