Real Talk By: KJ
505 Games version of football returns to consoles, this time in downloadable fashion. BackBreaker Vengeance is certainly a sequel, but there’s a major thing missing from this one. The regular football mode has been completely axed. Let’s be honest, were not missing anything here. Playing as a QB was dreadful, and everything lacked that certain polish we expect out of a retail title. In fact, the only modes that would get play time from me, were the mini games. Evidently, I wasn’t the only one that shared the same thought.
Backbreaker Vengeance is composed of 3 three mini games. Tackle alley (from Backbreaker 1), Vengeance, and Supremacy. Tackle Alley sees the player running to the end-zone while avoiding defenders. The other team is not your only distraction, the field can be as well. Across all three game modes, the area changes as the difficulty climbs. The game gets tough when you have the other team breathing down your neck, especially with no space to avoid receiving the tackle. With objects to hurdle over, Dummy players to smash through, newbies chances will dwindle more and more as the game progresses.
Try not to step in the orange area
Vengeance is similar to tackle alley, but this time your on defense. All three modes can be played with another player online or off, and this makes Vengeance shine. Though the game pits you against each other, you’ll quickly figure out working together to tackle the ball carrier is easier than going solo. So much unexpected strategy can be found in this game. Supremacy is a 4 man (sadly not four player online) mode where each person begins with the ball in their hands. It’s a foot race to the end-zone with the person in last place becoming a defender. The next round sees that defender trying to tackle any of the three remaining ball carriers. It’s a very cool and unique mode. It reminded me of something you would see on American Gladiators, or Guts.
Of course with the Euphoria engine in full effect, you can expect the tackles to be brutal. I’m not sure why the engine isn’t used in more games, its way better than Havok. The overall presentation is solid, when you consider the fact there’s no official teams to play with. But I think 505 could have done something to give the fake teams something of a personality. As progression continues, you’ll unlock more jerseys but their just color swaps. Customization needs to be a lot deeper considering NFL or NCAA licensing isn’t happening any time soon. Awesome things go down on the field in Backbreaker 2, including unique collisions you may only see one time. The game offers an instant replay viewer, but I find it really disappointing you cannot save any replays.
With the problems kicked aside, know that Backbreaker Vengeance is a title that is made for the arcade audience. The design encourages competition. This is a party game that even the most hardcore sports fan can play, or even a plain strategist as well. While the game appears limited in scope, it’s not the case at all. We suited up and enjoyed it, but some critics didn’t even bother to step on the field.
+Supremacy mode is delightful, and Vengeance is a coop mode in disguise
+Playing with friends Online/Offline = A good time
+High replay value
-No replay save feature
-Customization is far too limited
-Only two players online hurts supremacy mode