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What Exactly is Madden’s New Career Mode Giving You—and What Is It Taking Away?

The debut of Madden NFL‘s new suite of career modes—called “Connected Careers”—seemed to be drowned out by the noise of E3 and by the announcement that same day of the game’s new real-time physics engine. That’s a gameplay enhancement gamers could easily understand. Connected Careers wasn’t so easily reduced, and as such, its debut sounded like Maddenwas getting rid of some bread-and-butter game modes.
It’s not. It’s merging them into a single universe, which offers some cool features and conveniences. But there are some details, mainly appealing to those in the game’s hardcore base, that will be going away. On the whole, Connected Careers seems to offer much more than Franchise and Superstar did as separate modes. But in meshing those together, some things had to be left out.

What It Has

Basically, it’s a first shot at creating a sports MMO. Though not truly that (there won’t be huge populations all interacting on one server), had Madden‘s handlers sold this aspect a little more it might have gotten a stronger and happier reaction. In Connected Careers, players may choose to be a single player or a coach—whether created or existing in real life (with some hall-of-fame retired types thrown into the mix).

Choosing to be a player means, basically, you’re taking the route of the old Superstar mode; choosing to be a coach means you’re embarking on Franchise. The difference this year is that Connected Careers’ online component means you and up to 31 other friends can play as different players and coaches in the same league, and thus have your personal stories play out together (though you will not, as a single player, be able to play on a team controlled by another user coach). Continue reading What Exactly is Madden’s New Career Mode Giving You—and What Is It Taking Away?