Madden NFL 11
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Madden NFL 11 is an E-rated football simulation game. The game is appropriate for players of all ages, but parents should know that the Wii, Xbox 360, and PS3 versions of the game let you play on the Internet -- and with the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions, you can also chat while playing. This means kids could potentiallyhear profanity or interact verbally with complete strangers.
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What's it about?
Video game publishers who crank out a sports sequel every year must straddle that delicate balance between keeping what works and adding enough new features to justify the purchase. EA Sports has done just that with MADDEN NFL 11, the latest – and perhaps most ambitious -- version of its best-selling football franchise that has sold more than 85 million copies since the series debuted in 1989. Featuring New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees as cover boy (chosen by fans in an online promotion), this year's game was designed for both rookies and veterans alike by delivering what the publisher calls a \"simpler, quicker, and deeper\" experience. For example, a new play-calling system called GameFlow lets you complete games in half the time compared to past versions of the game, as you don’t have to dig into a playbook and choose from 300-odd plays (unless you want to). Instead, each team has a default play style, such as Miami Dolphins and its oft-used “wildcat” formation.
Is it any good?
This version of Madden is good -- very good. Along with the faster game (players also run faster, too), another big new feature is an online co-op mode for up to 3 versus 3 team play. You choose to play an offensive squad of players (such as a quarterback, running back, or wide receiver) or the defensive line (line backers or defensive backs) and work together for the team to succeed. The game's presentation has also been kicked up a notch, including improved player models for near photorealistic likenesses of NFL players, more realistic animation, new cut-scenes, and enhancements to the broadcast presentation. Gus Johnson now delivers play-by-play commentary in the booth alongside Chris Collinsworth. EA Sports also recorded authentic stadium chants and other distinctive sounds for each team, such as “Go Pack Go!” at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field or the Viking horn after a first down in Minnesota.
Quite simply, fans of the franchise will no doubt like what EA Sports has packed into Madden NFL 11, including new modes, tweaked controls, better production values, a streamlined playbook, and most importantly, great gameplay.
Online interaction: You can play online in all versions of Madden NFL 11 except the PS2. There is co-op team play in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game, which can support open chat while playing with an optional headset microphone. Open chat can be unpredictable in terms of the language you might hear. Wii version supports regular online matches; and the PSP allows for 2-players WiFi play.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how EA Sports added a lot of new features to this year's Madden NFL game. Should they introduce major features every year instead of only every few years? What makes you buy a new version? The updated roster? The new bells and whistles?
Did you notice the advertising in the game? Why does EA Sports put so much advertising into this game?
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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.