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Original Xbox Download  Breakdown Original Xbox Downloads

Published by: TheModGod on 2004-05-03
Page Views: 5526
Rating: 4/10

From first hearing of the concept of Breakdown, a sci-fi based combination of a first-person shooter and martial arts fighter, I was stoked. Finally, to have two of my favorite genres blended into one game. Unfortunately, the finished product falls short of the hopes of the concept. Breakdown, while not a horrid game, is a bit of a disappointment in its final form.
When the game begins, your character, Derrick, is awakening from a deep coma. He is unaware of his surroundings and cannot remember his identity. Voices of lab technicians guide Derrick as he learns how to use a gun and fight unarmed – this serves as your controller tutorial. Once Derrick completes his refresher course, he is escorted back to his sterile hospital room, where he eats the Hamburger of Doom and falls to a dose of heavy sedation.

Suddenly, all hell breaks loose as a team of soldiers burst into the room and are about to kill the very groggy Derrick. But all is not lost as a mysterious commando chick named Alex saves the day and Derrick from his lunch. Someone at Namco should have seriously added a disclaimer to the game’s packaging: “Warning – Do not play after eating. Graphic vomiting is included in the game.” In my knowledge, a gaming first.

Now accompanied by Alex, you begin to find a way out of the facility, running and gunning past soldiers, hyped-up mutant creatures and various other nasties.

Initially, I found the default settings for the controller to be way too sensitive. A quick tweak of the settings and a change to inverted view fixed that. Now armed with a machine gun and ammo clips, I began running through the bland corridors of the lab, looking for a way out. The controller set up is standard, with buttons to control weapons switching, ammo loading and firing.

You always have to keep in mind, though, that the game also has a fighting engine. The controls do change meaning when you transfer from armed to unarmed combat. The fighting engine was better than I thought it would be. Namco has greatly improved the secondary engine since it was last used in Dead to Rights. It took some serious time getting used to punching from a first-person perspective, but it works well here.

The AI that controls Alex works well, she will help you out when fighting through the hallways. Like most shooters, you can loot the bodies of your kills, picking up additional weapons, ammo and ration bars (to restore health).

My main gripe is the wonkiness of the camera. It never seemed to stay in place, and would suddenly swing about on me at the most inconvenient of times. For whatever reason, the controls felt clunky and it seemed that I was running through slog most of the time.

I was a bit disappointed in with the in-game graphics. Up close, things were far too pixellated, and looked blocky from a distance. The running through endless hallways and other repetitive backgrounds quickly made me bored. Nothing bad can be said about the cut scenes and FMVs, those looked great.

A decent job was done here, especially with the voice acting. The music got repetitive after the first level, more variety would have been nice.

This is definitely a game I would recommend renting first The replay value is negligible, so there’s not much incentive to buy this one. The scenery gets boring, the fighting gets repetitive, and you end up with a feeling of wanting what could have been. Flashback of Tao Feng. Overall, this is a decent game that could have been better.


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