Backbreaker kicks off in '08

NaturalMotion enters game development with euphoria-animation-powered pigskin for "next-gen" consoles.

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While 2K Sports' All-Pro Football 2K8 didn't pan out to be the second coming of Vince Lombardi that many gridiron fans had hoped for, it did mark the return of competition to a genre dominated by EA Sports, who still maintains the exclusive NFL license. It now appears the football genre will resemble a league somewhat, as NaturalMotion today announced it would be taking the field in 2008 with Backbreaker.

This isn't likely to end well.

NaturalMotion is best known for being the purveyor of the euphoria, endorphin, and morpheme animation tools for in-game animaton. The middleware is being featured in many high-profile games, such as Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV and LucasArts' Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

NaturalMotion's euphoria animation engine is the impetus behind Backbreaker. Diverging from scripted animations found in other football games, Backbreaker will utilize NaturalMotion's proprietary "motion-synthesis" technology to create individually calculated and executed tackle animations.

According to NaturalMotion CEO Torsten Reil, "Backbreaker is the first football game with truly interactive tackles. By utilizing our motion synthesis engine, euphoria, players will never make the same tackle twice, giving them an intensely unique experience every time they play the game."

Backbreaker is in development for unnamed "next-generation" consoles. It has not yet been rated or priced.

Discussion

46 comments
Wozmcfc
Wozmcfc

Who cares about licences I wanna break some backs and get a good laugh at some of the tackles which you will be able to do now it has euphoria. This will be awesome!

mikekcook
mikekcook

I'll admit, the latest Backbreaker video got me wetting my pants a little bit, but I'm exactly soaking just yet; so I'm gonna need some more gameplay footage before I'm completey convinced that this is a promising game. It's lookin damn good so far though. (potential Madden killer!)

Hicks_1
Hicks_1

Looks good, has potential if enough companies invest in it to beat madden

BlakkSteel
BlakkSteel

This is lookin' like a discussion that was had about APF 2K8. LOL If this is priced right, I'll give it a spin, since I'm done with Madden.

ocdog45
ocdog45

looks dumb. is it a football game or a game about tackling?

D3ADMaggot911
D3ADMaggot911

i never play sports games but it looks so fun i might have to buy!

mechworrior762
mechworrior762

WOW! This is going to PWN Madden! I CANNOT WAIT! Looks really cool.

LoganFerguson
LoganFerguson

You all have to realize, the whole reason 2k even makes football games today, even without the NFL license, is because they believe they make a better football game than EA Sports. 8 years ago, that was true, when they came out with NFL 2k on the Sega Dreamcast. It was the first truly 3d sports game OF ANY KIND, and totally blew away Madden 99 and 2000. EA, being the monopolistic a-holes they are, were able to quickly copy and come up with a similar engine to fuel Madden and their other sports titles. But in terms of in-game physics, 2k has always had the edge, while EA usually had the edge in depth of animations available to them (that's the result of $$$). NaturalMotion is now like 2K Sports, they believe, even without the NFL license, that they have truly the next-gen sports title at hand. Do they expect the game to outsell Madden? I'm sure they don't, especially w/o the license and real players. But what they hope to showcase is the most realistic football experience ever seen yet in a video game, and in turn, help advertise their Euphoria game engine to all buyers, namely EA. NaturalMotion's main reasoning for this game: to convince EA to lease their software, rather than hope to produce a similar engine in-house. If you want to see what I'm so amped about, simply check out their website and play the small video on the left hand side (or download it, if you wish) http://www.backbreakergame.com/ Just remember, NONE of those tackles are animated from pre-recorded motion capture, the game is making it up on the fly based on the physics of the computer football players, such as their velocity, mass, and angle of collision. The only thing I'd nitpick about is that real professional football players don't fumble the ball that much. Nor do they leap into the air that much either, for two reasons: 1) The risk of injury is far greater when you're airborne and the second, which relates to my first nitpick 2) it's alot easier to lose the football when airborne.

BlakkSteel
BlakkSteel

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Cirus2
Cirus2

owns for a Ps2 game, wait a sec thats ps3 :O hmm state

creed20056969
creed20056969

Who cares,just give 2k back the license so we can play a real NFL football game.cuz madden sux. Madden gets worse every year,Hopefully the NFL will smarten up and not extend the contract with EA. Lack of modes or not,2k8 is still way better than madden. Madden is so UNREALISTIC in every way its pathetic.

Crocosaur
Crocosaur

To clone01 - This is just an early build to give us a taste of the animation/physics engine that will be used. And judging from the videos out there, I'd say it's a hell of a first impression. Let's see where it goes before jumping to conclusions...though if they give us fully customizable playbooks on both offense and defense along with the in-depth gameplay on the field, I'll be sold.

JollyJake
JollyJake

Aww, come on! Implement that into Madden, don't make your own game!!

clone01
clone01

i think NaturalMotion is somewhat missing the point, here. granted, everyone wants their games to look fantastic, but without the NFL license, it will be really hard to compete. that, and the fact that football games are more about rosters, gameplay, management, and career modes than they are about rag doll physics. maybe 2k should have added some more robust modes to gameplay to make their product more competitive.

