EA Games Madden NFL 09
It's here and it's freaking amazing!
- Beautiful, lifelike graphics, tight controls and intense gameplay, and new adaptive difficulty settings
- Artificial Intelligence still makes some bone-headed decisions
The bottom line: Madden 2009 remains a top-notch football game. Sure it's the only NFL game in town, but it's damn good. Buy it.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
Much like Christmas and Thanksgiving, the Madden franchise has become an annual institution for gamers. It might as well have its own holiday so that its legions of fans can celebrate the game properly. This year, gamers have reason to rejoice even more as Madden NFL 09 brings with it impressive visuals, some interesting new features and the same brand of virtual football that has made Madden one of the most recognisable franchises in all of gaming.
We were also not able to test out the online modes due to the fact that we were playing early builds and the network was not accessible.
Madden 2009 is a visually stunning football sim that feels faster and more intense than previous versions of the long-running series. This year, the game makes a noticeable leap in visual quality, so much so that at times, it feels like a real-life TV telecast.
One of the biggest improvements is an adaptive method of determining how challenging the computer opponents are; it's called Madden IQ and while it sounds boring, it's really a huge leap forward. I'm always sensitive to these new feature announcements, so I was sceptical of the IQ system. I thought it would be more overstated smoke and mirrors feature than authentic enhancement. I was wrong.
When you first turn it on, Madden 2009 tests your on-field performance in a holographic simulator (I'm not kidding) and automatically determines an initial difficulty level for you. This is your Madden IQ and it changes as you play well and/or poorly. While play-testing Madden 2009, I came to love this new IQ system. Previously, I always found myself eventually frustrated by the game's difficulty levels after two or three seasons of play. I could never find the right fit: All-Pro would be too easy, and All-Madden would be too difficult. The Madden IQ constantly adjusted the game's difficulty to my skills, and the end result is a more perfectly balanced experience.
Aside from these two upgrades, this 20th anniversary edition doesn't feel hugely different than last year's version or particularly unique in the pantheon of Madden games. That's not necessarily a bad thing as last year's game was great. But here are the highlights and lowlights of the '09 version:
Graphics are OMG good. Madden 2009 has the kind of visual fidelity that makes Madden 2008 pale in comparison. This may be one of the best-looking games of 2008. Players move and react in a highly realistic manner. This is the kind of game you can show your friends with pride.
A new "Rewind" feature allows you to immediately take back a poorly executed play by pressing a special button immediately after the play. Unfortunately, it feels a little bit like cheating, and the computer opponent's surprising inability to utilise the same feature in single-player contests feels unfair.
One mild disappointment is that the game's artificial intelligence doesn't feel appreciably upgraded. The computer opponent still makes some very surprising mistakes, such as halfbacks catching short passes and then running out of bounds, or questionable, time-consuming play calls late in games. I'm really hoping these flaws get addressed next year.
Superstar Mode is solid. I'm becoming more of a fan of Madden's superstar mode every year. Practising the same plays over and over isn't that exciting, but playing as Darren McFadden in his rookie season with the Raiders is pretty entertaining.
Football action remains excellent. Madden's controls are so sophisticated and complex that I'm surprised more fans of shooters and other action games don't play. This year is no exception. The controls are tight and responsive, and the overall flow of an NFL contest feels realistic. A slightly refined camera angle on pass plays makes seeing the field easier on directional play action passes. The running game remains very challenging — it's not easy to run outside in the NFL, and it's not easy here either.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 HTC U11 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Gigabyte Aero 15 corporate gaming laptop review
- 3 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 4 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- Hands-on: Middle Earth: Shadow of War gets more creative with Tolkien's universe
- Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire shows off old friends and a mysterious new world
- E3 2017 day 2 wrap-up: Destiny 2 on PC, Wolfenstein returns, and Ubisoft games galore
- Xbox One X vs PlayStation 4 Pro: The console wars level up with powerful new hardware
- E3 2017 day one wrap-up: Call of Duty WWII, Intel's wireless VR, and crushing crowds
PCW Evaluation Team
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
- MSI GL62M 7RDX gaming laptop review
- Alcatel A3 XL phone: Full, in-depth review
- Sony X9300E 2017 TV: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTProject / Program ManagerOther
- FTLean Six Sigma - Change ConsultantOther
- FTSenior Analyst Programmer - Equities or DerivativesOther
- FTSenior Business Analyst, Investment FundsNSW
- FTeCommerce Solution ArchitectOther
- FTWintel Infrastructure EngineerACT
- TPProgram Manager - 10+ month contractQLD
- FTManager - Program Management Office (PMO)Other
- CCDeveloper - ASP.Net - Sencha Ext JSVIC
- FTBI Tech LeadOther
- CCBMC Remedy Business AnalystVIC
- FTSoftware Engineer - Content Design NetworkOther
- FTBusiness Analyst - eCommerceOther
- TPTest AnalystSA
- FTWintel EngineerSA
- CCPMO AdministratorVIC
- FTVoice Solution Engineer - Telecommunications (Unified Comms)Other
- CCSAP Support ConsultantNSW
- FTImplementation ConsultantNSW
- FTTechnical Agile BAOther
- TPProject ManagerQLD
- TPPrincipal Project Manager|HRIS ProgramQLD
- FTOffice & Operations AdministratorNSW
- FTBusiness Intelligence Analyst - Microsoft BI StackNSW
- CCPeoplesoft campus solution consultant/TesterNSW