Madden NFL 23 (Sniper)
Genre: Sports
Developer: Electronic Arts
Publisher: Electronic Arts

While the tribute to the late John Madden is appreciated, this latest Madden opens with an FMV Madden-related montage, and its highly compressed look makes a bad first impression. The game's menus then appear, and they are flat-shaded-- black and putrid green-themed. On top of that they are unbelievably sluggish, and flash the background in between re-paintings, giving the menu-heavy franchise mode a very unpolished feel. The in-game graphics somehow look worse than the last Madden title this reviewer bought, which was Madden NFL 18 on the PS4 Pro-- muddy, with poor HDR.

These Madden titles always have mediocre crowd sounds, and always have Charles Davis blathering on in the background-- but at least some of the ghetto tunes, which glorify violence and criminal behavior, could be entertaining or memorable in a "so bad it's good" kind of way. Not this time around: other than perhaps "git some muhney, git some muhney", the music is flat-out boring, with all of the songs sounding more or less identical.

This year's Madden is unplayable. The overly-complicated control scheme, which uses every button on the controller for several different functions, is par-the-course-- but what happened to the AI? As soon as the player makes a pass, all eleven defenders hawk straight for the ball, even if their backs were turned to the quarterback! Run blocking is non-existent, and the AI fumbles and throws interceptions constantly.

This is the last time this reviewer is buying one of these Madden titles. NFL 18 was a fun game, but this current rendition is an abomination on every level: it's ugly to look at, the menu system had no thought or polish put into it, and the gameplay feels like it's six months away from being ready to release, in spite of the title coming from a team which makes annual entries-- wouldn't they know how to program a gridiron game by now? Apparently not! Makes one wonder if the WuFlu "work from home" thing is having a toll.

Sniper's verdict: