If you’ve always liked the drama of American Football but have been put off by unimportant details like, you know, the rules and the bizarre Feynman diagram world of the playbook, you might like Backbreaker Vengeance. NaturalMotion’s first console outing tried to capture the whole scope of the sport and struggled somewhat. This time, the team is just going for the violence.
They’ve skimmed off the highlights of American Football, in other words: the bone-grinding tackles, the organ-rupturing impacts and the victorious showboating as a touchdown is scored. Vengeance is about fireworks, face plants and large men falling over in amusing ways. It’s the sport’s equivalent of a Burnout Crash junction.
And, if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll have seen much of it before, actually - which makes Vengeance’s 1200 Microsoft Point price point a little cheeky. Much of this game comes from a blend of an original Backbreaker side mode with the franchise’s two excellent iOS titles, both of which were developed by Ideaworks Game Studio. That said, in this XBLA package, you can at least expect a new mode, a few tweaks, nicely integrated leaderboard and multiplayer options - oh, and NaturalMotion’s startlingly convincing Euphoria animation system, which adds laughs and winces throughout.