Quick Hit Football - now officially Quick Hit NFL Football - has relaunched with all the colours, logos and nicknames of the National Football League, as well as a long anticipated three-dimensional presentation in the browser-based PC game.
The game is still free to play, with several options of paying to upgrade or advance a team available as players get more invested in their franchises. But anyone joining the football management simulation will now get to pick their favourite NFL team and play under its logo, uniform and colours. Legacy players who started before the relaunch will still keep their old team names and uniforms if they choose.
Most significantly, for a subscription fee, players can see the action play out in console-style 3D animations. The original top-down presentation is also offered for free.
Jeffrey Anderson, Quck Hit's founder and CEO and the former CEO of MMO-maker Turbine, said in a statement that the game "marks an important day for gamers and football fans who have long awaited the return of NFL gaming to the PC".
Quick Hit, launched last year without league branding, blends in-game strategy with MMO and fantasy football elements of roster management and player advancement. The games themselves do not play out according to arcade skills; players rather scout their opposition's strengths and weaknesses, and in the games select the best playcall for the situation, either against the CPU or a live opponent. Between games they work to train players, upgrade promising ones and cut weaker performers.
Quick Hit 2.0 delivers the 3D animations longed for by its users, but the game's multiplayer feature can still match Flash users (playing in the basic top-down view) to gamers using the Unity plug-in to deliver the 3D action.
This upgrade comes at a price, of course. QuickHit 2.0 arrives with a new pricing model - $US5.95 a month or $US47.95 a year for a "Pro Membership" that delivers the 3D presentation, the ability to brand your team as any of the 32 existing NFL franchises, plus a monthly allotment of in-game currency and "coaching points" to improve your team or buy new playbooks. Browser banner ads also are removed in QuickHit's premium subscription.
That said, for those just want the 3D presentation and prefer to advance their team with freely earned experience points, or to pay for individual upgrades a la carte, QuickHit's 3D mode is $US14.95 for lifetime access on a single account. As these players progress through a slate of 32 challenges and full 16-game seasons with their team, they will also unlock access to other NFL team logos if they choose.
Though the game does not carry realistic rosters - it is not licensed by the NFL Players' Association - it still will reflect the tendencies, strengths and weaknesses of the NFL's current franchises, said Brandon Justice, Quick Hit's director of design.
"The Cincinnati Bengals, for example, will feature a powerful running back, several receivers and a pocket passer - but a suspect secondary," Justice said. "Teams have been customised to fit the style of that NFL team. They'll get a team that plays like that team."
That goes not just for talent, but also in playbooks - at least for those opposing you at first. Those facing the Steelers will see a 3-4 defence, typically; against the Miami Dolphins, players can expect to see direct snaps to a running back out of Wildcat formations. That's for CPU-controlled teams, at first. New users get a basic set of plays that are upgradeable either by acquiring in-game experience or paying for in-game currency.
Those who played QuickHit and built teams prior to this relaunch will get to keep their original user-generated colours and logos, or switch to an actual NFL team's branding for free. Further, new teams created in Quick Hit 2.0 will see a spread of players between levels one and five; new teams created in the game's first iteration saw players between levels one and 10. "Early adopters have a pretty significant advantage," Justice said. "Plus they may already have legends, for free, on their team."
"Legends" refers to the slate of past NFL greats seeded into the game's talent pool. There also are five active players licensed to appear as opponents in Quick Hit NFL Football. New England receiver Randy Moss and Dallas linebacker DeMarcus Ware already were announced as participants in the game's latest version; they'll be joined by Titans running back Chris Johnson, Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb and Redskins (for now, anyway) defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth. Coaches like Brian Billick and the late Tom Landry will oppose you - Bill Cowher guest stars as a booth analyst in the game's audio too.