Conclusion: Groundbreaking titles that explore new territory will always have a few flaws, but the good ones will have plenty of positive features that far outweigh any negative issues. Breakdown is a great example of this, and Namco has successfully created an exciting videogame that will entrap its players in a world of mystery surrounding a top secret military research project gone terribly wrong.
Excerpt: Games played out in first person perspective are often done so to draw the player into the developer's game world and make them feel that they are a part of the game and story. While most Japanese developers have shyed away from the first person perspective in their games, Namco has decided to not only make their action/adventure in first person, but take it a step further - you can actually see your body.
Pros: Very immersive, Melee combat is a nice addtion, Solid sci-fi story
Cons: Graphics could be stronger, Gunplay is a bore, Lots of trial and error
Excerpt: I like games that are bold, and not afraid to take risks. I especially like ones using new ideas to shake up stale genre formulas. However, there's a certain threshold that must not be crossed. In essence, new concepts alone cannot supplant the existence of solid gameplay, regardless of how unique or fresh they may be. It's tough to get right, and there have been many times when my heart felt like breaking after seeing something almost reach greatness.
Excerpt: Breakdown has some nice 3D graphics, though it lacks in variety most of the time. The special effects are put to good use yet they can't seem to help alleviate the blandness of the hallways in the seemingly endless levels. If this wasn't bad enough, the camera, at least for a FPS, is so amazingly bad that it brings one to the edge of nausea. Sickening jumps from one angle to another plague your view, taking mounds away from the experience. The sound is mediocre.
Excerpt: Told entirely through the first person eyes of the main character, Breakdown for the Xbox takes its time to put you into the story. Does it do the trick? Click here to read Eric1s take on whether or not this is a game you should be playing this summer.
Excerpt: Originality is hard to come by in the gaming industry, now that the once niche hobby has turned into a multibillion-dollar business. Some publishers out there are still willing to take risks and try new ideas though, and one of those publishers is Namco. Their new titles is entitled Breakdown. It was once being touted as a first-person brawler. Now though, it's quite obvious that Breakdown isn't a brawler...it's much, much more.
Excerpt: 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.
Excerpt: Back in the early 1990s, a game called Supreme Warrior was released for the 3DO console and the 32X add-on for the Sega Genesis. It was a horrible first-person fighting game based around "interactive" video clips ala the infamous Night Trap and Sewer Shark games. In fact, it was made by Digital Pictures, the developer of those unforgettably lame titles. What does this have to do with the new first-person fighting game, Breakdown , that I'm supposed to be reviewing?
Excerpt: Breakdown stars Derrick Cole, the role that was given to me to wear like a blanket when I started. Encased inside its warm fuzzy rolls, I experienced everything Namco tossed at me to make me believe that Derrick and I were one and the same, and damn it, they made a believer out of me. It begins with amnesia, which may be a poor plot device but assures anyone controlling Derrick knows as much as he does: absolutely nothing.
Conclusion: THE VERDICT: I loved every minute of Breakdown - even the frustrating parts. With fierce hand-to-hand combat, first-person shooting, a cool storyline, puzzles to solve, surreal dream sequences and a level of immersion rarely seen in games, Breakdown is an amazing journey into the unknown. Check it out, question reality, and experience a breakdown of your own, you might be surprised and like it.