Madden 22 (Stadia) Review
Every year near the end of August I always find myself excited for many reasons. The Madden franchise is always released close to, or on, my birthday and pumpkin spice season is just around the corner…what more could I want? For the last several years, I have been greatly disappointed with Madden and I am hoping Madden 22 finally delivers the touchdown we all deserve. Madden for me has been like a birthday cake filled with vegetables on the inside, nice to look at but not what we necessarily desire in a game.
As NFL training camp opens up and the season just around the corner Madden is a yearly tradition for me. At first glance we start off Madden by reliving the last Superbowl, which you you can skip or play out completely. This seems to be the staple way of opening up every major EA sports title. Taking us to the main screen it is similar to years prior in appearance.
Here we are presented with all the game modes: Ultimate Team, Franchise, Face of the Franchise, Exhibition, Superstar KO and The Yard.
As always, I immediately start off with my favourite mode, Franchise. My team is the Cincinnati Bengals, and I am not ashamed to say it. When I think of the future, it is finally bright with all the talent on the team. Once in Franchise mode, the menu’s look a little different with some changes. We now have staff points which can be used to upgrade the staff, which is interesting. Each staff has a skill tree where you can choose to spend skill points on. It’s like your own little RPG within an otherwise familiar mode.
This is a step in the right direction for one of my favourite modes. Scouting is one thing I love in these types of games I am always looking for that hidden gem. There is nothing worse than drafting a “Bust”. Unfortunately scouting is the EXACT same as the last few years, however EA is apparently updating this soon. This shows this game was rushed and it should have had this feature from the start. Madden is looking more like a roster update than a new game so far.
Madden did, however, add new weekly interactions, which is a nice touch. These range from challenges to players wanting to chat. But as always in this mode, time to go back to weekly scouting. As in the last years you’re given points to spend on players, once they are fully scouted you get an idea of where they will be drafted. In my first season, I found many gems which makes me happy in rebuilding my team.
Make sure you spend your weekly points as in last years in Madden as they will but cut in half if unused. At the end of a season they feature Hall of Fame busts of players which is a nice touch.
Overall Franchise mode feel old and unfinished and filled with fumbles.
Face of the Franchise
This time around you’re able to pick your position which makes sense.
I chose QB, which is by far my favourite position. After the position choice you’re able to pick what College you go to. I chose the Clemson Tigers, something about the magic of Orange.
I had to restart my Face of the Franchise several times due to several glitches. When completing drills, my WR would disappear making the game unplayable. I only played Madden 22 on Google Stadia so I am not sure if it’s a glitch on other platforms. After trying several times to advance the story, I got frustrated and gave up. So much wasted time on freezing and glitches. I was not my Google Stadia connection, as it was good, so it might be a game fault. Maybe if a patch is made I will revisit this mode again. Until then, it’s not worth my time.
While playing on Google Stadia I noticed the gameplay to be exactly the same as Madden 21. I felt zero improvements, literally copy and pasted from last year. I was expecting a next generation feel but none was to be found. I am a die hard football fan so I still enjoyed playing, but at times I thought it was still Madden 21. Using X factor attributes is fun, however, so I will give Madden that.
Madden 22 features only sixteen Achievements on Google Stadia. The sixteen achievements have been copy and pasted from Madden several years in a row. Little thought and effort went into this which was disappointing. To be fair, how varied can you make a yearly sports title’s achievement list? Madden also got rid of all the Face of the Franchise achievements on Google Stadia.
I didn’t really play online because of a major problem on Google Stadia. Lack of players was mainly the deciding factor – there was literally no one online at the times I tried to play, which has been noted by others in games media as well.
Is this game a Touchdown?
For years, I have given EA the benefit of the doubt and told myself, “Next years Madden will be better.” How many years can I keep saying this? I am very excited that 2K will be bringing a football game in 2022, which is some much needed competition that will be a benefit to the consumer. With a new player in the game, maybe EA will step up their game and deliver a polished product and not a sloppy reproduction. Given the games price tag, I would definitely skip it this year. Boot up Madden 21 and download a roster update with the current Rookie class and save yourself some hard earned money.
I speak for many frustrated football fans with the lack of product from EA. Hopefully they will start to listen their fans. On Google Stadia the game has zero next generation feel, and there is a possibility that it may perform better on other platforms. By EA adding better scouting in the fall via an update is an insult to us all – why couldn’t they delay the game to add more polish?
EA has delivered us an interception followed by a pick 6. Better luck next year, EA. To save the Madden franchise EA needs to seriously take feedback from fans to gain trust back and show they’re committed. I for one almost feel insulted at the $79.99 (Canadian Dollar) price tag for a roster update and skill tree.