Backbreaker dev working on hockey sim - Report

BBC video profile reveals NaturalMotion Games crafting new sports title.

EA Sports' NHL video game franchise is one of the most persistently lauded series in history. Its main competitor, the NHL2K series, elected to take a year off and release only a Wii version of its hockey franchise. Now it appears a third hockey franchise is coming via NaturalMotion Games.

Icebreaker crashing the boards sometime soon?

According to a BBC video profile of Oxford-based NaturalMotion Games, the developer is now working on Icebreaker, a follow-up to this summer's unlicensed football installment, Backbreaker.

In the video, NaturalMotion developers detail the work that has been done thus far on the project, which includes motion-capturing hockey players and designing the virtual skaters' look.

Although no one in the video says the name Icebreaker, when the video pans to the art designer, the Icebreaker logo (resembling Backbreaker's) is clearly visible. 505 Games published Backbreaker, but the publisher has not said anything about Icebreaker to date. As of press time, 505 Games had not responded to GameSpot's request for comment or clarification on the matter.

For more on NaturalMotion’s Backbreaker, check out GameSpot's review.

BBC video profile

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

21 comments
Woodford69
Woodford69

I like Backbreaker and the updates have only made it better. Hopefully they will make more improvements and develop a Backbreaker2. Should be interesting on how they take on Hockey...

Sparty_On
Sparty_On

This could be interesting NM do with hockey. Backbreaker was good liked the hits but hate joystick passing haven't played Backbreaker much as Madden is the best football game out there so your wrong Droogie 1 and your claims which are lies as well. NFL2k5 sucked not real football or All Pro either so you don't know what a good football game is Droogie 1.

Pete5506
Pete5506

If they can fix some of the problems that Backbreaker had this Hockey Sim could be pretty cool

DarrylRocker
DarrylRocker

I don't understand why non-hockey and or non-sports fans even comment just to put it down, As for myself, If it is anything like NHL Hitz 2002 than it might be worth a try, 2k's hockey was not that great, Ea's hockey still the leader but IceBreaker sounds interesting to me since I am a hockey fan.

RadicalToenail
RadicalToenail

I'm not a huge sports fan, so as far as it being a sports game, I don't care. I am a major fan of NaturalMotion in general because of Euphoria and I love what I've been able to do with Endorphin.

Honestly, I think Euphoria is the future of video game physics. It's made GTAIV and RDR have more replayability than with basic animations, like Saints Row 2 (don't get me wrong, I love SR2, but after GTA and RDR, shooting someone or just bumping into people just isn't the same), plus it's one of the best features of The Force Unleashed.

Though I am not a sports fan, I think anything that keeps NaturalMotion in the front of peoples minds is a good thing.

Trogeton
Trogeton

I'm not so sure about this one

finaleve
finaleve

There needs to be another game like NHL Hitz as that game was amazing (And I don't like Hockey). Also NFL Blitz (One of the biggest reasons why I some interest in the NFL now).

360hammer
360hammer

For a first run Backbreaker was awesome. It's too bad they can't get NFL licenses because I think allot of you would be singing a different tune. Some of the best player animations and hit detection I've ever seen. Will watch this one closely.

phoenixbear1234
phoenixbear1234

after playing NHL10 for a year and now a month of NHL11, I am convinced that EA could screw up a wet dream. Yes, please bring some competition and let the gamers choose....if you're going to have a monopoly on something, you had better get it PERFECT!

Droogie_1
Droogie_1

if it looks as bad as backbreaker, i will be steering clear. i have been hoping for a new football game (madden doesnt count) for a long time, but backbreaker made me run away screaming. i dont know what they were thinking with the god awful camera that takes any sort of strategy away from football, a freaking STRATEGY game! guess i will just keep playing all pro football 2k8 (a damned good game if you dont have to play against earl cambell and jerry rice every game). the NFL better let 2K make football games again in 2013. all pro football 2k8 and nfl 2k5 are still leaps and bounds better than madden.

DeltaSpirit
DeltaSpirit

Backbreaker was ok. Although NHL 11 is a great game I would love to see some competition but the only way I could see that happening is if Visual Concepts and NaturalMotion teamed up. Never the less heres hoping for another great Hockey game

earlmccormick88
earlmccormick88

Pre-patch Backbreaker was garbage. Patched/updated Backbreaker is better than Madden IMO! They took the time out to fix all the problems the reviews/critics/fans complained about....those problems were horrible. Gamespot should of did another review after the patch. Im glad to see them trying NHL. It seems as if Real Time Physics is the next best thing in sports game. Thanks Natural Motion.

Speuj
Speuj

Give me a new NHL Hitz for arcade hockey... or... for the love of God and all that is holy, BRING BACK MUTANT LEAGUE DAMMIT!!!!!

Velos_Cohagen
Velos_Cohagen

If the hockey game plays anything like Backbreaker then we should be in for a total laugh fest once again. Not hyped at all.

Da_Skull_King
Da_Skull_King

backbreaker was great, i want a sequel lol might be cool for a hockey game tho

buzzguy
buzzguy

Be nice to have an NHL license for this, since there's no exclusivity agreement with EA. I'm interested, mostly because of the hits we're going to see in this game!

RedHawk4
RedHawk4

Good, I'm glad that NM is giving it another go before Backbreaker 2. Seems as if a hockey sim could benefit a lot from Euphoria.

jaredcrazy3232
jaredcrazy3232

i will play this. if i can't get nhl hitz, i will take this.

SDBusDriver1979
SDBusDriver1979

Yes more sports games because we saw how successful Backbreakers was.