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The annual release of the latest Madden NFL American Football game is a major event in the United States. While its UK release is greeted with a more restrained reception, it is still a major event for fans of the genre. Madden is simply the world's most highly regarded pigskin simulation. Along with Tiger Woods PGA Tour, this is one of Electronic Arts longest running franchises, and in part is responsible for the "sports-sequels" criticisms that have been leveled against the company. EA has shown its commitment to new and innovative gaming, but the fans keep coming back in droves to these big sports franchises. The reason for this is that year after year, EA finds something to take the series forward. Tweaks to the gameplay, new network features, better graphics and improved controls are all rolled out year after year, as well as the obvious player line-up changes that an official franchise like this entails.
Madden 10 sees the game get "procedural awareness" - next gen head tracking that enables player's heads to watch the action without pre-rendered animations. What sounds like a small cosmetic update has far bigger gameplay implications, because now computer players will only initiate an action when they have line of site on the ball, allowing for far more realistic play. This is coupled with a new graphics engine and all new player models for the best graphics Madden has seen yet.
An improved Injury system delays news about the severity of a player's injury to increase drama and tension. Players who play while injured have their performance reduced, and risk re-injury.
New interface features give you the low down on your opponent players so that you can better tune your tactics before every play.
Also new for 10 are improved on-line features, including for the first time - co-operative play. There are also enhanced online leagues for up to 32 teams.
Once again, Electronic Arts have moved this genre defining franchise to delver the greatest American Football game the world has yet seen - until Madden 11, of course!