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The Madden Football series isn’t just a video game – It’s an entire subculture. The series is held in such high regard that so many NFLers – The ones who live football in their day to day lives that you often hear about entire team tournaments going on every year around the release and more. It seems like the entire sport slows down and impatiently awaits the release of that year’s Madden game, which is always the fitting kickoff to every NFL season.

To that extent, nobody does football better than EA, bringing the game to you regarding every meticulous, painstaking detail they can, from the rendering of every NFL stadium and stats for each player to the commentary team. Gone are the days of the late golden voiced Pat Summerall (who could make paint drying a captivating sport) and after tweaking a bit here and there, Phil Simms and Jim Nantz have helmed the commentary booth the last couple years.  I thought they’ve been a great pairing, and definitely much better than Gus Johnson, whose constant screaming was a bit overdone for a video game.

Living a highway drive away from Seattle my whole life has made me a Seahawks fan almost by default.  Needless to say, I was pretty excited to hear that Richard Sherman is this year’s cover athlete, and wish him all the luck in avoiding the Madden curse, one of sports gaming’s greatest (and growing thanks to Madden ‘12 cover boy Peyton Hillis) urban legends.

Sherman is the perfect cover athlete this year too considering this year’s focus is better defense. That’s where we’ll take a look at Madden 15.

Defense has always been a little loose with the Madden series, and has kind of fallen by the wayside in past years as EA looked to make the on-field offence as vast as possible. Silly things sometimes happen like you messing up the line of scrimmage and skirting around the confused O-Line to sack the Quarterback. Then, the next play, the AI responds by giving your tackler an invisible slip and slide which causes you to dive 10 yards in the wrong direction.  It looks like the defensive enhancements made will likely tighten some of those physics. This year’s game will feature a much more realistic defensive experience, including the porting over of the former NCAA Football (RIP) series’ player lock options.

Also new to Madden 15 is a more enhanced presentation aspect, giving you a much more dynamic look from all angles. This NFL Films-influenced look takes the way you see the game to a whole new level. Not only do you get a look from some of the very cutesy angles you get during actual broadcasts (like blimps) but the on-field presentation is enhanced too. You’ll see after-down events generated on the fly for your viewing pleasure as opposed to pre-determined animations you’ve watched in the years before.

Now it’s time for you to join the ranks with one of the biggest sports gaming franchises in the world.  Pre-Order Madden 15 for participating systems and get a head start with Madden Ultimate Team.

When you Pre-Order your copy of Madden 15 Standard Edition online, you’ll get $15 worth of bonus MUT content on the house!  Madden ‘15 releases for the following consoles on August 26th

Pre-Order Madden 15 Standard Edition for Playstation 4 

Pre-Order Madden 15 Standard Edition for Xbox One

Pre-Order Madden 15 Standard Edition for Xbox 360

Pre-Order Madden 15 Standard Edition for PlayStation 3

There is also an Ultimate Edition this year, however, it isn’t applicable to the Pre-Order offer.  The Ultimate Edition is, however, available at Best Buy as well.

Pre-Order Madden 15 Ultimate Edition for PlayStation 4

Pre-Order Madden 15 Ultimate Edition for Xbox One

Pre-Order Madden 15 Ultimate Edition for PlayStation 3 

Pre-Order Madden 15 Ultimate Edition for Xbox 360

So it’s time to head out to the gridiron and see the sights and sounds of Madden ‘15!