Maximum Football 2018 Review: A Flawed Experience

For a lack of a better phrase, Canadian Football 2017 just wasn’t a good game.

A lack of depth along with countless bugs made it feel like a rushed college project as opposed to finished product. Now, after another year of development and a complete re-branding, Canuck Play is back with Maximum Football 2018 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Moving away from a Canadian-only offering, Maximum Football still heavily features the Canadian rules, but now you can utilize both American professional and collegiate football rules. It’s nice addition of depth to a game that needed more.

To utilize these new rules, players are able to either take the default Canadian teams or a group of 16 American teams into a game. There’s also an option to edit these teams in the form of a creation suite, but it’s limited in its offering with no ability to change logos or add more teams to a league. That said, a logo editor is coming in a later update.

A nice plus is the ability to fully edit your roster if you want to spend the time creating full teams of players. A big nuisance is the fact that in order to choose teams from a specific league, you have to go to into the customize menu and choose which league you want to be the default option. There’s no way to choose the league within the Play Now selection screen.

There’s a full season mode for players, but it’s as watered down as a season mode can be. You can’t take a specific team through the season. Instead, you get the option to play any game you want in a given week. It may be fun for some players, but it doesn’t give you a sense of purpose within the mode.

Gone from the game is the play creator that was available in Canadian Football 2017, but it’s not a big enough omission to really punish the game.

A Lack of Polish

For the most part, the gameplay feels better than it did a year ago as players move smoother, receivers actually catch the ball, running is more responsive, and the controls handle pretty well. However, there is a pretty big flip-side to all of the positives.

Quarterbacks don’t look at where they’re throwing, defending passes is non-existent, the clock runs after kickoffs, and you get penalties for sacking the quarterback. If that sounds like a lot of issues, well you won’t like hearing about the AI issues that continue to plague the series.

Unless you decide to scramble with the QB, you can pretty much just stand behind the line of scrimmage for as long as you want on a given play. It’s pretty easy to run over to an open area, and then take off with the QB for a long run. The good news is the fact that you can no longer launch the ball over 100 yards through the endzone from anywhere.

Visually, Maximum Football 2018 looks nearly identical to Canadian Football 2017.

The player models are okay enough to get by, but they still give off too much of a plastic look to really be considered good in 2018. There are also plenty of repeated animations on the field and in the crowd that make you think you’re watching a football-themed synchronized swimming performance. The stadiums look flat, and the UI looks like a simple creation in Photoshop that was put together in a few minutes. From top to bottom, it just screams mediocre at best.

VERDICT

You want to give indie games a chance. The team sizes are small and the budgets are even smaller. But at some point, you need to ask yourself if it’s even worth it.

Canuck Play’s ideas are in the right place with Maximum Football 2018, but the execution just fails in so many different ways. From the brutal AI to the difficulty with defending passes and changing players, some of the basic core mechanics of a football game fail to deliver. Rather than worry about adding American rules and teams to the game, time would’ve been better spent focusing more on improving the on-field look and gameplay experience.

While it does improve on some things from its predecessor, there are still too many flaws to really recommend this game to anyone looking for an alternative football experience.


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  • Gameplay
  • Graphics
  • Modes
  • Longevity

Summary

While it does improve on some things from its predecessor, there are still too many flaws to really recommend this game to anyone looking for an alternative football experience.

Overall
2
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Michael Straw
Michael Straw is a gamer who just happens to be an experienced journalist. In his near decade-long career, Mike has traveled across the United States to cover some of the biggest events in gaming and sports, including E3, PAX, as well as the NFL and NHL Drafts. His work covering gaming and sports led his content being featured on Fox Sports 1, SI.com and others. He was once the second-ranked player in the world in NHL 09 on Xbox Live, and is a huge pro wrestling junkie.
  • lonnie

    Sounds like a real winner lol, thanks for review.