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Blitz: Dirty Hits, Dirty Injuries, Dirty Everything

Blitz: The League returns with harder, dirtier hits and all of the awful-looking injuries you could ever want.

Midway's not wasting any time when it comes to Blitz: The League II. After announcing it at a press event a few months ago, all remained quiet until last week, when Brad and I took a trip into the big city to see a playable version of the game. With around a month of development left to go, the game already looks like it's pretty much done, and Midway's over-the-top sports series has undergone some enhancements that should make it an even crazier game of football than it was last year.

Weather will play a larger factor this time.
That crazy seems to primarily come from the game's rebalanced clash meter. Clash, in case you were one of the billions of people who didn't play the previous game, is the game's version of turbo. You can hold the clash button on offense to drop everything into slow-motion, making it easier to toss and catch passes. On defense, clash acts as a modifier, letting you bust out more damaging hits. The developers found that people weren't using clash so much in the previous game, and since they don't want people to feel like they have to save up the meter that enables every single thing that makes the game more interesting than the average football sim, they went ahead and made it last around three times as long. Clash tokens, which you earn for pulling off fly maneuvers on the field, are also much easier to earn, which in turn makes the Unleashed super moves more prevalent.

The way injuries are shown and handled in the game has also been revamped. Dirty hits lead to more injuries, and now you're able to quickly select which body part you want to injure when you're delivering a crushing tackle. This then shifts into an injury animation, which shows an X-ray view of tendons being ripped, spines being contused, and testicles being ruptured. We didn't get to see that last one, which is fine by me.

In the previous game, if you had an injured player, all you were able to do was choose to wait out the injury or juice the player up, which got him back in the game faster but was ultimately more risky. Now, juicing the players up comes with a minigame, where you might have to line up the needle and inject at just the right spot, or snap dislocated bones back into place. The game also has late hits, which let you do some damage to a downed player, but these can be countered with a well-timed button press. Really, the whole game feels like it's been revamped with a greater focus on risk vs. reward.

Football!
The game will also have a new storyline that puts you in the role of a two-way player--meaning you'll have a guy on both offense and defense. You'll choose your positions by answering questions at a press conference at the start of the mode, and then you'll be on your way. An intro movie clash with the league's commissioner starts you out on his bad side, though, so expect to play football inside a prison before the story is complete. Obviously, that's where you'll encounter former star quarterback Mike "Ron Would Be Too Obvious" Mexico.

Chicago-based rapper GLC will be providing the voice of the main character, who is immediately nicknamed Franchise at the start of the story mode. His agent will be voiced by Jay Mohr, and color commentary during the game will be provided by Frank TV's own Frank Caliendo. He basically does his totally ridiculous Madden impersonation throughout, which seems like it could be really funny in the game.

Will all this stuff add up to a game that the typical football fan can get excited about? Heck, I don't know. But it definitely seems like a more approachable game than your average football sim, so maybe the folks out there who are totally disillusioned by Madden will find a home in Blitz: The League II. We'll find out for sure when the game comes out on PS3 and 360 this fall.
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
41 Comments
Posted by Jeff
Midway's not wasting any time when it comes to Blitz: The League II. After announcing it at a press event a few months ago, all remained quiet until last week, when Brad and I took a trip into the big city to see a playable version of the game. With around a month of development left to go, the game already looks like it's pretty much done, and Midway's over-the-top sports series has undergone some enhancements that should make it an even crazier game of football than it was last year.

Weather will play a larger factor this time.
That crazy seems to primarily come from the game's rebalanced clash meter. Clash, in case you were one of the billions of people who didn't play the previous game, is the game's version of turbo. You can hold the clash button on offense to drop everything into slow-motion, making it easier to toss and catch passes. On defense, clash acts as a modifier, letting you bust out more damaging hits. The developers found that people weren't using clash so much in the previous game, and since they don't want people to feel like they have to save up the meter that enables every single thing that makes the game more interesting than the average football sim, they went ahead and made it last around three times as long. Clash tokens, which you earn for pulling off fly maneuvers on the field, are also much easier to earn, which in turn makes the Unleashed super moves more prevalent.

The way injuries are shown and handled in the game has also been revamped. Dirty hits lead to more injuries, and now you're able to quickly select which body part you want to injure when you're delivering a crushing tackle. This then shifts into an injury animation, which shows an X-ray view of tendons being ripped, spines being contused, and testicles being ruptured. We didn't get to see that last one, which is fine by me.

In the previous game, if you had an injured player, all you were able to do was choose to wait out the injury or juice the player up, which got him back in the game faster but was ultimately more risky. Now, juicing the players up comes with a minigame, where you might have to line up the needle and inject at just the right spot, or snap dislocated bones back into place. The game also has late hits, which let you do some damage to a downed player, but these can be countered with a well-timed button press. Really, the whole game feels like it's been revamped with a greater focus on risk vs. reward.

Football!
The game will also have a new storyline that puts you in the role of a two-way player--meaning you'll have a guy on both offense and defense. You'll choose your positions by answering questions at a press conference at the start of the mode, and then you'll be on your way. An intro movie clash with the league's commissioner starts you out on his bad side, though, so expect to play football inside a prison before the story is complete. Obviously, that's where you'll encounter former star quarterback Mike "Ron Would Be Too Obvious" Mexico.

Chicago-based rapper GLC will be providing the voice of the main character, who is immediately nicknamed Franchise at the start of the story mode. His agent will be voiced by Jay Mohr, and color commentary during the game will be provided by Frank TV's own Frank Caliendo. He basically does his totally ridiculous Madden impersonation throughout, which seems like it could be really funny in the game.

