"To throw mud is human, but to play in it, divine."
Why it took so long is anyone's guess, but the grass in Madden NFL 09 finally looks like actual grass, helping the painted lines and the team logos practically pop off the field. The new Action Cam crouches thrillingly close to scrimmages but never fails to pull back and keep every receiver in view, making it easier for you to spot holes in a zone defence and follow the action (it also renders the optional Classic Cam obsolete). The new "movie weather" seems a smidgen overhyped, since it’s hard to see exactly what "movie" refers to. Rain and snow look fine, but they still fall with great restraint, never intensifying or making much of a difference visually (though players do slip and slide more frequently and realistically). The ambient lighting, on the other hand, finally captures the sense of being in a particular stadium at different times of day or in certain weather conditions — whether it's the crisp gleam of Lambeau Field on a snowy night or the humid glow of a midday haze hanging over the Georgia Dome. The only thing still missing is scarred turf developing over the course of a game. Your guys will slip and slide and muddy-up until their jerseys are practically black, but the fields remain magically well manicured and verdant.