Skip to main content

Backbreaker football wants to crush you

Aug 23, 2007

The comedian George Carlin has a now-classic routine comparing the differences between football - a game of conquest in which the goal is to invade the enemy's territory - and baseball, a decidedly non-contact sport in which the entire point is to go "home." It's not only hilarious, it drives home a very important point: football is a vicious, violent game played by mountain-sized men who think the best plays are those that teach lessons in basic anatomy. Such as, "What color is your spleen?" and "Is it possible to strike a man with such force that his broken ribs not only protrude, but stick him into the ground like a giant staple?"

To that point, we all know what makes a football game great: brutal tackles, the kind of which make a crunching sound and end with you wondering how any human being could survive that kind of collision.

Enter Backbreaker football, from developer NaturalMotion. You might not have heard of them before; NaturalMotion has been, up to now, a company that specializes in realistic physics simulations - specifically character animations. For example, in the new Grand Theft Auto and Indiana Jones games, they helped make sure that when you shoot some poor bastard in the head and he falls out a fourth-floor window, or when Indy gets hit in the face with a wooden crate full of snakes as his lady friend struggles to escape the flaming cannon she's been tied to, their resulting body contortions look as lifelike as possible.

And Backbreaker football, though it won't have real NFL players, plans to leverage these next-level physics to create the hardest-hitting, most realistic football game ever. You think you've seen bone-shattering tackles? You haven't seen anything yet.