Will all this stuff add up to a game that the typical football fan can get excited about? Heck, I don't know. But it definitely seems like a more approachable game than your average football sim, so maybe the folks out there who are totally disillusioned by Madden will find a home in Blitz: The League II. We'll find out for sure when the game comes out on PS3 and 360 this fall.
Posted by Lozz

Looks like an awesome break away from the tiring Madden.

Posted by TheBeast

This is probably the first sports game that's ever capitvated my interest for more than 5 seconds. Maybe because it's a Giant Bomb review, or maybe because it looks really gritty and less 'real' than others...

Posted by FengShuiGod

I thought the first one was ok. I hope this is decent too. Blitz was the only sports game I played for more than an hour.

Posted by Fr0Br0

Frank Caliendo as Madden? LMAO!

Posted by Claude

I've always wanted to try Blitz: The League, now I might try this one. The story seems interesting with some over the top satire, which is a nice alternative to traditional football games.

Posted by Alphazero

On a related note, getting the Smile achievement in Geometry Wars 2 also causes testicles to rupture.

Posted by SoSerious

I just played the first Blitz: The League demo, but it didn't really draw me. I wish they would just go back to the old Blitz arcade style.

Posted by HTTenrai

Blitz: The League is the only football game I've ever liked, and I generally LOATHE football. I can't wait for this one.

Shame the trailer all-of confirmed Battaglia's absence...  :(

/sad panda

Posted by MayorMcCheese

I hope this one is a bit longer than the 1st one, more customization and has better online.

Posted by Milkman

I can't wait for this. I only got to play the demo of the first game so I'll definitely check this one out.

Posted by PLWolf

I'll definitely be renting this one.
Kinda hard to think about right now, with Madden out next week and all.

Posted by Aaron_G

I like to see football games break away from Madden.

Posted by MissileWarriorz

looks good to me

Posted by Kazona

First time I'm ever interested in a football game.

Posted by McDazzle

Woooo Looks awesome

Posted by Doogie2K

"This then shifts into an injury animation, which shows an X-ray view of tendons being ripped, spines being contused, and testicles being ruptured. We didn't get to see that last one, which is fine by me."

Patrick Thoresen can tell you all about that.

Posted by Lepuke

This game looks like a good time.

Posted by Legend

We'll see how this turns out.

Posted by RHCPfan24

Looks brutally amazing.

Posted by CoolDrMoney

I liked the first Blitz The League, so I'm definitely looking forward to this one. And Frank Caliendo as the commentator? That's just awesome

Posted by albedos_shadow

Wait, Frank Caliendo doing play-by-play? I'm sold.

Posted by Mourer

Frank Caliendo!  Brilliant, I say.

Posted by Everyones_A_Critic

If this actually has a story to it I'd actually give it a look even though I hate/suck at football games.

Posted by AlexMarra

Frank Caliendo doing Madden in a Blitz game? Oh my God. That's probably the biggest pimp slap any competitor has ever given to EA without just flat-out saying they suck.

Posted by RomeoInc

I think I was the only british person to buy Blitz upon its belated release...

Sounds like the story is aiming for a kind of sarcastic spoof rather than the last Blitz's generic crap-ass spoof.

Hopefully the graphics will meet the standards that Madden has set.

...After all, Midway could do with some money.

Posted by chuckimus

To be honest, I enjoyed the first version for a few weeks, and that was only after I picked it up for $10 just before Christmas '07 at Best Buy.  I appreciated the effort, however the replay value quickly wore thin.

I'll give it a go again this year but I'm not holding my breath. 

Posted by AlucardaLaCarte

I remember having a ball with the first one, and it actually got me MORE into real football than all the cheesy sports movies in the world. I can't wait for this one.

Posted by TheGTAvaccine

Ahhh, Blitz on the N64. Good times, good times.

Posted by Player1

wow this looks really fun. Madden impressions throughout the whole game seem like a great reason to buy this game

Posted by HitNRun

I thought the title picture read "Blitz: The League ?" and now I think that's what they should call it.

I always thought the Blitz series was stupid, but I have to say this edition sounds much more appealing than getting this year's Madden. If only the actual football wasn't sooo over the top. They should just make Blitz be an Arena football franchise if they're going to give the teams fewer players, at least then they'd have an excuse.

Posted by bjorno

looks AWESOME.

Posted by Seedofpower

meh... football

Posted by Haklin
Though, we're not real big on sports games, so don't expect too much meaningful/informed Madden coverage.http://www.giantbomb.com/help

Well I guess blitz isn't madden strictly speaking....
Posted by MikeFightNight
Posted by solideagle

Looking pretty good. I wonder if they are keeping the cheerleaders? Probably so.

Posted by Mawryk

Looks alright.  This the type of football game I need to stay interested.  Sorry Madden. 

Posted by Lind_L_Taylor

To date, I've never played a football sim, probably not since the Atari 2600. However, this game looks kind of interesting. I'll try the first Blitz demo on the 360 & see how if I'll like the series or not. For some reason I just have a tough time enjoying sports games, except for Tennis games.

Posted by Mourne

I'm so done with Madden--time for Blitz II.

Posted by volcomstoner180

i am very interested in the game....i love arcade sports games...and the injuries sound like a cool concept...i havent played a blitz since ps1 tho

Posted by MisterMouse

i wonder how this will turn out... the Blitz has never been a huge series... hopefully it turns out good