By: Phil Owen via FileFront

It isn’t too terribly often that an EA Sports title will feel drastically different from one year to the next, but it does happen on occasion. Typically, these games will generally evolve slowly over the course of several years, with new feature sets being added the gameplay being slightly tweaked from year to year in an attempt in an attempt to discover the perfect sports game.

Madden NFL 10, I thought, was pretty close. Yeah, it was hard, and it was usually a waste of time to try to run the ball, but it absolutely nailed the speed of an NFL play. It was fast and unforgiving, but that’s the NFL.

Madden NFL 11 is very different from that. Thanks to what feels like a large number of gameplay tweaks, the game can be alternately unforgiving and way too forgiving. The new Madden experience is, to put it nicely, unstable.

You’ll notice this immediately, when you return the opening kickoff to the 17. Then you’ll hand the ball off to Chris Johnson or Adrian Peterson, and he’ll break four tackles and take it to the house on the first play, regardless of what difficulty setting you’re playing with or who you’re playing against online. If Peyton Manning or Brett Favre is your quarterback, odds are good that you’ll complete 90% of your passes. When you start up a dynasty, you’ll want to grab OJ Atogwe, because every three or four games he’ll return two or three interceptions for touchdowns. Also, CPU defensive backs have a weird tendency to, every few plays, stand still while a receiver runs past them, and so running streak plays will very often net you a long touchdown.  READ MORE