After an experiment with 11 on 11 football, and then a short hiatus, Midway returns to the gridiron with Blitz: The League. Its gameplay is a return to the series’ roots, and now it’s got an all new storyline mode to add some depth. The game was playable on the show floor, and I got to sit down and play for a while.
The first thing I noticed was how much it felt like old Blitz. Gone are the 22 players on the field – the number is back to the original 14. This makes the field more wide open and results in lots of big plays. The controls feel just like you’d expect them too, with everything being tight and responsive. There’s a new “unleash” move which gets charged up as you perform well, finally allowing you to “unleash” a special juke or a huge hit by holding the shoulder button down when making a move. It’s a cool way of allowing you to break that last tackle to get into the endzone, or on defense it can result in a bone-breaking tackle and possibly a fumble. Play calling is very simple, but the variety of plays is respectable. There didn’t seem to be much in the way of play-action, but that could certainly change between now and the game’s release.
The E3 demo focuses on the action on the field, so there’s still not a whole lot of information on the game’s storylines. We did find out that the team has access to the entire NFL Films library of music, so you can expect plenty of great, familiar tunes throughout the game.
Blitz: The League doesn’t look like it’s going to be a revolutionary step for the series, but more a return to its roots, which is a good thing. If you want to check out a trailer for the game, just click here.
5/19/2005 Aaron Thomas