Backbreaker Review (PS3)

Posted by Christophor Rick (TheSuperGuido), Jun 15, 2010 15:14

After seeing all of the videos and hearing all of the information about this game, I really believed it was going to be awesome... but not quite.

The camera is a major portion of sports games and frankly, the Backbreaker camera seriously limits the action you see but also helps you focus on your own action during the game. It can be quite intense at times and seriously frustrating at others.

The game takes you out of the bird’s eye view of many other football (American style) games and puts you down in the trenches where inches are all that matter. It’s a major piece of the game and so I will spend some fair amount of time on it because it is both help and hindrance.

In the hindrance department, you’re not able to fully see what’s going on during play. While that’s fairly realistic, it can be cumbersome at times. For example, while running a route as a receiver you have very few opportunities to look back at the quarterback and see what’s going on. The routes don’t give you any clearly marked areas where you can expect a pass and so you are running with blinders on. There is an option to look back at the ball carrier but you can’t do that if you’re running a post pattern etc. Now you might think ’how the heck do I catch the ball if I can’t see it coming?’ and that would be a very valid question.

The game will do it automatically when the ball enters your player’s immediate area. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of luck and random math is done when it arrives. There is no option to even back the camera off a little from the player and so you will spend the majority of the game looking at your player’s back. Not as extremely interesting as we were lead to believe.

In the help department, the camera does give you a good sense of how difficult it is in many situations on the field to do things like complete a pass or catch one for that matter. Often it is difficult to even discern if you have an open receiver and the pass rush is generally so effective that you don’t have a lot of time to check out your tertiary and sometimes even your secondary receiver before you are flat on your back in the arms of a defender for a loss of yards.

Now this isn’t a first-person perspective, which I truly believe would be so ridiculously difficult to play that no one ever would. It’s more like a very close following camera centered on your player. You do get some peripheral action which helps you react while running with the ball, but often you can’t even turn around to see if someone is about to run up on you from behind. Even when I was on my high school football team, I had time on occasion to do that.

Now in the user manual (yes I read the whole thing for this one) you are given some options for view. Prior to the snap you can get the coach cam which is a bird’s eye. But once the play begins you have few options. Changing receivers you’re looking at as the quarterback requires left/right on the right stick. This on top of already using the left stick to move, L2 to focus on a receiver, R2 to scramble (if feeling the pressure), pump fake (right stick down). Then, in order to pass, you have to do right stick up for a bullet or right stick down-up for a bomb. So your receiver controls and your passing controls are on the same stick, which may cause you to misfire or switch receivers when trying to pass. After all, this is football and things happen quickly.

For more video game reviews on this and many others head to Game Rankings

Our Rating for Backbreaker Review (PS3)
7.0 Replay
It will take some time investment to get comfortable, but then like a favorite armchair, you won’t want to leave. Unless of course you get massive penalties called against your moronic players.
9.0 Graphics
Very cool graphics all around with just some minor discrepancies here and there. Still, very cool to see.
9.0 Sound
No commentator, no massive soundtrack loaded with today’s problem. It’s all about the sounds of the gridiron
6.5 Gameplay
The camera is irksome at times but it does help you narrow your focus and manage your player more than the whole team. Before the snap it ofttimes positions itself oddly making your start a little skittish, but eventually you should learn to cope, mostly. Controls are sort of unresponsive at times and there’s lots of controls on one stick which can be problematic in the heat of the game.
7.0 Multiplayer/Online Content
It’s typical online or split screen football but you can also play Tackle alley against others which is sort of really cool.
7.0 Overall
Massive AI issues, unbelievably poor penalty decisions and a hit-or-miss camera make this game less than what it could have been. A pity as it was doing so well driving down the field but still punted away what could have been a great game.

Rating: 0.0, votes: 0

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