Teamwork. It's a fundamental piece of the puzzle for successful football teams. We've seen what can happen when players buy into the message (the New England Patriots circa 2000-present) and we've seen what can happen when they don't. Of course, getting a group of people to work together and communicate effectively is always easier said than done and if you've ever played any type of squad-based first person shooter with random strangers, you know what I'm talking about. Thankfully, playing cooperatively in NFL Blitz isn't nearly as painful, but the fundamentals are still important. Even though you might only be dealing with one teammate, you'll still need to communicate to have success against your opponents.
Last week we talked about Blitz Battles and how you can earn ranking points to move up the Battle Boards by playing head-to-head games. This week, we'll dive into our cooperative gaming options which include the second half of the Blitz Battles mode, Blitz Teams, as well as our second online mode, Online Co-Op.
Much like Blitz Battles Head-To-Head games, the object of playing as a Blitz Team remains the same: win games, earn Ranking Points and move your team up the Battle Boards. The biggest difference between the two game types is that you can create and customize a team. Creating a Blitz Team is easy. When you first start off, we'll ask you to provide your current location so that your team can be placed on the right Battle Board.
Next, you'll need to pick a name for your team. This is the name that's going to show up on every Battle Board and matchup screen for your opponents to see, so make sure it's something clever. Once you've named your team, you can start to give it some personality by choosing a team logo and team banner. Team logos come in all different shapes, images and sizes. You'll start off with a few to choose from, but you can always get more by visiting the Blitz Store (I'll explain more about the Blitz Store in a future blog).
Team banners give you the opportunity to send a message to your opponents about the type of team they're facing. Banners have all sorts of different sayings that can be aggressive, funny or just downright odd. Choose a banner that best suits the personality of your team. Just like logos, you'll start off with a few to choose from, but if you're not happy with your selection, you can always get more from the Blitz Store.
Next stop on the team creation tour is probably the most important—choosing your co-owner. Your co-owner is your partner in crime and will be the person next to you in the trenches as you fight your way up the Battle Boards. You'll have a choice between one of two different types of co-owners. The first is simply an online friend. Send an invite to any of your online friends that have NFL Blitz and they can either accept or decline your gracious offer to be the co-owner of your team. The second option is to use a Guest co-owner. Guest co-owners are players that will be playing on the same console as you. In other words friends who stop by, roommates, brothers, sisters, moms, dads or basically anyone with opposable thumbs who can hold that second controller, is eligible to be a guest co-owner on your team.
Last but not least, you can pick your favorite team. Picking a favorite team simply determines which NFL team will show up by default when you're asked to pick a team to play as before each game. Once you've done that, you can save your team, hook up with your teammate and start taking down other Blitz Teams. To get started, you'll need to visit your Blitz Team list. This is where you can view, edit or leave any of the teams you belong to. Starting a game is as easy as selecting one of your teams and doing so will automatically send an invite to your co-owner as long as they're online.
From there you'll proceed to the Locker Room to await your co-owner, select the NFL team you want to play as, matchup against another Blitz Team and then head into game.
One unique thing to remember as you play any of these cooperative games, is that you can easily pass the ball to your teammate at any time by pressing the Friendly Pass button (LB on Xbox and L1 on PS3). It's a quick and easy way to get the ball to your teammate when you hear them screaming that they're open as you're scrambling away from defenders on fire who want to introduce your head to their friend the ground.
Although Blitz Teams offers you the ability to create a team, customize it and work together with your co-owner to climb the Battle Boards, sometimes you just want to quickly jump into a game with your friends and not have to worry about the extra stuff. That's where Online Co-Op comes in. When it comes to different ways to play cooperatively, Online Co-Op has the most flexibility. There are two different game types in the Online Co-Op mode: Quick Co-Op and Friends Co-Op. Quick Co-Op games allow you to quickly jump into a team game with random players online. Of course, for those of us who are a bit more social, there's always Friends Co-Op games. In Friends Co-Op games you can invite up to three of your friends, both online or as a guest. What if you don't have enough friends to fill up both teams? Not a problem because with the simple click of a button you can open your game up to the public and allow random players to join and fill in the empty slots. Now you might be asking yourself, "But what if I just want a nice romantic night of NFL Blitz alone with my girlfriend in Canada?" No worries Romeo, you can just as easily only invite her so that you can both team up and take out your aggressions on the computer.
Of course it's no fun to play with and against friends if you can't keep track of who's the best, and the Records screen allows you to do just that. The Records screen will show you just how many wins and losses you have as both a teammate and opponent for each of your friends. You can even select a friend to get more information about individual games that you played in with them, including the score and date of the game.
So that concludes yet another chapter in the saga that is NFL Blitz features. Next time, we'll talk about my favorite and our deepest online mode, Elite League. In the meantime though, don't be afraid to let us know what you think about these features so far. Visit our Facebook page and leave a comment or join our growing NFL Blitz community by checking out our forums where you can ask questions about the game and make some friends in the process.
NFL Blitz Designer,