During the recent EA Play and E3, Madden 18 had a lot of information to be discarded – most of which were around their new story mode: Longshot. But Madden and sports games are generally further away from the rich and smooth game, more in line with visual effects. Is this our sports fans play it? I personally do not think that EA made a mistake on Longshot.
It’s advertised as “a movie you can play.”
As consoles get more beefy, we’re able to push out visuals so realistic that developers really want to push their limits and show off that processing power with cinematics. You can do that without creating an entire story mode where the gameplay comes secondary. There are dozens of great football movies out there. I play Madden to play a football game — and if I wanted a great sports movie then I’d go rewatch Remember the Titans.
You never play a single NFL game.
Even worse, some of the games you do play at these levels of non-professional football are segmented or cut short. It sounds like these are going to play out as brief pauses between cinematics and decision prompts. That doesn’t sound like much fun to me.
The storyline is boring, predictable, and cliché.
It’s literally the exact same storyline as I remember from NBA 2K17‘s MyCareer mode. Nothing is new or interesting here. You can predict what’s going to come next. There’s a set path with a few forks in the road. It’s not a fresh experience for people who’ve played other campaign modes or watched basically any sports movie ever.
There’s no replayabilty.
I touched on this a little earlier in the article, but you don’t get to create your own character in this game mode. Once you play through it a single time, you’re done. There are decisions that the player can make along the way, but it’s going to change such a small fraction of what happens in the story that it’s not worth investing the hours to play through it again just to see what happens.
Other sports games are doing story modes better.
MLB 17‘s Road to the Show game mode also did it much better than what EA has presented to us. It really focuses in on developing your character and controlling the progression of your career. It does come with cinematics and narration, but doesn’t play like a movie. You might create a shortstop, and by the end of this campaign mode you’ll be playing an entirely different position. It’s almost like a sports RPG. I wish Madden had gone in this direction.
More focus on a story mode means less focus on their core gameplay.
Can we play the Pro Bowl now? Is there league expansion? Can we import draft classes? Do we have a draft board? Is it easier to put backups in? There are so many things that Madden could be improving on for this year’s game, but I feel like Longshot is the focal point based on how they’ve pitched it. I care about the NFL gameplay experience.
EA has already stated the “door is open” for a sequel in Madden ’19.
Let’s never compare a Madden campaign mode to the Rocky series again. It’s up to us as players to give EA the proper feedback about this game mode. Maybe it’ll be playable and a few hours of fun, but we’ve got to keep them on track with bettering the true Madden experience.
How does the Madden series feel in the direction of the new story mode? Do you think it will eliminate the game experience we all know and like? Give me a comment below and let me know!
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