Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 67 Ratings

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  • Summary: It's tackle football like never before. Backbreaker is taking sports video games to a place where the action is never the same and every hit looks and feels as realistic as a Sunday afternoon. Utilizing NaturalMotion's euphoria motion synthesis engine, the same technology featured in "Grand Theft Auto IV" and "Star Wars: The Force Unleashed," you'll never see the same tackle again. For the first time in a sports game, this mix of technology, biology and tenacious attitude is turning the gridiron of past, full of canned animations and repetitious gameplay, into a dangerous form of self expression. Every unique tackle in the world of Backbreaker is an artistic exercise in hard hits and athletic skill. It's time to show your friends just how painful art can be. Through a combination of biology and robotics research, euphoria uses the CPU power of next-generation consoles to simulate the nervous system, muscles, and biomechanics of the football players in real-time. This is the first time this technology is being employed for a sports game. While conventional football games can only load a finite number of animations from a disc, Backbreaker's real-time technology will never allow the gameplay to become stale. Forget about prim and proper, Backbreaker presents a fast-paced, gritty gameplay experience that's more Burnout than Madden. [NaturalMotion] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 29
  2. Negative: 7 out of 29
  1. Backbreaker can‘t reach the likes of the Madden series because of the missing licenses and some minor gameplay glitches. Newcomers and fans alike may take a look or two.
  2. Physics to die for, gameplay to kill someone. [Issue#60, p.92]
  3. Backbreaker is an attempt to simulate real professional football from the player's perspective, but due to its lack of balance, constant turnovers, and brain dead AI, it feels more like a game of junior high school ball.
  4. Even if it has a great number of interesting game modes, Backbreaker simply does not work. The gameplay has some interesting ideas, but most of them are not appropriately used, while the graphical engine is barely sufficient.
  5. The Tackle Alley mini-game is fun. [Aug 2010, p.77]
  6. Natural Motion’s Euphoria technology is a great building block for a football game, but Backbreaker suffers from too many rookie mistakes. Only the most hardcore gridiron fans dying for an alternative to the EA Sports offerings should bother bringing this one in for a look.
  7. But among the worst of it all is the lack of presentation. Nearly every football player looks the same. Their uniforms look like they're made from plastic. Referees have been transformed into Jumbotron cut-scenes. There are no coaches or players on the sidelines. And the crowds are comprised of the same four people copied a million times over.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 25
  2. Negative: 2 out of 25
  1. Hobsie
    Jun 7, 2010
    The Graphics are far better than Madden, the game play is far more exciting than Madden, the entire feel of the game is far better than Madden. As long as you can look past the lack of licensing (which just isn't that important for me) then this is the best Football game on the market as far as I'm concerned. And yes, I am sick fed up of being drip fed a 'new' Madden each year. This game is is such a breath of fresh air! Expand
  2. MattG
    Jun 2, 2010
    Great game, just needs playing for a bit.
  3. NathanJ
    Jun 1, 2010
    Just watch the videos if you don't believe. A truly deep game once you understand it.
  4. AaronW.
    Jun 4, 2010
    Great all-around game from a company putting out its first product. Sure, it has its flaws like every game, but its definitely worth 45 bucks and its the best sports game I've played since NFL 2k5. A+. Expand
  5. RobbyG
    Jun 9, 2010
    Backbreaker is the most fun I've had with a Football game since NFL 2K5. The animation engine is the smoothest (and probably most expensive) out there, everything is real-time, everything is just great. Although I agree there are a few bugs, just like any game, and the season mode is shallow, this game is a must buy for the price. Expand
  6. MatP
    Jun 8, 2010
    At its core, its an extremely solid game of football, at times it reminds me a lot of the fun I had playing NFL 2k5. Gameplay wise I'd definitely say this game has it over Madden 10 which suffers from ridiculously broken tackling and ball trajectories that warp to the nearest player with the highest stats as opposed to, you know, obeying the laws of physics. Gamebreaker however does lack all the ancillaries that hardened fans crave. Essentially you have to weigh gameplay against licensed teams, deep team management and all the little touches that make Madden a more palatable experience (injuries, fatigue, stadium crowds, sideline action, commentary, subtle differences between players, etc). If you can find it on the cheap, its well worth a look. Otherwise I hope its a successful proof of concept that sells the Euphoria engine to Tiburon, and we'll see it included in Madden 12. Expand
  7. TomY
    Jun 3, 2010
    "Looks pretty" is not enough to make a football game worth buying.

See all 25 User Reviews