Madden 15 ratings: Brandon Marshall leads Bears

BY JOE COWLEY Staff Reporter

August 25, 2014 8:53PM

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Updated: August 26, 2014 9:57AM

There is still hope for you Shea McClellin believers.

All 12 of you left.

Some extra training in the Game Prep mode for the former first-round pick, a few bonuses thrown at his overall rating, and by Week 10, the former defensive end-turned-linebacker might be serviceable for the Bears.

That’s highly doubtful in real life, but on your television screen in 1080p in the new Madden 15, anything is possible, especially on defense.

With the release today of the latest edition of the most ­successful franchise in sports gaming history, Madden 15 doesn’t disappoint.

Beginning with the gameplay, the version for the next-gen consoles is visually stunning. Sure, there’s always the bugs to nitpick, but Madden 15 is as clean a sports game as there is.

That clarity is truest on defense, where the realism was taken to another level.

It’s fitting that Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman won the vote to adorn the cover. The defensive tweaks allow gamers to have more of an impact on that side of the ball. What’s new is a cone that appears in front of defenders whenever a ball carrier is within range of a tackle. That helps the defender bring the runner down.

Defensive players now can shed blocks or jump the snap with the tap of a button, and zone defenses actually play more like a zone, ­closing the windows on passing lanes with better artificial ­intelligence.

In other words, the 42-35 shootout victories against your younger brother just went out on a permanent bathroom break.

Minor changes were made on the offense. The days of every pass and catch being perfect are over. Miscues are part of the NFL, and now they are embedded in ­Madden 15.

But in the end, it’s about the gameplay, and that’s where Madden 15 takes off. Deep game modes, deep storylines, franchise mode, online play — everything that has made Madden’s annual release like a holiday is there for the taking.

So McClellin having an overall rating of 69 out of 100? It’s fixable … at least in the world of Madden.

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com

Twitter: @suntimes_hoops

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