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Blitz project lead explains lack of late hits in EA’s Blitz

EA’s announcement of a new NFL Blitz had fans of the arcade classic very excited, but the lack of brutality shown in early trailers had many concerned. Will there be violence? Will there be foul language? Most important of all: will there be late hits? Last we heard the developers had put late hits in the game and sent it over to the NFL to review, so what’s the verdict?

After getting hands-on with the game yesterday (check back next week for a full preview) we noticed that there were no late hits at all. Stranger yet, it looked like they were only recently taken out – ball-carriers still leapt to their feet after a tackle and went into a defensive stance, as if they were waiting to be punched in the face. So what’s the deal? We asked Dave Ross, Project Lead for NFL Blitz, about the omission.

“When we started working on this game we partnered very early on with the NFL and talked to them about what it is we wanted to deliver. We played the old versions of Blitz with them and we talked with them throughout the course of this entire product development cycle and, at the end of the day, the NFL felt like the late hits did not meet with their take on player health and safety, and they asked us to remove it from the game. Right now we have big action and big, over-the-top gameplay, but once the whistle blows there are no late hits.”

 
Above: Check out the full interview for more Blitz details

According to Ross, late hits were in the game, letting players demolish their opponents after the whistle blew, and the developers had a chance to play around with the feature and show the NFL what it would look like, but in the end they were told that it had to be cut. “They understand that it’s not a simulation and they understand that it’s over-the-top, but at the end of the day they really felt like, with the messaging that they have, and with their stance on player health and safety, that it was something that was better left out of the game at this point,” he explained. “It still has the same over-the-top arcade experience that people remember from the old version of the game… it just doesn’t have the late hits anymore.”

Well, there you have it: the NFL said no, and EA had to tone it down. Does it destroy the experience? Find out next week when we post our preview.

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16 comments

  • FlyinHawaiian13 - November 17, 2011 5:49 p.m.

    Blitz without late hit's is like a ham sandwich without ham.
  • Headstandz - November 17, 2011 5:55 p.m.

    This will get a lot less buys with it cut. It NEEDS late hits. That is the fun of the game. When you play with friends it starts feuds.
  • SillyPigeon - November 17, 2011 6:08 p.m.

    So the NFL is worried about player safety when it comes to late hits, but they aren't concerned with the in game players being set on fire?
  • deathman00789 - November 17, 2011 6:12 p.m.

    Lame guess i'll be sticking with blitz 20-02 =D
  • keyno-mcmike - February 14, 2014 9:47 p.m.

    Screw 2002 it's all about that 2003 on game cube playing it right now!!
  • larkan - November 17, 2011 6:42 p.m.

    NFL says "hey, it's a game, but we can't have people doing that...the players will mimic it during real games!" what a bunch of tards. Guess they really don't want people to play this game.
  • aequitas13 - November 17, 2011 6:56 p.m.

    Oh so an over-the-top arcade NFL game... now with no late hits and less brutality. So basically it's a bad version of Madden with less gameplay and worse graphics??? Not sure how they're going to sell this. Oh NFL 2K I miss you.
  • Acerlux - November 17, 2011 10:02 p.m.

    When I first heard about the blitz reboot, the first thing to come to my mind was the image of late hits. Removing that... really kinda kills it for me. I don't know, I'll have to wait and see. But my first impression is pretty bad.
  • Larry Legdrop - November 17, 2011 10:17 p.m.

    WHAT!?!... No LEG DROPS!!! :^(
  • IceBlueKirby - November 17, 2011 11:04 p.m.

    Kinda makes you wonder why they didn't have a problem with it 14 years ago, and now they decide they do...I wasn't expecting much out of this in the first place, and now I'm expecting even less. I highly doubt this will feel anything like the original game, with or without late hits.
  • pin316 - November 17, 2011 11:51 p.m.

    they wouldn't have said anything about it 14 years ago, because there was nowhere near as much focus on removing late hits from the game back then. Late hits weren't allowed, but there was a lot more leeway in terms of what was classed as a late hit. However, with the increasing number of occurences of players getting hurt with serious concussions/head injuries, they have decided to take a much stricter approach. Even so far as players caught delivering late hits are now fined by the NFL after the game (anywhere between 7500 and 15000). They have also added new penalties for hitting a defenseless receiver, and are focusing on helmet-to-helmet contact. It's very much a change in attitude that has come about in the past 2/3 years, and you often hear commentators saying something like 'a few years ago that would have just been a great tackle'. So you kind of see their point - having made a very big deal about eliminating it from the game, it would be very hard for them to sanction late hits in a game. If it were a non-NFL licensed game with fake players/teams then i doubt they would complain or anything, but seeing as they specifically have to approve content due to the licensing agreement, then allowing it could seem as though they were endorsing it.
  • Jrymanz - November 17, 2011 11:59 p.m.

    How lame.
  • Person5 - November 18, 2011 midnight

    I was just playing the old Blitz with my brother not a few hours ago, while having immense fun jumping on his players after tackling them. What else is being changed? first downs are now 10 yards instead of 30 because that's what it is in real life? No turbo because it doesn't exist in real life? There will be penalties? Especially ones that the AI performs because that's exactly what I want in a game. No thanks, I'll stick to my N64
  • TriforcePlayer - November 18, 2011 1:27 a.m.

    Not getting it now.
  • ThatGuyFromTV - November 18, 2011 7:39 a.m.

    Take the chance to throw in some taunts over the guy's body then. Seeing a lineman teabag a receiver would be PRICELESS.
  • krazieklownz - September 8, 2012 3:57 p.m.

    Look NFL Blitz is a fantasy based NFL experience with "NO" penalties. Are not "late hits" considered a penalty? I mean come on, does "late hits" really cross some imaginary line between what can and cannot be banned. Let's not ban a safety flying 10 yards into a receiver delivering a vicious pass interference, or allowing a kicker to be obliterated during a field goal. Let's focus on banning a key selling point and cause all potential nostalgia clients to turn their backs on what could have been a huge revamped hit. Look Mr. Gibeau, focus on delivering your strict safety guidelines in a NFL simulation based game such as Madden...and leave the fantasy based series alone. You wouldn't take kicks, elbows, and knees out of the UFC... because then it would be boxing. So don't take the violence out of Blitz... because then it just would be another Madden.

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