It might have pushed back the release date like it has everything else, but not even the coronavirus can stop the release of Madden 21.
Unlike previous versions, the cover and opening screen features generic artwork of the cover athlete who is Baltimore Ravens quarterback and 2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was not possible to do a standard photoshoot for the game’s cover; instead, EA Tiburon contacted Shawn Hubbard, the official team photographer for the Baltimore Ravens, to provide photos of Jackson for the cover.
Jackson is the second Raven to be featured on the Madden cover following in the footsteps of NFL Hall of Famer Ray Lewis in Madden NFL 2005.
Thanks to Jackson being one the most mobile dual-threat quarterbacks since Michael Vick playing with a quarterback who can make plays outside of the pocket and throw on the run will be the en vogue thing to have on your team for all players especially online gamers. I played a game and a half with Jackson and connected with Jackson’s go-to tight end Mark Andrews on a third and long for an 80-yard TD thanks to breaking the pocket with Jackson and forcing the DB to come in which left Andrews wide open to run free on a broken play.
I also did the same thing with my team of choice the Dallas Cowboys on a third and long play where Dak Prescott broke contain and found a wide-open streaking Blake Jarwin for a 50-plus game.
If you are a defensive guy this version of Madden is not for you as I scored 28 plus points every game I played without even having my system and scheme fully in place while also giving up close to 30 points a game as I’m not a rookie and have played every edition of Madden.
The Bottom Line
The post-release updates will be key, but I have reviewed what’s available now.
Considering this game was made during a pandemic for the first time in the Madden Franchise history I think it came out pretty good and will keep fans and gamers alike entertained for the next year while putting pressure on EA to go big under hopefully normal conditions next year. Hardcore gamers will probably not rank the game as high as I am due to it being similar to the last two versions, but if one is being real, the COVID-19 factor was a legit factor in the making of Madden 21 and EA did what they could do to keep us all entertained.
I would suggest next year upgrading the Franchise mode by combining all things Madden has done in the past and packaging it all into one beautiful concept along with adding in scoring game breaks with legit highlights and music just like every Sunday during football season.
As long as EA continues to update the game to overcome not being able to put in all the bells and whistles, things should be fine for the franchise overall.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Released: August 28th, 2020 (August 25th for EA Access)
Price: $59.99 for the standard edition, $79.99 for digital, $99.99 for MVP edition
Review Score: 7.5 out of 10
EA provided a review code for the PS4 version of this game.