The last time a keyboard and mouse controlled the movements of American football's finest, Oblivion's GOTY edition was gracing the shelves.
After getting hit with negative game reviews, outrage over buying and then closing smaller game studios, and general poor feedback, Electronic Arts is looking at it's first unanimously great PR move in years. Unfortunately, it may be lessened considerably due to a supposed editing error. which has since been fixed, that censored former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick's name out of "Big Bank" by YG, a song off of Madden 19's soundtrack.
So, setting politics aside, is Madden 19 worth being a part of your gaming budget?
If you are a fan of the NFL that plays exclusively on PC, absolutely snatch this up. Madden 19 improves on everything its predecessor created, except Longshot. This time around it plays more like a JRPG with long, unskippable cutscenes combined with short moments of gameplay. There is only one choice in the entire game mode, what quarterback Devin Wade admires, be careful though, your selection determines what style he becomes later on and as a player in MUT. It is rather short as well, leaving you feeling like nothing really happened, unlike in the first iteration of the mode.
What it lacks in Longshot, it makes up for in MUT. The levels and challenges have been beefed up and rewards are more frequent. The chemistry system is a lot easier to see and you can now change the chemistry of players. It is still a little lacking compared to FIFA's chemistry system but definitely improved in Madden 19. EA did include the amazing squad battle feature from FIFA and removed the horrendous, coin draining, contracts that worked well in FIFA, but never quite translated to Madden. Both of those changes combined means an influx of coins will be coming your way. After only a few hours, the coins earned were more than sufficient to form a decent high silver team.
Graphically, Madden 19 is an upgrade in every way. Some of the faces of lesser players, like kickers and punters get a scary treatment and the fans look like they were copy and pasted from the last Madden PC game but besides those small issues, the game is absolutely beautiful.
Waiting until E3 to announce the expansion to PC, EA could be using Madden 19 as a test run for future Madden games on the platform, as well as a potential NHL comeback. Back in 2008 when it was announced that Madden 09 was not coming back to PC, EA stated that, "The PC presents some very serious business challenges to us in the sports category..." and when they pulled NHL off the PC in 2009, EA cited a "...continuing decline in the sports PC market." With the launching of EA's own Competitive Gaming Division in 2015, and earlier this year, an eSport league in conjunction with their FIFA franchise and Major League Soccer titled eMLS, EA seems to be both putting more value on competitive sports gaming and expanding their existing IPs. Those actions by Electronic Arts, when looked at with their quotes from years ago, suggest that they have seen an increase in the sports PC market worthy enough to bring back Madden.
Madden 19's success could very well change the fate of the franchise and the potential of an authentic NHL game hitting Origin by 2020.
Madden 19 for PC can be found on EA's Origin client with two versions available for purchase: the standard edition for $59.99 and the Hall of Fame edition for $79.99