Madden NFL 20 was released a little over a month ago, introducing X-Factor abilities and the new Face of the Franchise: QB1 mode to the series’ gridiron action. Now, the popular football game is receiving an injection of fast and furious fun in the shape of another new mode: Superstar KO.
This new co-op elimination mode lets you team up with friends, choose between eight premade teams (including ones with celebrity coaches and unique playbooks), and play truncated 3v3 Madden games in the singular Superstar KO Stadium. The basic idea behind Superstar KO is to get you in and out of games in around five minutes by raising the pace of Madden with a looser and more streamlined style of football. You can hop into matchmaking on your own, but there’s no option to play against the CPU.
The playbooks for all eight teams are condensed, with each one having a different play style depending on the coach and their strengths and weaknesses. Cleveland Brown’s wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. coaches Dot City, so his team can throw the ball and defend against the pass very well, but suffers when it comes to rushing offense and defense. There are also celebrity coaches, such as musicians DJ Khaled and Lil Yachty, who double up as playable quarterbacks called “Icons.”
The roster consists of 50 current NFL players, the two aforementioned musicians, and eight NFL Hall of Famers. At the beginning of each game, both teams draft their squad from a pool of available players. Each of the current NFL players has an X-Factor ability which is activated at all times, differing from regular Madden 20 games where you need to complete a certain condition in order to activate it.
All of this makes for a mode that’s faster and more explosive than anything else in Madden 20. The new Superstar KO Stadium brings a festival-like atmosphere to proceedings, with the usual commentary team replaced by a DJ hypeman complete with a soundboard and dynamic music. It’s an exciting spin on Madden’s traditional football simulation, offering abbreviated games, eccentric uniforms, and DJ Khaled as a gunslinging quarterback. It might be worth playing it just for that alone.
In celebration of Superstar KO, Madden NFL 20 is free to play this weekend, September 5-8 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
“Madden NFL 20 is an improved version of the annualized professional football series that excels in some areas and leaves something to be desired in others,” GameSpot’s Madden 20 review concludes. “The new QB1 career mode–which includes a barebones NCAA football experience–overall feels like a half-baked idea that doesn’t deliver anything meaningful or interesting. When it comes to the on-the-field action, however, the new X-Factor and Superstar abilities shake up the familiar gameplay formula to give seasoned players and newcomers alike a fresh way to scheme plays and orchestrate strategy on both sides of the ball.”