Okay, so, here’s the thing. I’m Australian, so NFL only holds a passing interest to me. I’ve never played any NFL games, never held a ball in my hand and I only know Madden by the EA Sports game that sits on the shelves at work. But, and this is a big but, if you suddenly tell me there’s a game out there that turns the sport of American Football into an RPG/Beat ‘em Up? Oh yeah, now I’m interested.
So it is that I’ve discovered Football Heroes, an upcoming mobile title by California based Run Games. Like Tecmo Bowl and NBA Jam before it, Football Heroes is all about taking the general concept of the sport and turning things upside down, throwing out every rule in the book. For example, you’ll perform combos as you beat down opponents to get to that all important touchdown more like a game of Street Fighter, unlocking new moves as you progress. Beat that, Drew Brees (what? I had to have at least one credible reference).
It’s more than just football on the field. You can build a team from scratch, creating uniforms and logos, then take advantage of a complete RPG XP System to upgrade your team with. Each playing position has unique moves and skill sets, with a skill tree to progress down unlocking new skills. Every move you make on the field (from touchdowns to simply passing or catching the ball) will provide the necessary XP you’ll need to create the perfect, most awesome club in the league.
It’s all wrapped up within very retro inspired graphics and audio, as you can see in the trailer below, with support for wifi enabled multiplayer or online with matchmaking options. Just like the real thing … well, except for all the hadoukens. Wait, are there hadoukens?
I mentioned in the subject header Pandemic Studios, who you may recall were the well respected development team behind Full Spectrum Warrior, Star Wars Battlefront and Destroy All Humans series, among many others before their closure not too long ago. Run Games was put together by former Pandemic staff members Michael Marzola and Nathan Lazur, and it’s been a year and a half of hard work to get Football Heroes up and running to its current state, including a recent Kickstarter campaign that’s closing in on its goal.
Football Heroes will launch some time this Fall (or Spring, depending on where you are) on iPhone and Android, but in the meantime, check out the official website or their Facebook page, within which you’ll find a very cool surprise called Run Games Live, where the team are broadcasting their development of the game to the world with Q&A sessions and community brainstorming around the clock.