A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game features controls that may be too complex for younger players. The gameplay is pretty much like real professional football; players control some hard tackles and they have the option to try illegal moves like holding, although they may have to face the penalties. The game has ads for real-life companies, a soundtrack with licensed songs, and it promotes the National Football League. Parents should be aware that the game has an online mode and that Common Sense doesn't recommend online play for anyone under 12.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Players who have tackled a Madden game before, such as the 05 or 04 versions, will find themselves on familiar ground. As in previous years, MADDEN NFL 07 does a nice job of translating the big, complex, and messy world of professional football: real players, real stadiums, big hits, injuries, commercial sponsorships, some showboating, and plenty of play-calling strategy. Although Madden 07 has a pick-up-and-play, single game option, for serious players the heart of the game will be one of the season-spanning modes, which have only minor tweaks over previous entries in the series.
Is it any good?
Despite some innovations and small changes that allow players a finer degree of control over maneuvers, Madden 07 still has some problems. Corporate sponsorship of things like drive summaries and player-of-the-game awards are familiar from real football, but come off as gratuitous in the game. Likewise, the EA-staple of a background soundtrack of punkish and hip-hop songs, complete with pop-ups identifying the song and artist, feels awkwardly tacked on.
Yet the biggest complaint many gamers might have is that they've seen the basic Madden football game before. This latest iteration will hold most appeal to football fans and those players eager to delve into the up-to-the-minute online community for contests against real humans.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes football interesting. Do flashy plays and show-business elements make the game exciting or is it the play-calling strategy? Families can also discuss the advertisements that are wrapped up in the game. Is this commercialism distracting -- or does it make gameplay more authentic? Finally, families should discuss proper online behavior.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.