Third And Long
Graphically, Blitz holds its own with most of today's sports sims. The character models are a little over-the-top in the traditional Blitz fashion, but they're fairly detailed and animate very well. The game goes for a cinematic look, and gets it done wonderfully; helmet-popping hits, sharp jukes and other amazing moves are viewed with a camera that stays close to the field to deliver an unforgettable experience. The best special effects are saved for superlative moves, so whenever you execute a powerful Unleash technique, slow-motion, blurring effects, splattering blood and even quick X-ray cutaway scenes that show bones cracking on the most devastating tackles are the order of the day.
The audio is every bit as intense as the visceral visuals, with growls and grunts on the field, cheering (and jeering) fans in the stands, the clatter and clacking of pads and helmets colliding, and just the right amount of crunch when bones break to make you shudder when your player's arm gets wrecked by the defense. Voicework, provided by NFL legend (and patron saint of pro football bad boys) Lawrence Taylor, ensures that trash talk, swearing and everything else in between sounds true to the game.
EA thought this season was going to be a cakewalk. The NFL thought it wouldn't have anymore of its image issues presented in playable form. Midway made sure they thought wrong - and did so to the delight of arcade-style football fans everywhere. Granted, this game is no Madden NFL...but Blitz: The League for PS2 wasn't trying to be in the first place. The obligatory AI issues bring the gameplay down a notch, and the presentation could've used a little more interactivity, but for a first effort without the NFL license, Midway's got a fine effort here. If Midway can fix the flaws in the AI and expand the things you can do outside of the football games, they may have themselves a football game to remember the next time out.