Review In Progress: Madden 18 Review


The copy of Madden 18 was provided free of charge for this review.


I know nothing about American football. Not being engrained in the culture and having only seen very vague alusions to it in movies and possibly in the odd TV show, I've had no reason to really be as such other than, possibly, mild curiosity.

However, when an EA employee started talking about the possibilities of accessibility in the franchise, I can't say I wasn't at least curious to see what would come out of that venture.

With the NFL Beginner's Guide in front of me, kindly thrown my way by a helpful Twitter follower", I was prepared to take the very scary leap of faith and plunge into the depths of this new genre.

The Accessibility Patch

Players who already have the game should update to the latest patch to get all the accessibility benefits I cover in this review.

Anyone else who buys the game after reading this review, please make sure you have the latest updates as well.

The patch isn't really all about the game itself, the instructions provided on this Reddit post by the employee in question, officially sanctioned by EA as far as I'm aware, explain a number of aspects of setting up the game to your liking, as well as how to play using the new features.

Now with that out of the way, how does Madden fair for someone completely unfamiliar with both the sport and the game franchise?

Setting Up

Setting up the game, as I'd waited until the update had dropped and used previous EA products with my console, proved to be relatively simple. Just following the guide I managed to get into the main menu with relatively little effort, though there were a few dialogues that for some reason didn't seem to show up during my setup process which was, to say the least, somewhat concerning.

However, now that I had arrived at the main menu, I followed these instructions, under the title "Section Turning on Vision Assists" to the letter and, as far as I can tell (given that I set everything up with no sighted assistance whatsoever), it was successfull and easy to work through as long as you're willing to be patient.

My First Game

After the setup process was complete, I thought I should start with the equivalent of a quickplay match, using the instructions linked above, under the section "Section Play Now".

Even though I sort of had an idea of how everything would work in terms of the game, the actual gameplay didn't really give me enough to work with, even with the accessibility cues. There weren't enough UI cues to indicate what phase we were in or what I was supposed to be doing, likely relying on familiarity with the sport and understanding of the commentary for coherence.

Regardless, without knowing how, I managed to win my first game as the Seattle Seahawks (after picking that team from the favourite team selection), though the game didn't look like it would be a win for me at the beginning. Having things like overtime happen in my first game was, to be honest, exciting as much as it was daunting.

I was hoping to at least record the game for posterity, but currently as far as I can find, the replay menu hasn't been mapped out yet. It's a shame that EA, as far as I understand, have said they're can't allow Microsoft's Speech Synthesis API to be supported without an update to the main engine the game runs on which they can't currently devote the resources to. Something to that effect, anyway.

However, I'm greatful for all the work that's been put in so far, and will update this review as and when I understand the game and the sport more clearly.


Madden 18, whilst it is accessible, is less playable than I'd like and is not a title that is friendly to newcomers or those outside the American Football culture. However, the hard work and effort that's been put in to making this game work with relatively limited adaptation is, to be fair, a step in the right direction, though a smaller one than some might've wanted or expected.

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