Madden 2013 Xbox 360
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Released on 31-Aug-2012
Key Features of Madden NFL 13
- Better with Kinect—Now you call the shots, controlling the offense and defense using only your voice. With unprecedented authenticity for the diehard Madden NFL gamer and more intuitive playcalling for the NFL fan, Madden NFL 13 is Better With Kinect.
- All-New Connected Careers—Live the NFL dream—whenever you want, wherever you want in a fully interactive, social, and connected online experience. Create your personal legacy or relive an all-time legend's as you build the ultimate franchise as a coach, an NFL superstar, or yourself. Manage your team from your console, the web, or mobile phone in a 24/7 world as NFL insiders and experts analyze, praise, and criticize every move along the way.
- All-New Infinity Engine—With cutting-edge physics that make every move count, a completely redesigned passing game, and the most intelligent pass defense to date, you're in complete control of your football destiny.
- All-New Commentary—Every game has the feel of a nationally televised broadcast with CBS Sports commentators Jim Nantz and Phil Simms calling the action from the virtual 3D booth.
- Completely Redesigned UI—With an all-new living front end, dynamic in-game transitions, a live ticker, and drastically improved usability, Madden NFL 13 is game changing from boot-up to credits.
- Social and Mobile Integration—Stay connected and broadcast your football glory to all your friends with seamless Facebook and Twitter integration, including easy post-game status updates and Tweets.
- Playbooks Presentation – The impressive quality of NFL broadcasts are recreated with brilliant attention to detail. From the redesigned opening, to the 3-D booth showcasing new commentators Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, Madden NFL13 provides the most authentic presentation yet. On the field, the position of the sun is tracked throughout the game while motion blurs give a true sense of speed. Also, don’t forget those brand new Nike uniforms and gear, which debut in their full digital glory in Madden NFL 13.
- Gameplay – The passing system has been improved, opening up the game like never before with changes to the way quarterbacks, receivers and defenders react to the ball. On top of all that the new Infinity Engine completely redefines how players interact.
- Offence: The new Total Control Passing mechanic lets players lead receivers into open space and put the ball exactly where they want it to go. Revamped passing trajectories, quarterback dropbacks, and play action improvements make airing out the ball more appealing than ever.
- Defence: Defensive coverage AI has been completely rewritten thanks to the new read and react defensive AI. Conversely, defenders now disguise their coverage so users won’t know if the defence is in man or zone until the snap, creating a chess match between the offence and defence.
Olympic fever has gripped the planet, and we're only just over halfway through a year that has already been defined by amazing sporting action. From regular favourites like Wimbledon and the UEFA European Championship, to the glitz of the Olympics and surprise wins in the Tour De France, sport has never hogged so many UK headlines. As always, where there's an audience, there are video games looking to capitalise on the popularity - and a famous face certainly helps to catch our attention (although Mario and Sonic don't really count...). Here's our look back over the history of sporting heroes in games.
You can almost go back to the dawn of gaming and find examples of famous athletes promoting games. Daley Thompson's Decathlon was one of the enduring classics of the 8-bit home computer era, a keyboard-bashing run through ten track and field events overseen by the ghostly white pixellated face of digital Daley.
It was inevitable that a footy-loving nation such as ours would attract a flood of cheesy football endorsements as well, with everyone from squeaky scouser Emlyn Hughes to telly pundits Saint and Greavsie, to top flight players like Gazza and Beckham, putting their name to digitised kickabouts. We even had the bizarre sight of a Peter Shilton goalkeeping game, cheekily renamed Handball Maradona after the infamous "hand of god" incident at the 1986 World Cup. And while there's no name on the box, there's no ignoring the key players endorsing both FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer even today.
Ever-obsessed with sports and strategy, it didn't take long for American software companies to follow suit. John Madden had already retired as both player and coach when his name first adorned the Madden NFL American Football simulation in 1988, but it kicked off a series which endures to this day and is widely considered to be the benchmark of gridiron gaming. Madden was part of the EA Sports stable, a label that knows the value of the right endorsement. In 1999 the company's popular PGA golf series became Tiger Woods PGA Tour, and the fairway superman has been the face of golf games ever since. Indeed, the close tie between game and name may soon become a problem, as the digital Tiger performs better than his struggling real-life counterpart. Will the series revert to plain old PGA Tour when Tiger's star fades, or will EA find a new golfing hero to carry the torch?
