Madden NFL 10
Madden 10 makes a lot of things easier for you: gone are the days of agonising menu surfing and superfluous training sessions before a regular season game
- An insane amount of incredibly well-rounded, rock-solid football; awesome online options
- Wonky teammate AI; annoying frequency of interceptions
I was never a big Madden fan but I know that it's an almost religious experience for devote gamers. Madden 10 looks like it's got a decent number of changes and tweaks that elevates it out of "glorified roster update" territory. It sounds like a must have for any digital football fanatic.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
Year over year Madden catches flak for recycling previous content into a repackaged roster update. Madden NFL 10 makes a concerted effort to change that perception with a suite of changes but don't freak out: this is still the same Madden you've come to adore. However, there's a noticeable focus on keeping you actively involved in the game and it's an effort that succeeds in spades.
Slow Ride, Take it Easy
The first thing I noticed was that the pace of Madden 10 is noticeably slower this year. Naturally, you can adjust the settings if the slightly more methodical speed isn't to your liking, but I instantly fell in love with the measured tempo. The chaos of a collapsing pocket and the ensuing panic isn't as immediate, giving you more time to consider your options before firing off a pass. And when the defense inevitably comes rolling in for the quarter back sack, handy controller vibrations alert you to the incoming danger. The adjustment quickly became something I relied on. Being able to focus on finding an open receiver without worrying as much about the split-second paranoia of protecting my player was a welcome relief.
Madden 10 makes a lot of things easier for you. Gone are the days of agonising menu surfing and superfluous training sessions before a regular season game. You're still able to manage the minutiae of your team, and weekly practice sessions are available if you want to perfect your plays but everything is cleaned up to make room for more on-field action and congratulatory ass slappin'. This makes for a more streamlined game experience, especially in the NFL Superstar mode. Bringing your custom-created quarter back through the ranks is much more enjoyable when you don't need to go to a lame practice session before every matchup. You can also sim past plays you're not involved in, which gives you these speedy pockets of intense gameplay. Just make sure you pick a position worth playing-making sweet plays as a wide receiver or QB is infinitely more fun than spiking the ball or repeatedly blocking one spot. The same simplicity applies to Madden's other game types as well. The Franchise career mode centers on the regular season, and puts the player trading, finance managing, and draft picking to the side for the super-hardcore crowd.
No More Loneliness
Along with that fine-tuning comes enough new stuff to squash the stigma that EA Tiburon lazily recycles last year's content. Rounding out Madden 10, and filling the void that fans have felt since the inception of online multiplayer, is the inclusion of an online Franchise mode. Finally! The multiplayer league functions as you'd expect: you play regular seasons with up to 31 of your freakishly dedicated friends with the AI controlling any neglected, vacant teams. Stalking the stats and seeing the results of everyone's week is pretty exciting, and punctuating the discussion of each other's games with uploaded highlight clips adds another social facet to your online career.
If you don't want to stress about dedicating time to a season, the new online Co-op is an awesome alternative. It plays a lot like an on-the-fly NFL Superstar multiplayer variant-you can swap between players at any time, and the camera is much closer to the field. The tension in clearing a route for a clean pass, defending my partner in a rush for the end zone, and working together to coordinate plays is something I really enjoyed.
It's The Little Things...
It's tough to call a sports game with an isometric perspective "realistic," yet Madden 10 inspires a surprising amount of believability. Little touches to the game like botched spikes resulting in an awkward execution of your play, or seeing players stumble or slip in the rain reflects the occasional unpredictability of the sport. Visually, the game shines with a realistic presentation; it also has some spiffy weather effects-there's nothing quite playing through a gruelling game on a muddied field with snowflakes falling all around you.
Madden 10 is still very much a game, though, and it suffers from game-y issues that get in the way of its intended realism. An insane amount of interceptions, often returned for the touchdown, made a lot of the games feel like an extended highlight reel. The pick-six frequency is as agitating as the AI which controls your teammates; sometimes my receivers would run away from a pass, and my NFL Superstar team would make poor play decisions that often resulted in a loss. For instance, my team went for a field goal in the dying seconds of a game while we were losing by four points.
He could go all the way...
But even with the iffy AI and the unrealistic number of interceptions, Madden 10 is still a deeply involving experience. It's also evolved away from previous Madden instalments, focusing your attention on actually performing on the field and making the superfluous details optional. Yes it still is a "repackaged roster update" but it also expertly executes on the new ideas, making for a game that blends the best of the past and the future. It's a damn fine football game and one I highly recommend you try out.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
Google Daydream VR headset
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Acer Swift 7
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Surface Pro 4
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- Star Citizen dumps DirectX 12 plans to focus on Vulkan-powered graphics
- Dungeons and Dragons ditches pen and paper with D&D Beyond
- Exclusive no more: PlayStation 4 games are coming to the PC via PlayStation Now
- Adding video apps like Netflix to the Nintendo Switch is a waste of Nintendo's energy
- You can download Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android today
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Behind the scenes with Team Walkinshaw at V8 Supercars Melbourne 2017
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTTechnical Business AnalystVIC
- CCOracle WebLogic AdministratorNSW
- FTDirector, Centre for Cyber Security SolutionsVIC
- FTTechnical Writer - Reports EditorQLD
- TPDigital Business AnalystNSW
- CCSenior Full Stack Web Developer - Port MacquarieNSW
- FTJunior Software Engineer - Positive Vetting, NV2 or NV1 requiredSA
- TPAgile Implementation LeadNSW
- FTNodeJS DeveloperNSW
- CCLevel 1 Helpdesk Support Analyst x3QLD
- FTSenior System/Network EngineerACT
- CCSAP FICO Support AnalystWA
- FTIncident and Problem ManagerVIC
- FTChief Architect - Public SectorACT
- TPDigital Platforms ManagerVIC
- CCOrganisational Change Analyst - Banking/Financial ServicesNSW
- FTSolution Architect l MS Exchange, O365NSW
- CCSenior Test Analyst-InfrastructureNSW
- FTSAP Logistics ConsultantNSW
- TPAEM DeveloperNSW
- FTBusiness Analyst (BI / Analytics)NSW
- FTInfrastructure Analyst - Storage & Backup SystemsNSW
- CCTSM SpecialistNSW
- CCICT ManagerNSW