Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 08/22/00 | Genre: Sports
When the first screen shots of Madden 2001 appeared before my eyes at E3 2000 in LA, I nearly fell to the ground. I was totally in awe of the breathtaking visuals EA had given the Madden franchise. After watching several clips of the title, I was convinced EA was going to do for the Playstation2 launch what Sega did for the Dreamcast launch--innovate football and move the genre into the next generation. I have to admit, I was optimistic that Madden 2001 could live up to all of the promises that E3 2000 provided. However, with the release of the Playstation 2 and Madden 2001, reality has sunk in. Madden 2001, while a decent game, does not regain the "King of Football" status it once held.
From the moment I placed the Madden disk into the PS2, I though I was ready for incredible graphics. However, I was unaware that they would be this good. The players are life-like and their movement is very fluid. The facial expressions on the players looks just like their real life counterparts! Likewise, the stadiums are very detailed. Have you ever wanted to visit the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field, gaze up at the hole within Texas stadium, or look out at the beauty of 3Com Park? Madden 2001 delivers these stadiums in such detail, you will swear that you are actually there. When compared to other football games, like Sega Sports Football 2001, Madden 2001 simply outshines all others and proves the power of the PS2 places it in a league of its own.
Controlling Madden 2001 is a simple process with the new Playstation 2 dual shock controller. I find the new controller to be very responsive and a great improvement over the prior dual shock on the original Playstation. While the controller provides all the buttons needed to accurately control the game, the sheer amount of controls creates a large learning curve, while the gamers learn the controls. This also leads to a greater accuracy of control as the players learn to utilize all of the buttons. An added feature to this years Madden 2001 is the addition of "pressure sensitive" analog buttons that Sony has placed on the Dual Shock2 controller. It will be interesting to see how this feature works in later versions...
The gameplay within Madden 2001 is the cause of its problems. While every other aspect of Madden is outstanding, the gameplay just doesn't live up to other current football titles. What is the cause of this poor gameplay, you ask? The major problem is the game plays as if it was underwater football. Players slowly move. While the graphics are incredible, the gameplay is far to slow to consider Madden 2001 as the new standard for football titles.
That said, even though the players move slow, the play selection screens are done quite nicely. You will find them much more user friendly than Sega Sports Football 2001. Overall, Madden 2001 will make an excellent addition to your Playstation 2 library. As times goes on and developers learn how to utilize the hardware, problem areas like slow gameplay should vanish. Until then, enjoy the exciting new version of Madden EA has put together for the Playstation 2 launch.