Superstar mode is at the core of Madden 07
. Playing as a newly drafted rookie, you deal with the ups-and-downs of a career in the NFL. Fundamentally, the mode plays the same as in other versions, though the focus has shifted towards your NFL career rather than worrying about ancillary issues like movie roles. Progress through your career is depicted as a meter that measures where you are in your career; the better your on-field performance, the closer you get to the Hall of Fame. There are no set objectives for advancing your career, but you obviously want to stick with your position’s strengths. If you’re a running back, you obviously want to rack up miles of yardage.
You’ll also have to build up an image with your team by completing team-building exercises. How well received you are by your team is tied in with your role on the team. As you play through games, your performance is gauged based on your role. The better you perform, the more chances you have to improve your skills as well as influence the performance of the players around you. Influence works both ways; if you have a bad game, there’s a chance the players around you will too.
Madden 07 brings back most of the features found in the current-gen (or, I guess that would be last-generation versions), but they have been scaled back. Franchise retains all of the core aspects and does away with some of the added features like Owner mode. It’s nothing flashy, but works well enough.
The online modes haven’t changed much either. You can still connect in head-to-head games and chat in lobbies, but what has changed is the new online Franchise game. As you’re playing through your Franchise, you can choose to have a live player drop-in and replace your A.I. opponent. Drop-in Franchise games are not the most streamlined and there are a number of glitches that hinder the experience, but it shows potential.
Training mini-games is another feature that doesn’t live up to its potential. As you play through Superstar mode, you will perform training exercises focused towards your position, as well as some general routines like the 40-yard dash. Not only are the instructions not very clear, but they aren’t as fun as the mini-games found in previous versions of the game.