This year, developer NaturalMotion will be bringing its high-adrenaline football franchise, Backbreaker, to Xbox Live Arcade. It's being called Backbreaker: Vengeance, and it's all about bone-crunching sacks and pure fun.
Vengeance will feature two modes "Vengeance" and "Tackle Alley" mode from the original console Backbreaker, which was later spun off into an iOS title all its own. In "Tackle Alley," you're tasked with running down the field towards the end zone while evading defenders… simple as that. "Simple"? Your sore digital bones will speak otherwise.
NaturalMotion is saying that Vengeance looks to "take intensity and AAA appeal of the original Backbreaker Football console game and combines it with the pick-up-and-play nature" of the iOS game. What the means in English is easy to dive into arcade-style football action, along with console-quality visuals powered by NaturalMotion's own Euphoria. Oh, and multiplayer; did I mention you'll be able to drop your friends (and hard) against the AstroTurf?
We caught up with NaturalMotion's Torsten Reil to get the scoop.
"In many ways, Vengeance is a spin-off that was driven by fan requests," says Reil.
Some fans may be wondering why we're not seeing a full-on release of a "true" Backbreaker sequel, but there's still plenty of content here. From Vengeance's single-player game to its all new multiplayer, there should be enough to keep fans sated this summer. And for NaturalMotion, it seemed to be a no-brainer.
"We got a lot of messages from people asking us to take the 'Tackle Alley' mini-game from the original and do it justice on console," Reil explains. "The formula is already working incredible well on iOS, where Backbreaker has racked up more than 5 million downloads so far."
As for going completely digital, the project just seemed right for a platform like Xbox Live Arcade.
"Quite frankly, we wanted to give people a new Backbreaker experience for the summer, something that's easy to pick up, but with hours of gameplay," he explains. "So the digital route was the obvious way to go."
Reil is also excited about being able to use the Euphoria engine in Vengeance, which will give the game more realistic, more brutal looking tackles.
"Euphoria makes the game live," he says, "it's as simple as that. Anything else is just canned animation data that's played back from disk.
"For Backbreaker Vengeance this means that all players interactions, be they tackles shoves, obstacle collisions, are completely unique… every time."
With two modes already confirmed, Reil teases another.
"We also have a third mode," he says, before adding, "which we're not ready to talk about yet."
Curses. We'll have more on Backbreaker: Vengeance as we near its summer release.