BY FAYEZ AliAHMAD / VN SPORTS WRITER
As someone who's played the Madden football video game religiously for as long as I can remember, I decided this would be my last year to buy the game.
If you're reading this, I'm assuming you've played the game in some capacity.
Buying Madden every year is essentially buying a $60 NFL roster update.
The game never changes.
That was my exact thought until I started playing this year’s version.
But it has won me back.
Madden's franchise game mode allows you to control a team of your choice as an owner, head coach or player.
You can choose whether to control one of those previous options as whoever holds the position in real life or you can create your character.
You can play out an NFL team season as if it were real life from that point.
Franchise is my favorite game mode because of how detailed it is.
Before every contest, the game gives you the option of weekly training, where you can develop your players.
There is also a negotiation period to re-sign players whose contracts expire at the end of the season.
Plus, there’s an entire scouting system that prepares you for the NFL draft in the off-season.
In Madden 22, for the first time in a long time, the game made major updates to franchise mode.
First, the scouting system was completely revamped.
Now it’s possible to hire scouts for your football team and assign them specific regions.
You can focus on draft prospects and learn more about them throughout the season, rather than scouting them once and moving on.
Mock drafts will be released into the game, which weren’t available before.
Another new option is the ability to bring in draft prospects for visits to learn more about them.
Madden also changed the weekly training into a weekly strategy.
You can now focus on player health, game plans and add more focus to young developing players.
The last significant change relates to the coaching staff.
Now, instead of just being a team's head coach, you can also build your staff, including defensive and offensive coordinators.
It’s a fun addition. I hope the next step will allow us to control a coordinator and work our way up to head coach in next year's game.
Face of the franchise
Madden fans have been begging for a career mode for years now.
Where you can create your player, go to college, get drafted to the NFL.
This year’s Face of the Franchise is the closest they have gotten to it.
When starting Face of the Franchise, you have the choice of being a quarterback, wide receiver, running back or linebacker.
Once your position is selected, you can choose the “class" of your player.
What play style will your player possess? You choose it, as well as your player’s build (physique).
This game mode was highly flawed.
The storyline was hard to get through and awkward.
Your player goes through the college football playoffs, a pre-draft visit and a charity game with NFL stars.
Based on how he plays in these games determines how high he gets drafted.
The draft is also unsound.
As a quarterback, you can get drafted by three teams, the Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers.
No matter how badly you play, your player won’t fall past pick three to the 49ers. It doesn't make sense.
The problem is that those teams already have rookie quarterbacks, and the game doesn't move them to a different team or explain what happens with them.
I faced a similar problem when I played as a wide receiver.
My player was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals three times even though the Bengals already have three good wide receivers.
However, it's a step in the right direction.
If they can fix continuity errors and add more to this game mode, such as choosing more positions (tight end, defensive line, secondary), it can become one of the game’s very best features.
I’ve never liked Ultimate Team.
Essentially you can build your dream team of former and current NFL players.
I don’t play this game mode anymore because no matter how hard you try to build your team without spending money, it’s impossible to build a team good enough to stay competitive.
I opened it for the first time in years for the sake of this review, and not much has changed.
It might be me, though, because it is one of Madden’s most popular game modes