Madden 12 demo drops on Xbox Live and PSN

After a lost summer, NFL football is back

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Damn, it feels good to be a Madden fan. After staring into the abyss of a joyless fall of no-real-football Sundays, the NFL solved its labor problems and a full 16-game slate is a month away. To celebrate, EA Sports has released a demo of Madden 12 on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. Whether you’re still playing in Year 5 of your Madden 11 online franchise (like some of us) or have long since put it away in favor of a more current sports experience, this is indeed welcome news. It doesn’t matter if you’re a supporter or a hater; Madden is the bellwether of all sports games. If it’s great, a nation rejoices.

The demo pits the Bears against the Packers at Soldier Field, and offers a surprising amount of cool stuff. Sporting 5-minute quarters, multiple difficulty settings, and two modes of play calling (Gameflow for the lazy types and Conventional for the traditionalists), there’s plenty to sink your teeth into. EA is also promising that one if its new features will be on full display – Dynamic Player Performance. Basically, if your guys play well, they’ll get more confident and their ratings will temporarily rise; conversely, if they stumble and fumble, expect a downward spiral. It remains to be seen if Jay Cutler will pull himself from the game if he throws a couple of picks early. We shall see.

Rosters are representative of what they were at the end of last year, but EA promises a full roster update come delivery of the full retail game on August 30th (although EA Season Ticket owners get access to a temporary digital copy three days before then). In the meantime, you’ve got three weeks to hone your skills and prepare for the NFL to return – and not a minute too soon.

Aug 9, 2011