That's the gamble when signing a player at the peak of their game. Sometimes, a games company will sign an up and coming athlete in the hopes of backing a long term winner. That worked for Nintendo, when it paid a young Mike Tyson $50,000 to use his likeness in the NES Punch Out boxing game. Within months, Tyson was on his way to being the world heavyweight champ, and the retitled Mike Tyson's Punch Out benefited from his success in the USA.
In the UK, meanwhile, Punch Out was ported to home computers with our very own Frank Bruno as the main character. Punch Out returned to Wii minus its star, while Tyson makes a surprise return to games this year in WWE '13, re-living the brief sting he spent using his name to boost the wrestling company's ratings.
Often, a sport will bubble up to the top of the popular consciousness thanks to the eye-catching feats of a particular sports-person. In the late 1990s, it was Codemasters that perked up long-running, but fairly obscure rugby and cricket sims, by shrewdly putting hot new stars like Jonah Lomu and Brian Lara above the title. Likewise, it was only when legendary racer Colin McRae put his name to the publisher's rally games that they became the owners of a blockbuster franchise, and while the DiRT series has continued to thrive without him, it was his name that got the customers through the proverbial door to begin with. Such moves weren't restricted to cult UK sports either. In 1999, Japanese firm Namco quickly rebranded the latest entry in its fledgling tennis series as Anna Kournikova Smash Court Tennis in order to attract European gamers.
It's perhaps notable that the area where celebrity endorsement paid off most spectacularly was in the rise of extreme sports, where off-beat personalities are more openly celebrated and the players are more likely to be gamers. Tony Hawk pioneered this with his skateboarding games, lending not just his credibility but also his insight and expertise to ensure maximum authenticity. Snowboarder Shaun White and BMX rider Dave Mirra quickly followed Hawk's example. Hawk's back this year, too, in an HD re-jigging of some of his classic titles for Xbox LIVE; he's gone from extreme rebel to a traditional figure, but we still love him!
Whenever sport becomes national obsession, you can bet an enterprising games developer will seize the opportunity. Gold medal-winning swimming star Michael Phelps has got a head start on his Olympic peers this year, with his Push The Limit game for Kinect already on shelves. Will we see Bradley Wiggins grace the cover of next year's Tour De France game? Will Jess Ennis and Mo Farah be running alongside us in the next Kinect Sports? Whoever is next on the podium, it's a good bet that gamers will be the winners.
He's back. Yet again. That icon of American Football makes another splashdown on the PS3 and Xbox 360 in Madden NFL 13. Question is - is he still up to it?
The Madden series has been popping up on our shelves since 1988, and older gamers will remember John Madden's noggin grinning back at them from the game's packaging in the Mega Drive days. In recent years though, that gung-ho grin has proverbially dropped into a more tired and cynical half-smile as the game series' innovation has fallen short - a problem surely compounded by the complete lack of rival titles from other publishers. Well, apart from Backbreaker in 2010 but we're still waiting on a sequel to that...
Thankfully though, Madden's publisher Electronic Arts has been listening to its critics and has launched an all-out charm offensive with Madden 13. Out goes the canned animations of the past and income cutting-edge physics that sees truly chaotic, unpredictable action out there on the playing field; such fancy moves are all down to the game's new Infinity Engine. Said engine also introduces an overhauled passing system that makes you feel like you're in total control of your players.
The backbone to all this scintillating onscreen action is chest-bumpingly good too thanks to the in-depth Connected Career options - from joining online leagues and coaching an entire team through to driving the career of a single player, every permutation of the sport is covered. Then there's the enticing frontend that feels like a US TV broadcast with all its flashy graphics, plus there's even new ad-libbing commentary from Jim Nantz and Phil Simms (Wiki them, non-NFL fans).
It all adds up to a bona fide upgrade to the series then, and one that restores Madden's reputation. The only question is whether there is a publisher out there still mad (den) enough to take on this legend in the market place. After playing Madden 13, we suspect not.
There are lots and lots of great games heading your way in the next few months, and here at GAME HQ we're as excited as you lot are to give them a go.
So, we went round the digital team with a prodding stick to find out just what games the team here are really itching to play...
Ali - Queen of the Internet
I am looking forward to LEGO Batman 2. My brother and I worked our way through the original LEGO Batman with a considered method of "shoot everything in the room first, think about the situation later" and it was amazing. It's also the only game where if you die you can still enjoy seeing Robin explode which I did on many occasions as Player 2. I can't wait to see what LEGO Batman 2 has in store!
