NFL Blitz: Hits and Misses

Posted January 9th, 2012 at 4:15 pm

For the first time since 2003 the Blitz series carries the NFL license after having been acquired and subsequently rebooted by EA Sports. As a digital-download title the company hoped to bring back some of the magic of the beloved series while increasing the amount of content over what was provided in their previous attempts at arcade-style football. Were they able to achieve one or both? Continue on for the Hits and Misses review of NFL Blitz. 


•Online Play
Where NFL Blitz meets its full potential is online – as an offline game it offers much more limited value. Online matches have been lag-free, state-by-state leaderboards and advancement makes the basic “Blitz Battles” (standard online) more interesting, co-op adds strategy to the games with additional user-controlled players, and the “Elite League” take on “Ultimate Team” mode is intriguing and fairly-designed but limited by the lack of player differentiation.

•Level of Content
For a digital-download it would be hard not to be pleased with all that was included in the Blitz package. There is strong replay value offline with “Blitz Gauntlet”, tons of unlockables, and solid online performance to take advantage of through “Blitz Battles”, “Elite League”, and even co-op.

•Fun Factor
Though not as strong in this regard as past EA attempts such as Madden Arcade, NFL Tour, and NFL Street – NFL Blitz is still an enjoyable game to play. There is some decent strategy involved, balance between offense and defense is fair, gameplay and controls are responsive, and there are numerous modes to dig into. It does a fair job of paying tribute to past Blitz titles while trying to enhance elements by taking advantage of today’s technology.


•General Blandness
The NFL is largely to blame for the overall uninspired feel of NFL Blitz – but EA Sports is too at fault for not finding creative ways to get around the restrictions imposed on them. The lack of late hits and any post-play action is impossible to ignore as are the forgettable celebrations. An almost complete lack of player differentiation though might be more damaging in the end than those disappointments. Offense is also a plodding affair with slowed down action partially to blame – along with speed of players factoring in very little if at all.

The commentary in NFL Blitz features Tim Kitzrow (of NBA Jam fame) and comedian Brian Haley and comes across flat and unengaged. At least it doesn’t reach NFL Tour levels of annoying. Presentation is true to Blitz of the past otherwise.

•Outdated Rosters
Rosters are sadly outdated and are missing a number of names that deserve to be included.  EA never promised roster updates for Blitz but there is no excuse not to have at least one – even Madden Arcade got multiple roster updates. A lack of post-release support suggests EA is not really behind the title and/or sees little future for it as a series.

EA Sports has made a number of missteps lately with their arcade-style offerings and this release of NFL Blitz could potentially amount to a one-and-done title. It’s hard to see much potential for a sequel given the restraints enforced by the NFL and the lack of compensation in gameplay provided by EA. While Blitz makes for a fair value at $15 and provides fun and content equal to that investment it ultimately fails to amount to anything more than just that. (See also: full impressions of NFL Blitz).