Say what you will about the Madden NFL franchise, but it's a series that takes its simulation feel seriously. Every facet of the game that even slightly deviates from how an actual professional football game is conducted has been methodically quashed over the years. It's also why last year the folks at EA had to release a Madden Arcade game - the flagship game has gotten so realistic, it's turned off some casual gamers seeking a quicker fix or a flatter learning curve.
One aspect that has always shirked the intended verisimilitude is the soundtrack. For the most part, it's been a mishmash of songs from up-and-coming pop music acts that are being pushed by major labels on a young audience that folks to games like Madden.
No longer. In this year's version, Electronic Arts is bringing in the litany of Jock Jams-type tracks you've slowly learned to block from your consciousness at sporting events. That means "Zombie Nation," "Rock and Roll, Part II," Blur's "Song 2," "Welcome to the Jungle." They're the meathead's answer to the old standards. They seldom inspire joy or elicit the intended rush anymore, but at the same time they're less jarring to see played over a football game than Sum 41.
That's not all, either. The game will also be adding several well-known fight songs, including "Hail to the Redskins," "Bear Down Chicago Bears," and "Miami Dolphins #1", among others.
In many ways, it's fitting that the console game granted exclusive rights to the NFL and NFLPA would hew so rigidly close to real life. If every other other gaming company is forced to put out ludicrously outlandish arcade-style football titles with imaginary characters, it only makes sense for EA to go as far as possible in the other direction. It's actually kind of curious that it's taken them this long to incorporate the chants, given how treasured they are by their respective fan bases. Nevertheless, they're here now. And so Madden inches one step closer to replicating the stadium experience. If only they could find a way to force you to buy a personal seat license for your couch.