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Madden NFL 24 Review

Initial release date: August 15, 2023

Developer: EA Tiburon

Genres: Sports video game, Simulation video game, Simulation Game, Strategy, Sports

Series: Madden NFL

Publishers: Electronic Arts, EA Sports

Mode: Multiplayer video game

Platforms:PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows

"Review Copy Provided by EA"

Alright, pigskin aficionados! So, I shelved my Madden cleats last year, largely due to a combo of life changes and Madden monotony. But lo and behold, I've laced 'em up again and Madden NFL 24, for the most part, feels like reuniting with an old friend. Though, if you’re on the hunt for insights from someone who's logged in thousands of Madden hours every year, you might want to scout elsewhere. While I’m a lifelong fan, my Madden pro-days are a few endzones back.

Jumping back in, there's this comforting yet slightly stagnant vibe. Our old pals Franchise, MUT, and Superstar haven't changed all too much. While it's clear that Madden’s become the Tom Brady of football games - consistently good but rarely shocking – one does wonder: where’s the surprise play? EA, it seems, is snug in its comfort zone. But sometimes, a little shakeup on the playbook could do wonders.

What’s scoring touchdowns this year? Franchise mode feels as full-bodied as a rich Cabernet, Madden Ultimate Team remains that irresistible siren calling me back every time, and my new favorite? Superstar mode. No kidding. Earlier editions tried narrating a football tale, but it always felt a tad off. This time, though? Touchdown! Gameplay? Fluid as ever, but the 'new' factor seems to be on the bench this season. In-game mechanics are smooth. Passing is like butter on a hot skillet, the running game has equilibrium, and let's chat about tackling – it's as satisfying as a perfectly executed Hail Mary. Every tackle feels distinct, thanks to the introduction of the FieldSENSE tech. It aims to make each gridiron clash a unique spectacle, and man, does it deliver! But a heads up for the interception enthusiasts: it’s challenging, but in the most addictive way.

The MVP for me this season is the Superstar mode. Living the life of a rising NFL star has its allure. While it’s not a genre-bending innovation, the gameplay takes precedence over cringey cinematic interludes. MUT is back, and while I'm here for it, the UI needs a serious pep talk (seriously, EA, get on it). Meanwhile, Franchise mode has undergone some deep training – you can either dive into every aspect of NFL team management or just stick to the field. Both are rewarding.

Visual critique? EA's drumming up their new SAPIEN tech, promising greater animation fidelity. But to my returning eyes? It's like returning to your childhood field – nostalgic but not noticeably different. There's a nagging feeling that the raw horsepower of the latest consoles is just warming the bench. The soundtrack, well, it's a hip-hop bonanza. While I respect the genre, a mixtape vibe from the past would've been golden.

Concluding my return to the Madden world: NFL 24 offers the reliable football fun we all crave. It’s like a classic play in the final quarter - comforting, dependable, but perhaps not entirely groundbreaking. Veteran fans will feel at home, rookies will be smitten. But for those Madden aficionados always seeking the next big play, they might find this edition a yard short of a total touchdown.

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