The 2011 installment of the Madden NFL series headlined new features such as a play-calling system titled “GameFlow”, a new game mode titled “Online Team Play”, and an assortment of other features. The game was advertised as being “Simpler, Quicker, and Deeper” than previous versions of the game. The superstar mode for the Wii version was removed from this Madden installment.
“GameFlow” enables the player to create a situational game plan based on down and situation, and is advertised to speed up playing time as much as one half of the total game time from previous years of “Madden”. Another addition is “Online Team Play”, which supports 3 vs. 3 cooperative play. Players can also scout opponents in online head-to-head games to gain a competitive advantage. Other changes from previous installments include a new kick meter, new audible system, and an improved locomotion animation system. Lighting improvements, run blocking changes, new quarterback ratings, and a new Old Spice “Swagger” rating have also been added to the game. Gus Johnson does the play-by-play broadcast commentary, replacing Tom Hammond. One reviewer noted, Johnson’s “penchant for the dramatic in real life keeps you on the edge of your seat as you turn the corner for a RB sprint or heave a desperation Hail Mary.” Cris Collinsworth returns as color commentator from previous editions
“Madden Ultimate Team”: Madden Ultimate Team is a downloadable game mode released on January 7, 2010. In this mode, users are able to build a team by purchasing player packs. These packs are purchased with coins that are earned by winning a game, scoring a touchdown etc. They can also be purchased with real money through the user’s PlayStation Network or Xbox Live accounts. As the user gains more coins, they are able to buy better packs of players, eventually building their “Ultimate Team”.
This mode has received some negative feedback with regards to ‘Player Contracts’ that are attached to each ‘Player Card’. When purchased ‘Player Cards’ have a 10 match contract – this decreases by 1 every game (even if due to disconnection). When a ‘Player Card’ contract reaches zero you cannot use that player in your team until you replenish his contract. Replenishment of a contract on a ‘Player Card’ is done by a contract card that is purchased with coins. It is thus extremely difficult to keep a good team ‘in contract’ without spending real money. It is also possible to be in a position where you have a low amount of coins and not enough players to even play ‘Madden Ultimate Team’, unless you wish to spend real money for more coins. In order to buy contract cards to replenish your players contracts, or to buy new packs with – to try to fill the empty team positions that are stopping you from playing the mode