It's been nearly 5 years since the Madden franchise has had any sort of competition. While 2k sports was legitimately competing with it from 2003-2005, Madden bought the license for the right to use NFL's teams, logos, players, etc. 2k did come out with an "All Star" game filled with all the old greats. It was an okay game, but not enough to come any where near Madden's sales.
Madden has become a monopoly and has done what any other monopoly would or has done. They started being b1tches. Their overall product has not changed much from their 2006 product. Yea there's a few neat things, but they stopped making huge strides like they did when they had to compete with 2k sports. I find that playing NFL 2k5 is better than Madden 10. There aren't really any game changing additions. Nothing that's never been seen before, never been done anymore. This year things could be different.There's a new football (not NFL, yet) game with a completely different approach to the gameplay than the lazy people at Madden. The game, my friends, is called Backbreaker. The title reflects the new approach and the completely different engine that they use. Instead of using motion capture to do tackles, they use a physics-based system that enables and endless amount of possible tackles. Madden's tackling engine, since using motion capture, can only have as many possibilities as the put in it.
This means there is very limited looks they will have. When a player goes to tackle someone, instead of being a fluid motion, like with Backbreaker, the tackler and tacklee enter into a pre-made animation that can sometimes look very unnatural and can sometimes have glitches, or impossible scenarios. Don't believe me?! Take a look at this: Only in Madden. The three broken tackles at the beginning look EXACTLY the same. Now take a look at this: Is this real life?
Yea big difference! Backbreaker also gets away from the bird's eye view and puts you right in the action of everything with an over the shoulder view. The game seems a lot more intense in this view rather than putting you in a blimp and making it feel like you're playing a video game. They also use the joy stick for most everything, throwing, juking, tackling, spinning, all of that is controlled with the joystick and it feels a lot more natural rather than just pressing a bunch of buttons.
I have personally played the demo for Backbreaker and I find that it's innovative and new approach is something I've missed since Madden became a monopoly, SOMETHING NEW! The physics are awesome and every single tackle, thanks to it's new engine, seem natural and they never ever look like a repeat. Hopefully this can knock a huge whole in Madden's sales so that it can either, do something new for a change, or decide to not hold on the the license. Either way, Backbreaker is pretty cool and original and I would much rather spend money on this than Madden, even with out the license. The game let's you create a team from the ground up so the Lions could be in there if I wanted them to.
I leave you some gameplay footage and let show you what I'm talking about.