Backbreaker the challenger to Madden NFL that got one very big thing right but a lot of little things wrong (or not at all), will get a "major patch" taking into account community suggestions, the studio said on Friday.

"We've had to hold back on discussing this for the past couple of weeks but today I can finally tell you that we have been working on a major patch for Backbreaker," said NaturalMotion's community manager. "The patch will address many issues and requests raised by the Backbreaker community, so thank you for your valuable input. Further information will follow in good time, but you should be aware that this is something that we are taking seriously and will not be rushing out."

Though I was hard on it in the review, count me among those willing to give Backbreaker an honest second chance. I'm not sure how much it can pack into a patch though, especially if matters such as injuries and fatigue are completely missing from the version out now. Tweaking penalties seems like it could be patchable issue, and certainly the game could use some AI fixes.

It shouldn't get graded on a curve simply for being brave enough to challenge Madden without a license. But the basic proposition of Backbreaker - football as you play it, not as you watch it - was still a winner. Its control set imprinted on me enough that I had to spend several games in the NCAA 11 demo unlearning those reflexes on defense. And Backbreaker is still more engaging on that side of the ball than its EA Sports competitors.

I don't think a patch is enough to comprehensively raise this to a great game, but it is good to see both the strong post-release support and a good idea given a chance to be better.

Major Backbreaker Patch in the Works
[Operation Sports]