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Madden NFL 19 (Electronic Arts)

Players need to know that “Madden NFL 19”is the latest installment of the popular football franchise for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs. Gamers can expect to see some punishing hits during gameplay and some occasional injuries during some games, which is just part of the sport. While players grab the affected portion of their body and roll around on the ground, no blood or gore is shown. Gamers can also expect to see lots of corporate branding and logos from stadiums and uniforms to inserted commercials for products like Gatorade and Snickers in its broadcast presentation. While the game has multiple difficulty levels and is designed to be accessible to gamers with varying levels of experience with Madden, the updated control scheme for ball carriers could frustrate some gamers for a while until they’ve put in a lot of practice with these new moves. Finally, unmoderated multiplayer could potentially expose players to inappropriate content.

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

“Madden NFL 19” returns to digital stadiums with a ton of new content for players to dig their cleats into. The major focus this year is on ball carriers, who can now take advantage of the new Real Player Motion system to make a quick cut and break a run or a catch for extra yards. Players also have refined hesitation and juke steps to throw off defender’s timing, which can be the difference between a tackle and a touchdown. On top of the ball carrying, gamers can set new offensive and defensive schemes. Ultimate Team mode has also been fully revamped to focus on the single player experience. It now has new Solo challenges and battles that pit players against created squads from other players. Players can upgrade players and teams with new archetypes and schemes, giving you more customization over your team of athletes. Finally, the story mode, Longshot, returns with the second chapter of Devin Wade and Colt Cruise’s story. Devin tries to remain on an NFL team, while Colt tries to break back into the league, only to discover that his path may be a bit more complicated than he thought.

IS IT ANY GOOD?

“Madden NFL 19” brings many enhancements to the franchise, with some of the strongest ones added to the Franchise and Ultimate Team modes. In Franchise, the ability to set offensive and defensive schemes gives coaches more control over their teams, like the pass-focused West Coast Offense. This year, you can also find players that perfectly fit your scheme, enhancing their stats to make them superstars. Ultimate Team mode builds on these features, making it the most engaging that it’s ever been. Instead of hunting for powerful versions of athletes in game packs, gamers can spend training points to upgrade members of their squad, making them better offensive, defensive, or special teams players. On top of this, the addition of Solo Challenges pits you against members of the community, without being dependent on another player’s online connection. This keeps this mode fresh and exciting.

“Madden NFL 19” has some issues, like sluggish movement for ball carriers and this year’s installment of Longshot, the story mode, which feels like the underdeveloped second act of last year’s tale. But if you overlook these minor missteps, “Madden NFL 19” tackles football fun with excellent gameplay.

RATING AND CONTENT

Recommended for ages 8 and older

Quality: 4 out of 5

Educational value: 3 out of 5

Positive messages: 4 out of 5

Positive role models: 4 out of 5

Ease of play: 4 out of 5

Violence and scariness: 2 out of 5

Language: 1 out of 5

Consumerism: 5 out of 5

GAME DETAILS

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One

Price: $59.99

Developer: Electronic Arts

Release date: August 10, 2018

Genre: Sports

ESRB rating: E for mild language

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