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The industry's most enduringly popular football game returns to the PC in this 2002 edition, bringing graphical enhancements and new features. Players are modeled more realistically than ever before, with special attention paid to facial features. The natural Sunday afternoon flow is also enhanced with additional commentary from perennial hosts John Madden and Pat Summerall, including more player-specific content.
In addition to the modes of play offered in earlier versions of Madden NFL, gridiron gamers can now buck up on the basics in a Practice Mode or play through the intensity of the Two-Minute Drill. There are also the options of Tournament play and Custom Leagues, as well as the Create-A-Team feature. As always, teams and rosters have been updated to match those of the most recent (2000-2001) NFL season.
Gameplay remains heavily rooted in methods and structures fine-tuned over many years of Madden NFL releases, but a few areas have been tweaked for more realism and interaction in this 2002 version. Backs will defend against the pass more aggressively in this version of the game, working to box out the receiver and going for the interception more often. New animations have been added for interceptions and tipped passes.
Computer-controlled teams won't be calling as many risky plays when there's lots of time on the clock or when they're backed up in their own territory either, even when they're behind by a few TDs. Of course, the strategies and personalities of the individual coaches is still an important factor in AI play calling. In all, Madden NFL 2002 is designed to give fans everything they've come to expect from the series, including the classic, familiar gameplay and some minor, sensible improvements. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide