Breakdown starts cinematically, which will make you think you are about
to watch the next blockbuster action movie. You basically play as an amnesiac
that wakes up in some sort of testing facility with no recollection of
why he’s there, or who the people are who are asking him so many questions.
A bright light shines over you (Derrick) as a person appears, looking
like a doctor and you are in some sort of operating room. With the basic
tutorial most games are coming with now ending armed soldiers quickly
appear and your partner, Alex, comes in to save you. I quickly realize
the story behind Breakdown is a mystery. It’s a game that gives you very
little back-story in order for the player to watch it unfold right before
What makes Breakdown different from other first person shooters is that
your character is fully drawn. You will see your arms as you punch; it’s
not just the standard hand out holding a gun or doing a judo chop action.
You also will see your reflection in mirrors at times and that will probably
play a role in the story line as you progress through the game. Keeping
in the theme of its unique first person shooter theme, there aren’t
a handful of different guns you can use to shoot up your enemy but there
is a variety of different punch and kicking options you able to do.
Namco tries to break stereotypes of first person games by trying to
bring you more into the game. When “Derrick” gets hit in the
head, your view will pop back and then goes out of focus for a few seconds,
making it more realistic although this can be very frustrating when two
enemies are hitting you, but hey that’s more real-life right? The
enemies in the beginning have an AI that is not the greatest I’ve
seen but be sure you stick with your guns, hand-to-hand doesn’t
cut it if your trying to get past them.
Don’t get frustrated, although you will go through most the levels
feeling like a test mouse in a laboratory of game designers as your going
through hallways after hallways searching for the open door. I began to
think, “I thought I was playing a FPS, not a cat and mouse game.”
Something that seemed to be a very obvious fault is how you cannot damage
any of the environments, which takes away from the realistic feel. You
begin to see things like a computer that you want to kick in, damage,
or at least deface; go ahead and try but it wont change anything. In this
day and age of video games, this seems to be something very unusual, as
environments are becoming more and more interactive. Among this seemingly
untouchable environment are juice machines located throughout the levels
that you can, surprisingly, put in money and receive a juice that helps
to replenish some of your health. So don’t forget to grab a drink
when you can. Why doesn’t he just punch in these machines instead of paying?
I know that’s what I want to do but Derrick must be a gentleman.
When you start out with such a great introduction you are expect up to
par graphics. You are quickly disappointed as you start playing and you
notice how “boxy” and non-textured things are. There seems
to be a light at the end of the tunnel as the graphics get better at some
points, like when you pass the cat or when your vision gets distorted
and you see yourself all “boney”.
Not many complaints in this department as it includes a nice array of
music and sound effects that make you feel get more “into”
the game. The enemy dialogue is some of the best for when you sneak up
on some of them they shout out ‘SHIT’. Which is always great when you
are playing videogames.
It may seem complicated at first but after a few hours of playing you
will soon have all the controls down pat as you learn you how to quickly
picking up ammo and reloading to auto aiming and killing the enemy.