Fans of American football will doubtless have gone out to purchase the latest in the Madden video game franchise: Madden NFL 15.
The game was received positively by fans and critics everywhere, but stood out for one memorable glitch that will forever be one of its most redeeming features and its downfall.
In a hilarious faux pas at EA Sports, when players fired up the game and played in the Tennessee Titans Solo Challenge within the Madden Ultimate Team, there was one player who was not looking so titanic.
Cleveland Browns’ rookie linebacker Christian Kirksey would inexplicably appear as a very miniature version of himself in comparison to his fellow players. Despite being 6”2 and weighing 235lb in real life, the star appeared around ¼ of the size of his team mates, causing hilarity amongst players up and down the country.
Rather than be embarrassed by the gaffe, developers at EA Sports released a statement on their official blog telling fans: “This weekend only, Madden Ultimate Team players can experience the Tiny Titan for themselves. All you need to do is log into Madden 15 and look for the direct link to the Ultimate Teams Weekly Challenges. #TinyTitan will be waiting.”
While the amusing glitch did nothing for the game’s realism in terms of graphics, the rest of the game was exquisitely presented and also provided an immersive experience for players in more ways than one. Defensive play was one huge improvement for players, as the pundits suggested, defense really does win championships. It seems that game developers followed the Seattle Seahawks’ famous mantra when making the most recent installment in the series.
Moreover, players were given the chance to analyze many more aspects of the game, for example, how many yards a certain play has yielded, or statistics which will help players decide which tactics will catch opposing quarterbacks off guard.
With so many facets of the game making it true to life, is it time to ask: are video games becoming too real? Indeed, there is a certain naive nostalgic charm to knowing games are completely different from reality, and game makers at Madden could be falling into the dangerous trap of making game play mundane if it lacks the excitement factor.
While there is nothing wrong with improved graphics, much of the fun of modern day video games is the fantasy element, so it’s important that games makers acknowledge this. One great example would be the recently released Destiny: the online-only game which features crystal clear graphics but takes users on journeys through the galaxy.
Realism may have its place in sporting games, but there is a fine line to be drawn between making a game true to life and making it mundane.
If Madden carries on making oompa loompa characters though, it’s safe to say it won’t become boring any time soon…