Estimated Street Price: $49.95/Ł44.99
Review By: Brian
If you are looking for
a change from the popular hits, Halo and Half Life, grab a copy of
Breakdown by namco (their site was down at the time of this
review). Indulge yourself in a cheeseburger and coke as you carry
on through the eyes of Derrick Cole. Literally. A first person game,
with burgers, soda and a candy bar to help bring back your health as
you fight and shoot your way through an army of militants and
aliens. But this game is far from cheesy. This is a single player
(no Live), with in game Dolby Digital and HDTV 480p.
first-person-view with a hand-to-hand and weapons-based
fighting game system.
Unprecedented realism in a first-person view creates the
ultimate story-driven action gaming experience through a
combination of combat, exploration and puzzle solving.
Compelling science fiction storyline delivered through
intricate graphic renderings.
Stunning, detailed and immersive 3D environments allow
for hours of exploration and discovery.
Includes licensed music soundtrack.
inside a mysterious laboratory and unable to remember his
past, Derrick Cole discovers his extraordinary powers as he
fights for survival against a determined military faction
and a legion of seemingly invincible super-human warriors.
Breakdown™ is a science fiction thriller combining the best
elements of shooters and fighters into a comprehensive
first-person action/adventure game. Breakdown™s intense
storyline is revealed through its high-end, real-time
rendered graphics, bringing an unprecedented level of
realism to the gameplay experience. The game features fierce
hand-to-hand and weapons-based combat, challenging puzzles,
surreal dream sequences, advanced A.I. and massive, detailed
environments for exploration.
Installation and Settings
detail is what really wins me over on this game"
Outside of putting in
your Breakdown DVD into the Xbox, installation and setup is a snap.
And that is probably the most difficult part. Watching the
traditional Breakdown trailer/movie at the beginning of the game
will help you understand what your goals in the game will be. Unlike
Rainbow Six 3, this trailer is the real thing. The first load of
Breakdown does take a few ticks longer than one would expect for
normal game play. For the graphics in this game, you will be
pleasantly surprised with the load times. Menu options are as
Start new game
Load a previously saved game
Includes game options (turn speed, auto targeting, auto
center and captions), controller settings, adjust screen and
you will earn additional music pieces as well as a picture
gallery of your progress
I will mention in further detail in this interview, the default game
settings are very predictable or easy to learn if you are new to
this game pad setup.
Gameplay & Controls
At the beginning of
this game, you are introduced with a short story line, a preview of
the enemy, and a quick overview of how to move, fire, jump, rock and
roll. The narrator introduces you to moves that require extensive
use of your Xbox triggers. A bit out of the ordinary for me, but
very easy to use after getting used to it (as of the writing of this
game, I just bought Morrowind "Game of the Year Edition" and found
similar use of the triggers).
In many of these First
Person Point of View games you look around from what appears to be
from the chest view. This game takes you into the eyes of Derrick.
Namco went above and beyond with reality with this person's
movement. Even standing in a position will bring your body to a
natural sway. This game may or may not be for the motional unstable
(Read: I can't play Halo without getting motion sickness). Using the
right thumbstick will give you views above and around you, including
your legs and feet. In addition, you get eye view of your arms when
climbing, punching or maneuvering. The view of your weapon is very
similar to most other first person shooter games, with a bit more
The game screen
interface is very simplistic, leaving room to view more of the well
detailed rooms. There is the Life indicator, which shows your
health. You need to visit the closest Pepsi machine (not really
Pepsi), snack machine, or dead body to obtain additional health.
With namco's original view, you actually see yourself eat/drink
these products, including opening the cans and pressing the buttons
on the soda machines. Again, my first impression was, how cheesy,
but in this game, it seems to work for me. There is an Access Marker
which shows you something that is in close range that you can
investigate. There is T'Langen which is your health for fighting.
You will quickly find that when you get hit in a gun battle or are
taking a beating during a fight that you will begin to get a blurred
view and the screen will be surrounded with a red haze. And finally,
there is a targeting marker, which is displayed when you lock on an
enemy (but hard to unlock when trying to target a different enemy).
"This game may
or may not be for the motional unstable (Read: I can't play
Halo with out getting motion sickness).
Be sure to pick up
additional ammo, which is required to continue use of your machine
guns and hand guns. You will note over a short period of time, some
enemies require different techniques in order for you to defeat
Everyone will need to
get used to using both thumb sticks for controlling Derrick. One for
forward/back and side movements, the other to change your view aim
your weapon, or leap over open areas. The tutorials will show which
buttons you need to use for picking up items, swiping your key cards
for different locked rooms and the sort. Keep in mind that if you
access the options menus, you can change these settings to your
preference. I personally find that I default to MOST game pad setups
that the developers default to (with the exception of the invert
feature in Crimson Skies).
In the game, Alex
(your partner) will occasionally find you and let you go at her
convenience. But when you do have her, take advantage of her. She
can take many more beatings than you. Feel free to put her in the
line of fire, or take the incoming bullets when opening a door.
While she occasionally can be a bad shot, or take so long that you
could have cooked your own cheese burger, she will eventually come
through for you.
It would not be fair
to judge this game for lack of online Live play. While I would agree
that online play makes or breaks many games, especially in the
sports arena, but this story line just doesn't account for such
play. Offline multiplayer working with a partner, as you do in this
game, would be a nice added bonus. A Breakdown II could probably
find a way to enhance this game with multiplayer and live ability.
Graphics & Sound
found the right sound bites for this game. No if ands or buts. The
5.1 surround is stellar. Believe me when I say that you will know
WHERE someone is if they are approaching you from different
directions based on the sound (make sure your speakers are not
reversed, otherwise you will lose this game quickly). Multiple times
in a single game the DD 5.1 has alerted me to an oncoming enemy.
Whether it was footsteps or a door or elevator door, I was able to
figure out it's location from the side or behind. Relying on this
type of game play when playing Live with the Xbox headset on would
make it rather difficult. Probably one more reason this game isn't
Live enabled. As you progress through the levels, you will be
enlightened with new soundtracks. As you open these soundtracks, the
Extra's menu will be populated with these tracks allowing you to
play the soundtrack through your entertainment system with the need
of playing the game.
Graphics are great.
Not excellent, but great. I think we have been spoiled with
excellent graphics from Xbox over the past couple years, and now we
are being a bit more stringent on new releases. In my opinion, this
game doesn't go above and beyond any game I have played graphically,
but I can say that it has matched my experiences. But attention to
detail is what really wins me over on this game. From the smallest
detail on a computer monitor and keyboard sitting on an office desk
to the labels for the soda on the soda machine. Even the movements
shown by the arms when sliding across a floor or climbing a ladder
are believable and make you feel like it is actually you in the
How It Grades
Is this the "best"
game I have ever played? No. Is this the best game in this genre of
games? Yes. That might have to do with me not getting motion
sickness after 20 minutes of playing. But then again, it might not.
It's a fun game, and it's easy to learn. You are given direction
throughout your entire tour. From helicopters hovering in front of
buildings firing at you, to superhumans (aliens) pulling an Apollo
vs. Rocky match on your body. I would like to have seen a few more
weapons and a couple more fighting moves, but overall, it is well
thought out game play. Multiplayer would make this game a BANG for
the BUCK value. However, the graphics, attention to detail, and the
George Lucas sound wannabe play is enough to prevent me from selling
this at ebgames anytime soon.
In The Box?
1 Breakdown DVD
1 Set Of Instructions
Movie like Sound
Original First Person Feel
Checkpoint Screen Stops
Sporadic interaction with partner
Begs for less cheesy power up
PAL 60 Support (Europe)