Madden NFL 17 Review By Oogieboog
written by oogieboog
Madden is finally back! This was probably the most anticipated and hyped release ever for the Madden franchise. They’ve added new zones, new running mechanics, a swat button and multiple of other things. My breakdown of Madden 17 will be in 3 parts. The good, the bad and the ugly. The good are things, well, that are good solid additions. The bad is the stuff that could be fine tuned to make the game better for competitive and sim play. The ugly consists of two major issues that if not patched it could ruin the entire year for a lot of people.
Zones and Man Defense
I love the new zones and the way they play. Flats and purples finally work this year. You can get creative with how you counter your opponents passing attack. Also, man coverage was toned down as well compared to last year. Defensive backs don’t stick to players like glue every play. Last year guys could sit in man press all game and be successful. I’ve yet to see that so far. Sometimes man coverage can be lockdown tight and other times not so much. I feel like it’s a perfect balance. Guys that are supposed to get good separation usually do.
Running the ball is much better this year. I feel like any run can be successful yet be bottled up with the right defense. They took out the double juke (RIP) and added precision and speed moves. I haven’t mastered them yet but it’s one of those things that if you do it’s very well possible to put on highlight reel runs.
I would like everyone to take a moment of silence in remembrance of the effectiveness of the aggressive catch in Madden 16 (bows head). The swat mechanic is a huge game changer. You can still get “Mossed” but I’ve only seen elite wide outs do it. Gone are the days of bums closing their eyes while wearing a blind fold with sun glasses on and holding Y/Triangle to generate any sort of offensive production. Again, it still happens but very rarely compared to last year.
It’s nice having total control of the passing game. With the zones being improved this year it gives you the ability to put passes where you want to avoid the defenders. Last year pass leading wasn’t that effective in some circumstances.
Dropped Passes and Interceptions
Now, I don’t have a issue with dropped passes/interceptions if somebody has a bad catch rating. However, when I throw a hot dot and RAC/possession catch I notice if somebody bumps my guy it’s dropped a little bit more than I would like. If it’s a bone jarring hit I’m cool with it. As far as the interceptions go there’s no reason for defenders to just swat the ball coming directly at them. Nothing on defense irritates me more than making a great adjustment or baiting somebody with my user into a bad read and the defender drops it. Make people pay for bad reads.
Broken Tackles and Fumbles
The other night I kicked the ball off and Pat Pete channeled his inner Bo Jackson and ran 4 people over while stealing their souls on his way to a touchdown. It’s Pat Pete, not Adrian Peterson. It’s way too frequent at this point with any ball carrier. Power or speed backs. The fumbles can be very, very random. It’s very hard to overcome three EA coin flipped fumbles in one game.
The Nano Detection System
EA added the Nano Detection System to eliminate unrealistic blitzes. I’m perfectly fine with that. The issue I’m having is sometimes it stops overloads from working correctly. I had a beautiful overload setup where I had 4 on 3 situation. My blitzer off the edge occupied the tackle, the defensive tackle took on the center, and the guard had to pick between the linebacker coming from the second level and the defensive end crashing to the right. The guard picked up the linebacker coming from his level freeing up my defensive end but he paused in the gap. I’ve seen this blitz happen plenty of times in the NFL. It needs to get touched up that way organic overload blitzes can work like we see on Sunday’s.
Pass and Run Commit Glitch
As you all know there’s a way to know your opponent is passing or running. If you show play art and see the player names, it’s a pass. If you don’t see the player names, it’s a run. I can’t believe this wasn’t something fixed before release. Especially with the tournament qualifying ladders being live so early. Maybe it wasn’t noticed when the select handful of people in the community got the closed beta to test the game. I have no idea. But it kills competitive gameplay online.
Home Field Advantage/Away Team Fatigue
This was a huge issue last year. If you are the away team and your opponent runs no huddle your players will get tired at a much faster rate and it takes forever for them to get back to the green zone. Same thing if you’re on offense. Your guys get tired way too fast. This could also affect competitive play. A lot of guys use a fast tempo style offense hoping their opponent slips up on a adjustment so they can exploit holes in their coverage. Fatigued players play a huge impact on the game. To me these two things are a no fail fix for the first patch.
Overall this game has a lot of potential. A small tuner update could make this game a home run. This game is already head and shoulders above Madden 16. If these things can get tuned properly it can remove a lot of the fluke that we deal with on a game to game basis.