NFL Blitz is back!

NFL Blitz is back! It's hard to believe that it's been almost a decade since there's been an NFL licensed version of Blitz out on store shelves. I can't begin to express how awesome it is to finally have the opportunity to talk to you all about this game and everything we've been doing for the past year and a half. It feels like it was just yesterday when we wheeled in our very own NFL Blitz arcade cabinet into the studio and started playing games and breaking down all the techniques and tricks used to make each game as intense and exciting as the last. For a lot of us, it'd been a number of years since we'd last played Blitz, so the first thing we did was put together a quick tournament bracket for the entire development team with some cool prizes and let the smack talking begin. Even though I didn't win (and I'm not bitter...much), the tournament was a lot of fun and a great way to start off the project and get people reacquainted with the game we were so excited to help bring back.

When we first started working on this new version of NFL Blitz, we definitely had our work cut out for us. All it took was a quick Google search to find tons of articles, forum posts and videos out there by fans with fond memories of the game—several great reminders that we needed to go big or go home with this. We definitely wanted to make sure that our version was respectful of and true to the original and all of the great things it did, but at the same time we had to make sure we were hooking up the jumper cables and giving the old classic a fresh charge and a new coat of paint. Of course, the process involved to get to that point is never easy. When you have a property like Blitz that's near and dear to a lot of gamers' hearts, you have to be very careful with what you change and what you keep the same. When it came to gameplay, we put everything from the controls to the cameras under the microscope to see if they needed updating. Like the saying goes, if it ain't broke...don't fix it, and we definitely didn't want to change things for the sake of changing them. Of course, there's a lot more to the new NFL Blitz than just the way the game plays. The last year and a half has been full of brainstorming sessions—game modes and features have come and gone; there's been laughter, frustration, surprises and disappointments amongst other things. Through it all, our goal has always been to keep all of the things that made the original NFL Blitz cool, fun and exciting, but at the same time make sure that we took it up a notch to bring this classic into the HD and online connected console generation.

NFL Blitz will be available in January through Xbox LIVE Arcade for 1200 Microsoft Points and through PlayStation Network for $14.99. As you'd expect, the new NFL Blitz is still chock full of exciting plays, but we've also got a bunch of cool new modes and features as well:

  • Classic Blitz Gameplay – Featuring 7-on-7 gameplay from the original. Two minute quarters, 30 yards for a first down, no penalties, exciting tackles and, of course, players ON FIRE!
  • Blitz in HD – For the first time in franchise history, Blitz hits the gridiron in high definition. Take to the field with top players from each of the 32 NFL teams, play in all 31 NFL stadiums and battle bosses from the Gauntlet at the Blitz Coliseum.
  • Ultra-Responsive Controls – Running at 60fps/60Hz, the pick-up-and-play controls perfectly replicate the twitch arcade experience. Disrupt the opposition with stiff arms, knock down receivers before a catch, dive to tackle ball carriers, and hurdle pass for the big play…all with the touch of a button.
  • Blitz Battles – Challenge the competition online in head-to-head matches or team up (on a single console or online) 2-on-2, ranking up local, regional, and national Battle Boards - all the way to the Blitz Hall of Fame.
  • Blitz Gauntlet – The ultimate single-player challenge! Battle through a multi-tiered Gauntlet, taking on NFL teams and exclusive fantasy character bosses in the Blitz Coliseum. Take down the fantasy character bosses to unlock them for use in all modes.
  • Elite League – Join the Elite League and strive to create the perfect squad of ultimate players. Purchase card packs using Blitz Bucks earned through online games to collect players to customize your lineup. Collect an entire NFL team of players to unlock powerful Pro and Ultimate players that give your team the competitive edge. Change the game in unique ways by acquiring and using Power Ups to further your advantage on the field. For the ultimate rush, risk one of your valuable players in a winner-takes-all Risk and Reward game.
  • Online Co-op – Grab a teammate on the couch or join a friend online and crush the competition in classic Blitz 2-on-2 style. Track your records against friends to show who owns the Blitz gridiron.
  • Blitz Store — Earn Blitz Bucks in every online game mode, then head to the Blitz Store to purchase a ton of intense content. Build your Blitz Elite League team by purchasing card packs and power-ups. Customize your Blitz Battles team with new logos and banners. Take the Blitz experience to the next level with a slew of gameplay and visual cheats. Go behind the scenes and unlock concept art and the famous Blitz cheerleaders.
  • Blitz Booth Commentary – The two-man booth includes past NFL Blitz play-by-play announcer, Tim Kitzrow, along with actor Brian Haley. The perfect pair to voice NFL Blitz, Kitzrow and Haley's humorous commentary augments the over-the-top arcade football experience.

Over the next few weeks, I (and some of the other developers) will walk you through various parts of the new NFL Blitz. This will provide you with a behind-the-scenes look at what's "in the game" and how we got it there. We'll highlight all of the cool new features and modes that we've come up with and give you a good idea of what to expect to prepare you for when you finally get your hands on the sticks in January.

Stay tuned to this space for more information starting next Monday and don't forget to "like" our Facebook page for exclusive assets and giveaways. Be a part of the conversation on Twitter by using #NFLBlitz.

NFL Blitz Designer,
Yuri Bialoskursky