Honestly I'm really enjoying the game. I liked Madden 10 to a point, and I think they improved the core gameplay of it, and a Madden vet can enjoy it once they turn off all the new features, like game flow, coordinator audio and subs, etc. It will be better in September when they switch back to the old style of audible and hot route calling.
Before I started my franchise I spent a few minutes adjusting the ratings, IE, Forsett, Hass, & MW. I immediately traded away Hill for Lynch. The running game in general is greatly improved, but at first, the passing game was infuriating. I reduced Hass's THP to 82 and raised his TAM to 84 and he was still overthrowing a ton of passes, and was driving me nuts (I was 2/19 for completions, wtf???). Turns out maybe it was just that specific game, cause he was throwing a lot better after that.
Trufant and Earl Thomas are RAW. Trufant is leading the NFL in INTs by week 4 with 3, and Earl Thomas is in the top 10 with 2. The animation in the game is so improved...I am very happy with that since that was one of my biggest complaints about Madden 10. It seems like there is much more variation to the types of animations run during different situations. I managed to float one to Mike Williams on a corner route in the end zone last night, and he turned around and made a backwards diving catch that looked like the one from Butler @ Sunday's scrimmage. I think I may have yelled a little bit lol...
I still use the 4-3, but on nickel/dime/quarter packages, I sub Curry in at LE, and put someone else like LoJack in at DT2. Gets some pretty good heat. In the base 4-3 there is a man-blitz play that rushes Curry off the edge right next to Bryant with man-to-man and Thomas in mid-deep zone, pretty intense, especially if you sub someone like Ellison or Chancellor in at ROLB to increase coverage ability.
Franchise is more or less the same though. In fact, it is exactly the same, down to the menu interface. But I still play and enjoy it for what it is...For the record I thought Madden 08's franchise mode was really fun. I love that stats are corrected. I typically run 7 min quarters with 15 second accelerated clock, and with the improvements in game I am even seeing better stats live, not just simmed. My LB corps all get around 5+ tackles a game each, so when I look at the season stats, they are comparable with other teams. I hated in Madden 10 finishing week 1 and seeing some scrub on the saints rack up 10-20 tackles a week, and then I would be lucky if someone on my defense had 50 by the end of the season.
I can't believe they didn't fix Whitehurst's hair, what with the publicity he's had. He even got his very own national article specifically relating to Madden, cause he had the largest rise in point differential from 57 to 71, so they obviously spent some time on him, but he's still bald, and clean shaven. Really???
Now that Forsett's running with the starters, I'm confident they'll raise his OVR and Hasselbeck's once the season starts...But it still pisses me off.