‘Madden NFL 16’ steps up its game

Madden 2016When it comes to “Madden NFL 16,” things rarely change. EA, Madden’s developer, goes year in, year out, making minor changes and fixing things that should never have existed in the first place.

It’s a formula that’s frustrating for football fans who want a great game. It’s obvious that since “Madden” is the only NFL game on the market, EA doesn’t have to try very hard because they know people will still buy the games.

I am a sucker who always falls into this trap because once football season starts I’m itching to play some “Madden.” It’s depressing.

While admittedly I had buyer’s remorse and felt terrible about myself as a human after I bought this latest game, when I started playing it, I was pleasantly surprised. They actually changed things this time around. There are new game modes that are really fun. What a great time to be alive.

The big change in “Madden’s” gameplay is the new way the receivers and defenders interact with each other during passing plays.

You have options on how you want to catch the ball or defend it. Now while this doesn’t sound like anything groundbreaking, it does change the game and causes you to be more involved in defense which is a welcome addition.

These new changes affect offense too, with your quarterback and receiver having different ways to move the ball. These are welcome additions to a game that’s been stagnating for years now.

The biggest improvement for me personally, is the new game mode Draft Champions.

I love fantasy football. Going through a fantasy football draft and building your team is sports nerd heaven. With this new game mode, Madden caters to the draft addict in me. In Draft Champions, you cycle through 15 rounds with three different players appearing each round. After the draft, you then go through a four-game single-elimination tournament with your hand-picked squad against the computer or another online opponent’s team.

It’s like fantasy football without the year-long actual football season. If you lose, you jump right back into another draft and build a new team.

It’s very fun and a great building block for a series that hasn’t had anything to build on, which is great news.

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