Shinedown220
Shinedown220

As a big Madden fan, this has me interested. I will probably rent this to see how it plays.

christopherneal
christopherneal

This looks pretty interesting and I'm going to try it. I love football so it will see what they bring to the table. And speaking of Madden EA got it right this time and I'm very pleased with M08. :)

rl_41
rl_41

This game could turn out real interesting. Then I'll have to buy 3 football games... oh well, it's all good.

gameslayer420
gameslayer420

I've bought Madden for several years and this year I decided to get All Pro instead. Best choice I have ever made. Football games are fun again! What does piss me off is that I paid $59 for it a few weeks ago and now it is down to $39 at best buy. It's the best $39 game out

solo4321
solo4321

cool i guess but i still love Madden 08

Melodious
Melodious

EA doesn't have to integrate a comparable advanced rag-doll physics engine to control the football gaming market. As long as they have the NFL license, people will keep buying the only NFL game, regardless of what's in it. Honestly though, what else can Backbreaker offer? Do the developers have 7+ years of football gaming development experience? Do they have the skills to create a game, not just a tackling engine, comparable to that of Madden or 2K Football? It would be great if EA and 2K Sports could utilize NaturalMotion's animation tools.

kuhl420_basic
kuhl420_basic

Be sweet if it were a mix between Mutant League, Mad Max, Bladerunner, with a touch Blitz. Only with the playablilty of madden or 2k5. Emphasize the atmosphere of a futureist football league where pain and showmanship is what its about. As far as licenses... who cares just let us totally customize everything from renameing teams, towns, players.

SilentHillX
SilentHillX

its about time someone put some real emphasis in animation in sports games. That will really help sell the immersion.

Pete5506
Pete5506

ok, somthing mabe like blitz? I will watch it

Dreski83
Dreski83

seriously... you have to see the video for this game to understand what great potential its got. Basic looking right now in the early stages, but imagine a few tweaks in visuals, some modes worth enjoyin, maybe online play... yea, this game could do what 2k8 failed to accomplish :roll:

Danplunkett
Danplunkett

hk-47-m4 is correct madden just might buy the tech or build their own half ased version

LordCarnageXIII
LordCarnageXIII

I really don't get down with Madden anymore. With all the add-ons and such, the game has just gotten too complicated for my tastes. 2005 was the best in my opinion, and after that year I stopped playing it. Backbreaker looks to be right up my alley though. I enjoyed Blitz: the League, and this looks like an awesome substitute to Madden with those Vicious Blitz tweaks. I think I will get back into football games when this drops.

clawboy
clawboy

Horrible Franchise? Are you serious? Madden is the king and 2k8 football is the clown.

mehoff88
mehoff88

Pray to god this ends the horrible Madden franchise.........unfortunately i doubt it will

edflam311
edflam311

if you've seen the video, the tackles look nice. but i highly doubt it will carry over well to a full field of players, with many converging on one guy at once,

haesuse
haesuse

sadly but truthfuly, this aint gonna cut it either. plus, lets face it. we all want the licenses, so we can earn the braging right and display the colors of our favorite team while making the guy on the other side cry like a little girl. So back to Madden and praying to gods of football, game making, logic, good business practices, online design and few other lesser gods that EA can make a game worth $60 next time!

HK-47-M4
HK-47-M4

EA will do something about this unfortunately.

DeltaSpirit
DeltaSpirit

Lets hope this game turns out to be good or at least the beginning of something good we haven't had an amazing football game since NFL2K5

5FingersOfDeath
5FingersOfDeath

prediction, EA will buy out these guys and use this thing in Madden. We' ll maybe see one season of backbreaker.

cometkd
cometkd

I am just glad that other companys see that we are in pain due to EA who keeps on failing to make good NFL football games. I just hope and pray that EA looses the rights to the NFL and get sued somehow to release them. Because when they do.......it is curtains for EA!!!!!

rav44
rav44

looks like more people feel like they can compete against madden.

Bladeneo
Bladeneo

The game looks promising; I dont care if im playing with official players or not if the tackles turn out to be that impressive in game.

dmastor
dmastor

wtf? backbreaker? just sell the tech to 2k

bigmick07
bigmick07

ea will buy this idea out, and then imlement it in madden, and madden is to popular to the non-gamers for this to make any difference in sales, and i have to admit, i love the roster updates every year.

darthzew
darthzew

That... looks... awful. Anyway, it's probably an early shot that doesn't represent the final game... but heck man... what's with the combo-football/motorcycle helmets anyway?

joeyfine
joeyfine

wow that looks terrible..... why are they all wearing visors?

Lord_Artix
Lord_Artix

I love how they say "unnamed 'next-generation' consoles" and Gamespot lists it as for 360, even if it will inevitably be there.