This game seemed to me to be the latest example of Electronic Arts releasing a game before it had been polished and finished well. While this year's version of Madden certainly has its charms, I found myself mostly disenchanted with it.
The good: I'm not going to make any bones about it: This game looks beautiful in HD. The graphics are crystal clear, and the intro-montage to the game is really well done. I also think the in game representation of players in this game is some of the best I've seen. The stadiums and fields are constructed beautifully and represented very accurately in each type of weather. Game play is more than smooth enough, and it seems like the load times have improved a lot. I also really like the fact that you can co-op with another player so that a less experienced player can learn the game without getting crushed time and time again.
The bad: One of the great downfalls of the Madden series is the issue with saving. There's still no way to save mid-game. Also, I may be in the minority, but I actually miss the "Maddenisms" in the commentary. The new radio style commentary just doesn't do it for me. Also, EA's classic rubberbanding 4th quarters are back with a vengeance. You could be winning 42-0 at the end of the 3rd and nearly lose it all by the end.
The ugly: I mentioned earlier that I feel as though EA released this game before it was polished. Sometimes I'll look at replays only to see that my runner has somehow teleported from one side of the field to the other, or that a receiver has simply disappeared from the field. Sometimes after a score, a scoring player will run toward the crowd behind the endzone and go through the wall. These things happen very frequently, so it's not like something they just didn't notice. It seems that production was extremely rushed in certain places.
Overall, this year's Madden, for all it's little quirks, is still a really fun game to play. That said, I do think that if EA continues to raise the game's price, there needs to be a serious upgrade in the quality control department.