505 Games will take on Madden in 2010 - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:52 PM
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Default 505 Games will take on Madden in 2010

Not sure how successful they will be (probably not much at all). Not sure how effective having unlicensed teams will be (probably not very - Jacksonville Jayhawks? San Francisco Trolleys?) - but regardless, Madden will have some competition next year...and its about time. Even though it will probably suck.

http://kotaku.com/5416226/backbreaker-going-for-broke

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I can't imagine how scary it is for a developer to pitch a football video game when their name isn't EA Sports. I imagine a room full of people going dead silent before someone says, "You mean like Madden?"

That may not have been what developer NaturalMotion went through while pitching Backbreaker to publisher 505 Games the name doesn't even suggest football but even when the dreaded Madden comparison was made, it was successfully dodged with "This is an alternative to Madden." The idea is that the developer approached football with a completely clean slate and no aspirations of doing what Madden does only somehow better.

Instead, NaturalMotion is using the Euphoria engine (of Grand Theft Auto IV fame) to craft a more game-y feel for the classic American sport. All the animations are real time as opposed to canned and the perspective from which the developer showed me the game was something like a third person action/adventure camera angle. Like GTA IV, only with football.

Backbreaker was in pre-alpha, so I wasn't able to see much. I watched an 11x11 Exhibition match in a Day Mode stadium (the game will have both night and raining modes for stadiums as well). A bug prevented us from switching views or switching between players, so I watched two or three plays from the perspective of a quarterback and a linebacker. Immediately, it felt like a more intimate experience from what I remember of Madden's overhead God view although I confess I lack Owen Good's extensive knowledge of the series, so I'm not sure if there's a comparable camera angle in Madden NFL 10. Either way, I can definitely say that the football players move differently than I expect from my sports games. It's almost like they're less-realistic to look at, but when they tackle somebody, the response of the character model is more realistic.

Stuck in this perspective, I worried that it would be hard to see where the ball was that is the challenge of sports in real life that they don't come with glowing icons. To tackle this problem (pun intended), the game makes the player who has the ball glow red. I like this because it doesn't make it too easy to find the ball, but it does cut back on the chances of me tackling the wrong guy.


When Backbreaker is finished, NaturalMotion plans to have all kinds of views in place during games, including a jumbo-tron view mode to review tackles or spectacular plays. At launch, they also plan to have 32 teams (and the ability to make your own) with 16 stadiums in day, night and raining modes. (Note that these teams and stadiums are only modeled after real life teams and stadiums Madden sort of has the market cornered on that kind of realism.) Backbreaker will also have mini-games like something called Tackle Alley that I didn't get to see, and two difficulties for both the casual and hardcore players and online functionality for all. A press release sent out last night also says that the game will have two variants for on the field play: evasive mode and aggressive mode. I assume it has to do with offense and defense, but all the release says is "in evasive mode, players are more agile ... though they are more likely to fumble when tackled" and "in aggressive mode, players can stiff arm and fight through linemen, run faster and fend off big hits and tackles."







Backbreaker is looking at an April 2010 release for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:56 PM
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We have been waiting for this game for a few years!! Finally a release date! This years Madden is good but still not 2k5. I've seen the live videos and this game is suppose to change the way football games are made.

Can't wait.
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:00 PM
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I hope it does good. Would be great to do a 2k5 deal and show up at retail for 10 or 20 bucks cheaper to get their foot in the door. I haven't bought a madden since ps2....Was almost tempted to buy this years because I know they really did step it up a notch, but just not enough for me to fork over the dollars for it.
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:00 PM
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Without the NFL license it won't be successful, but if they make a good product maybe they could get the license from EA.
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:16 PM
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Die hard football fans just want another football game. EA finally did some real improvements this year but they still have to improve running game, blocking, online leagues and some animations.

This game already has a cult following it won't out sell Madden 2011 but I think it will do well.

Madden sales have been flat for a few years now because people were tired of the same fluff.

If you make a great game they will come.
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