Madden NFL 21 Review

Modern football fans have a plethora of ways to enjoy and interact with their favorite sport. Besides being able to watch games live and on TV, fantasy football is a great way to pit your picking abilities against your friends (or complete strangers). Similarly, social media allows fans to follow their team away from the football field.

Social apps also provide a channel for fans to express their elation or anger during a game while they watch along at home. 

Fans can now even make wagers on football right from the comfort of their sofa, adding another element of excitement to games. Finding NFL betting odds is quick and easy thanks to sites like OddsChecker, that compare the odds from all major sportsbooks.

Another major way for NFL fans to enjoy their favorite sport is by playing the Madden NFL video game. Like with many other major sports, a new version is released each year by EA Sports, including all team roster changes and adding new features. 

2020 is no different, with Madden NFL 21 hitting shelves at the end of August. Many people are waiting for the release of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S before they buy any new titles though. So if you’re one of these players, here’s what you can expect from the latest release. 

Glitches

Many video games contain glitches. Early releases are more prone because developers know they have an option to patch them easily compared to just a few years ago. 

Madden NFL 21 has been plagued with such problems, with fans taking to social media to share strange goings-on in the game. For example, Twitter user @905_5998 shared a video where a midplay substitution occurred, resulting in an opposing player entering the field during an active play and tackling him. Meanwhile, @goingdeep shared a video of a player inexplicably running around in circles with one hand on the ground after being tackled.

These glitches have been so prolific, the game has a shocking Metacritic user score of just 0.2 of out 10. 

If you are waiting for the PS5 or Xbox Series versions, these may have been fixed by then.  

New Features

With a new version released every year, the features tend to remain very similar from release to release with a big step up only being taken every few three-five years. In 2020, Madden NFL 21 is an incremental improvement rather than a major leap forward. 

One new feature that has made it into this release is The Yard. This feature allows players to take their football off the field and into a “backyard setting” where the rules are different and trick plays are even allowed. 

It gives you some unique backgrounds to play football in, such as Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate as well as some smaller fields. It also has an arcade-style mechanic, which is often a hit with fans. 

Elsewhere, little has changed. For example, Franchise and Ultimate Team modes both seem almost identical to last year’s game. Superstar KO, which sees players face off against others in short games that last just five-eight minutes, also returns with little changed. 

In fact, one Metacritic reviewer commented that the game felt like a “Ctrl C + Ctrl V since 2013”. 

Graphics

Graphics haven’t improved much since the latest version, but that shouldn’t be a surprise. Developers have squeezed out all the performance that the current generation of consoles has to offer, meaning we’re not likely to see any major improvements until next year at the earliest.

With that said, the graphics of Madden NFL 21 are still great, and better than any other football game

Microtransactions

It shouldn’t be a surprise that microtransactions are quite heavily featured in the latest Madden release. EA, along with many other video game publishers, has been making a lot of money from microtransactions in recent years. They’ve become more and more prominent in console games and they can be found throughout Madden NFL 21’s My Ultimate Team mode. 

Verdict

Overall, Madden NFL 21 isn’t widely different from last year’s game which may frustrate some fans. However, it shouldn’t be overly surprising given that this may be the final year that the game is released on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. If you’re a diehard NFL fan, it’s a game that you’ll enjoy, but if you’re just a casual fan, you may want to give it a miss.

 

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