I’m not a huge fan of American football despite being born and bred in America (Chicago to be exact). Sure I’m a fan of the Chicago Bears (they’ve been decent but that NFC Championship game against Green Bay was a disgrace) but I’ve always been more fond of other sports like soccer and rugby – thus I’m not a hardcore player of football video games. I can dig what Madden does but for some reason it was never the game for me despite the dozens of features and sometimes on the money gameplay it offers.
So with that being said, I was surprised that I enjoyed the new football IP that was Backbreaker. In terms of representing the sport of football, Backbreaker did an admirable job despite the lack of the NFL license and production values that didn’t feature the same flash and scope as EA’s Madden franchise but it was a solid first effort from 505 Games and developer Natural Motion.
Backbreaker didn’t exactly blow up on the PS3 and Xbox 360 last year and whether or not the franchise would continue remained a mystery. There were rumors that NaturalMotion were prepping a hockey game dubbed Icebreaker (which may still become a reality) but at long last the follow-up to Backbreaker has been announced and it’s not exactly would you would expect.
Coming to Xbox Live Arcade this Summer is Backbreaker Vengeance, a new entry in the Backbreaker series that draws upon the mobile iterations of the game as opposed to full on football action. The exact details on Backbreaker Vengeance haven’t been revealed as of now, but it appears that the game may heavily focus on the Tackle Alley game that was featured in Backbreaker on the PS3/Xbox 360 and was the core for the Backbreaker game that appeared on the iPhone/iTouch. I found the Tackle Alley mode to be ok on the PS3/360 version but it’s apparently fun as hell on the iTouch/iPhone so maybe Natural Motion has a potential mega hit on their hands with Backbreaker Vengeance.
Right now there aren’t any immediate plans for Backbreaker Vengeance to appear on the PS3 which honestly seems a bit odd to me. But aside from the lack of a PS3 release, it’s nice to see Backbreaker make a return in some form even if it doesn’t offer traditional football action. These days people are slowly getting tired of Madden and it should at least be nice that there’s some more football goodness coming out at some point – even if it’s a slightly truncated game that make have a simple pick up and play approach to it.