Madden NFL 18 Standard Edition
Though John Madden’s voice is no more heard from the caster’s booth at actual games, he’s still active as the head name and the co-founder of football game series he inspired back in 1988. The series published by EA Sports is one of the greatest football simulators ever, due to Madden insisting the game should be as realistic as can be (he still insists). The 18 edition utilizes the new engine but keeps the original spirit.
We've spoiled with photorealistic sports simulators already, but this game is offering something new. The developers released this game only for PS4, leaving old generation consoles overboard, so they were not stuck to their hardware limitations. Switching to Frostbite engine served right as well.
So we see the field as a real match. The players look real, act real, move real, fall real, they even sweat real. The stadiums are filled with really living audience, reacting at turning points and not sitting still for the rest of the time. Lighting is also reworked to look more realistic.
Even off-the-field episodes telling your character’s story to astonish you. It took a lot of motion capture work and processing the results, but it looks almost like a real interactive movie (though not to the extent you can truly confuse it).
The main plot of the game is a newly introduced mode named Longshot. You follow your character named Devin Wade, a quarterback that suddenly attracts the attention of TV producers. They make plans to make a TV show out of his career attempts, seeing him as a football Ugly Duckling slowly maturing into a proud swan. So don’t let them (and yourself) down!
As you follow the story, you’ll have to play your first exhibition match for NFL, live through highs and lows, and make it to the top.
The game offers three difficulty modes: Arcade (the easiest, great for beginners or casual players), Simulation (default difficulty) and Competitive (the most hardcore one). As you make it through Longshot, you unlock other modes, including local or online multiplayer.
The new MUT Squads mode offers a 3v3 online multiplayer where you select your roles before the start.
And, of course, you can collect your Dream Team, manage and play it as we did before.
Last but not least: though the main characters are fictional, all the others are real. EA keeps the full set of licenses from both the NFL and NFLPA, so you’ll run into familiar players and teams, coaches and leagues.
Though we have got used to unified DualShock controls on PS4, and the game hasn’t changed much since the previous installment (except for passing system), there is a little tutorial to help you master the controls. And you can find the complete instruction on the official EA site. In short, you’ll have no problem with it.
Replay Value: 5
Sports games have almost infinite replay value. At least this goes out to regular modes. The Longshot story is also made quite replayable, as it depends on the choices you make with your character as much as on-field success. So you can make different choices as you replay, just to see how this impacts the storyline.
With almost no competition (due to the exclusive contract with NFL and NFLPA), this game just had to be better than its predecessor. And it is, due to both new engine and new Longshot mode. So Madden NFL 18 is a must for football fans.
- Graphics 5
- Gameplay 5
- Controls 4.5
- Replay Value 5
A new type of branchy storyline
Different difficulty modes to select
A lot of add-ons
Addons are all paid