Backbreaker: Vengeance Review
Backbreaker: Vengeance Box Art
System: Xbox 360
Dev: Natural Motion Games
Pub: 505 Games
Release: June 29, 2011
Players: 1-2
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p

As a result, the game is fun only as a brief distraction; if you play it seriously, it'll just make you mad. Perhaps its best aspect is the local multiplayer, which pits you and a friend against gangs of opposing players, or against each other. Whether it's competitive or cooperative depends on the mode and whether you see the harder levels as puzzles to solve together, or as no-holds-barred races to your objective. (Fair warning: If you see every level as strictly competitive, you'll probably be restarting a lot when both of you fail.)

Unfortunately, multiplayer doesn't work nearly as well online. In Supremacy, there's a two-console limit, which is awfully weird for a four-person race. And worst of all, there are occasional lag issues, making it even more difficult to nail the tight maneuvers when the game gets hard.

Backbreaker: Vengeance Screenshot

But back on the positive side, if you're a real lover of football, you will experience some truly awesome physical moments while playing Backbreaker Vengeance—faking out multiple defenders at once, blasting a running back off his feet, gloating as you break into the end zone. (Yes, there's a gloat button.) The reason these moments work so well is the Euphoria physics engine, NaturalMotion's crowning achievement. It's been widely licensed; in fact, Grand Theft Auto IV and Red Dead Redemption both made use of it. Each element of the character models moves with perfect fluidity, and when bodies collide, the resulting movements look perfectly natural—and painful. As in Trials HD, it's sometimes fun just to see what kind of awful contortions you can make your player endure.

The physics aren't the only thing that's great about the presentation. The stadiums come alive in high definition, the hip hop background music pops out of your speakers, and the sound effects are frighteningly realistic. If anything, this game looks and sounds better than the original $50 version of Backbreaker. But is the awesome presentation worth $15 when the gameplay is so simplistic and so frustrating? I say no.

Advertisement

It's clear from this game that NaturalMotion is an immensely talented developer, and that future versions of Backbreaker should be a lot of fun. They've come a long way since botching the original game. It's unfortunate, though, that they decided to make Vengeance a trumped-up minigame collection that's hard to control instead of a simple and fun arcade football game.

By Robert VerBruggen
CCC Contributing Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.6
Graphics
Euphoria physics coupled with well-done, high-definition visuals.
2.2
Control
It's too hard to corner, which is kind of a problem in an obstacle course game.
3.8
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The hip hop beats and crunching sound effects work very well.
2.7
Play Value
It's fun as a distraction for a while, and there's a lot of content, but $15 is too much to pay for a simple minigame collection.
3.0
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Three single-player and multiplayer modes: Tackle Alley, Vengeance, and Supremacy.
  • 350 Waves in 70 unique challenges.
  • Split-screen two-player and AI multiplayer modes.
  • Euphoria-fueled dynamic motion for unpredictable and un-canned animations—no two tackles are ever the same!
  • Relive key moments with the feature-packed in-game replay system.
  • Complete challenges to unlock new teams.

  • Videos / Game Trailers
    Backbreaker: Vengeance Debut Teaser - click to enlarge
    Debut Teaser

    Screenshots / Images
    Backbreaker: Vengeance Screenshot - click to enlarge Backbreaker: Vengeance Screenshot - click to enlarge Backbreaker: Vengeance Screenshot - click to enlarge Backbreaker: Vengeance Screenshot - click to enlarge Backbreaker: Vengeance Screenshot - click to enlarge Backbreaker: Vengeance Screenshot - click to enlarge Backbreaker: Vengeance Screenshot - click to enlarge Backbreaker: Vengeance Screenshot - click to enlarge Backbreaker: Vengeance Screenshot - click to enlarge Backbreaker: Vengeance Screenshot - click to enlarge

    X
    "Like" CheatCC on Facebook