Louis - Merchandising Meddler
Definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, Max Payne 3.
After playing through 1 and 2 - which gripped me to the very end - I cannot honestly wait for 3.
Max Payne's method of storytelling is awesome. The comic book cut scenes are stylish and effective, and are not afraid to poke fun at other, outrageous works of fiction (as well as itself). The noir style and twists and turns throughout provide a flourish of love which even the most dedicated of storytellers fail to keep up with. The ingredients are simple, but it's a recipe which works.
The gameplay might not necessarily be innovative, but it will be intuitive. It might not change the way we think about games, but I know it's going to be a game through and through; fun, accessible and welcoming to noobs and veterans alike. Max Payne 3 is going to rock. Add online multiplayer to the mix, and I can safely say that I'm looking forward to blasting my way into June!
(My second choice would be Aliens: Colonial Marines, but that's almost too far away to get excited about yet!)
Kate - Affiliate Assassin
Bioshock Infinite - Because of the amazing animation and design of the game. Oh, and Limbo 2 - if/when it comes!
Jamie - Builder of Digital Dreamscapes
I am looking forward to...
Grand Theft Auto V: Obviously no one really knows exactly when this game is coming out but I cant wait! Seriously excited about a new GTA! Although I hope it is all of San Andreas and not just Los Santos.
Madden 13: I always get Madden, and it was pretty much the game that made me buy my first proper games console (the SEGA Mega Drive). I'm particularly looking forward to this year's one as I'm hoping they have taken more of the good stuff out of NCAA12.
Retro City Rampage: This is an indie game that just looks AMAZING! Kind of like a funny GTA but all totally 80s styled. It's gonna be on Xbox LIVE and PSN and I like the fact it looks like you might be able to get this digitally to play on your PS Vita too; it seems like the kind of game you could just lose hours in messing about!
Carl - Design Doodler
Halo 4. Why? Because it's the best freaking game there is! I'm a massive Halo fan and I'm really looking forward to the next instalment. And really looking forward to seeing Master Chief again. And now we know the release date I know what week to book off work!
Aaron - Social Butterfly
I almost squealed for joy when Luigi's Mansion 2 was announced (Okay, I actually did squeal...). The original Luigi's Mansion was the first game I got on launch day with my Gamecube. It was ALL about Luigi, sucking up ghosts with his Poltergust 3000. The sequel has me itching to play, it will have multiple mansions, a new Poltergust, new ghosts, new story AND it will all be in beautiful 3D. The Nintendo savvy amongst us will know that Nintendo originally planned to release Luigi's Mansion in 3D on the Gamecube but decided the 3D panel was ahead of its time!
Who ya gonna call? Ghostb-- No, no wait, let's just get the Green hat-wearing Italian plumber from the Mushroom Kingdom instead. No danger of crossing the streams.
Damien - Good Word Writing Man
I'm actually really looking forward to Lollipop Chainsaw. I'm a big Buffy fan, so the concept of a blonde cheerleader fighting supernatural beasties is one that very much appeals to me. It just looks like it's gonna be oodles of OTT fun. Plus, y'know, the boyfriend's head just kicking around. What's not to like?
As a stark contrast, I'm also a bit excited by Spec Ops: The Line. I don't usually get on with shooters, but having seen the trailer with the bodies-on-poles imagery, plus the obvious Heart of Darkness influence and the sense of "killing people may actually affect you", I really want to try this one out. I mean, who isn't at least intrigued by what appears to be an anti-war third-person shooter?
James - Captain Category
Because I've been waiting twelve years for it!
So there we have it. These are the games we want to play - what about you? What forthcoming titles have got you so pant-wettingly excited to pre-order and play?
From the Olympics to the Tour de France, sport has never hogged so many UK headlines. As always, where there's an audience, there are video games looking to capitalise on the popularity - and a famous…
Editor's Choice - Madden NFL 13 (07/09/2012)
He's back. Yet again. That icon of American Football makes another splashdown on the PS3 and Xbox 360 in Madden NFL 13. Question is - is he still up to it?…
The Games We're Excited About! (17/04/2012)
There are lots and lots of great games heading your way in the next few months, and here at GAME HQ we're as excited as you lot are to give them a go. So, we went round the digital team with a proddin…
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