NFL Blitz Hands-On - Feels Like the Old Days

Blitz's return is quickly approaching, and we managed to play around with it for a bit.

When EA Sports revealed that NFL Blitz would be making its return to consoles a few weeks ago, we were unsure as to how much of what made the series so enjoyable would return. After finally getting around to sitting with the game, we found that it felt like classic Blitz, but at the same time, it gave off the impression of something different.

We quickly jumped into a match and began to see the similarities and differences. Players look like their real-life counterparts, and the way in which they move and react falls in line with previous games. Animations are somewhat over the top, but even with the removal of late hits (when tackles and in-air collisions occur), the animations look cool and players appear to be injured after taking that hit. There are a lot of cool moves that you'll be able to pull off, and when you manage to get your offense or defense "On Fire," your foes better be careful. Tim Kitzrow will also be lending his voice to NFL Blitz, so those who loved his brand of over-the-top commentary in NBA Jam will be in for quite a treat. Although our time with the game was limited, the audio was great. The only real gripe we had with the commentary was Kitzrow's referral to the Seattle Seahawks stadium as Qwest Field, which is a name that was changed back in the summer.

As you might expect, the action on the field has a lot of variety to it. On offense, you'll have two pages of play selections that range from quick, short-ranged passes to long bombs. While these long throw situations leave your quarterback vulnerable, if the pass connects, your opposition won’t be able to stop you from scoring. Defense isn't that in depth, but considering this is Blitz, chances are you're going to rush all you can and hope to snag a fumble or interception in the process. The playbooks appear to be the same for all teams, so the team you select and your own skill will determine your success. Thankfully, one of the game's online elite leagues will let you customize your teams to a greater degree, ensuring more balanced matches.

There isn't much to learn in regard to the controls. Each action has its own specific button: Triggers are used to sprint faster, one button is used for passing, and one button is used for jukes. It won't take someone long to adjust to the controls and begin scoring. There will different control setups for those who want to change things up, including the ability to shift to either a Blitz or Arcade control choice.

Pretty certain that hook gives him an unfair advantage

Our time with Blitz was brief. We didn't have the opportunity to experience firsthand any of the other meatier modes included in the game. We did, however, briefly catch a glimpse of others playing the Gauntlet mode, which has you play against real NFL teams and some Blitz-specific teams. This ladder-like mode seems pretty standard, and it should be fun to unlock the specialty teams for online use. NFL Blitz makes it triumphant return this January and will be available on both Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network.

Written By

Former GameSpot Associate Editor, current Content Manager for EA SPORTS.

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Discussion

22 comments
aahov
aahov

maybe not the best one, but i played a bunch of blitz 2002 with my buddies on ps2. were all getting this one so we can blast into the past!

coop36
coop36

NFL BLitz brings back some hilarious memories playing with friends. I would do the high stepping thing up and down the goal line until someone speared me 5 feet in the air into the end zone lol.

CFritzRun
CFritzRun

Removing late hits: lame. Adding Tim Kitzrow: Not lame.

mustained13
mustained13

It's ticky-tack complaining, but the exclusion of late hits is lame. It was hilarious to see a DE leg drop a QB after the whistle. That'll teach him. Their next project should be NHL Open Ice 2 on 2 Challenge (Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey for others).

onthe_dl
onthe_dl

Blitz for 64 was the only football game I ever really enjoyed. I'm not a big football fan but I'll definitely be grabbing this in January.

SkamArtist
SkamArtist

I remember playing Blitz at the laundromat before going to school in the morning. That was back in '97, my senior year in high school. Good Times!

ZoTrAcK
ZoTrAcK

Easy money! Enjoy it EA, you still have no competition... The grandpa in the interview really look like he knows gaming!

Skreba
Skreba

Many a late night in college was spent with my N64 hooked up to a crappy projector, playing long games of drunken Blitz with my friends. The closer this game is to the N64 version, the more likely I am to purchase it.

sochio
sochio

i wanna nfl street come back

Tongy26
Tongy26

So it's just Madden Arcade then...

yman173
yman173

I dunno, I guess because Im such a football purist I just could never get into the whole "1st and 30" thing. In the old games, I almost never could get the hang of it. Im probably just overthinking the game...thanks Madden! lol

master19148
master19148

woooo cant wait man i love blitz but ea should also remake the the first nfl streets as well i wasnt a big fan of 2 and 3 but the first nfl streets was the best they would make a killer remaking that

bl33kda58
bl33kda58

they shouldve just stuck with blitz the league

skyemc2004
skyemc2004

Stopped reading at "removal of late hits".

ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

lol... 'Faithful Rendition'... and they removed the hitting after the whistle? LAME! This game looks more like one of those mediocre EA arcade games than it does a BLITZ game. Hopefully we get a demo to give us a better idea about it.

packers91
packers91

you don't play blitz on the pc dude

warrner11
warrner11

"removal of late hits," and that may have killed it for me :(

seahawkdan
seahawkdan

I played this on the PC years ago and I miss it! Any thoughts about it coming back to the PC?

Jshaw71
Jshaw71

Sounds good, I think ea sports, may get my money... for the first time in a LONG, LONG time... from the interveiw... there's not going to be a retail release like nba jam was? that's a disappointment in my eyes... but i think i will go ahead and get it anyways... hopefully we'll get a retail version of the digital version dose well...

Nagaviper
Nagaviper

I cant wait for this.I remember as a kid i would stay up all night playing against my friends.

John_Aguilera
John_Aguilera

YES! I wont buy a Madden game but this I like