Facebreaker


by Angela Simpson
author awarded score: 60/100

Facebreaker Review
Developer: Electronic Arts
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Format Reviewed: Playstation 3
Reviewed by: Angela Simpson

Knocking the stuffing out of each other may not sound like fun in reality, but it should be fun virtually. This is particularly true when the game involved is a brand new IP said to use a "fresh" approach and it happens to be part of the EA Sports branding. All signs pre-launch pointed to a fun, innovative, cartoon styled fight fest, so what went wrong?

Let's not beat around the boxing ring, FaceBreaker is not a great game. You could leave this review now being fully informed, or stick around to find out why. First up there's the 'enemy' AI, which seems to know your move and counteract it at almost every opportunity leading to what can only be termed utter frustration. The control method too lacks any sort of depth given it is essentially a two move pony. Now that isn't to say a simplistic control method can't be fun, lord knows some games take their combos and moves to every button and then some which can also be annoying, but simplicity at the very least should work in favor of the player and not the CPU.

FaceBreaker features a training level, tournaments, character creation (where you can use the Xbox Live Camera or the PlayStation Eye to make your own boxer), 'celebrity' fighters, multi-player on and offline and a Trophy area. Some of these touches are nice, but sadly it's just not enough to counteract what is essentially frustrating gameplay based on a shonky control methodology.

There are a few things right with FaceBreaker; for one, it doesn't take itself seriously in the graphics and character department. Character models are insane and fairly well rendered in cartoon style. The soundtrack too has some great 'trax' included that would have been great to listen to if only the game had been better. Playability wise it is actually slightly more fun to play FaceBreaker in two player mode, given this can even the playing field and remove some of the opponent AI frustration. The 'facial deformation' that occurs as you pummel your opponent (when you actually can) is also pretty amusing. Environments are cool too, with some nice arenas.

From a female point of view, there are some female characters in FaceBreaker, including the insane Kuriko and the black clad Sparrow. Add to this the ability to create your own boxer and your options are endless. Sadly this title does feature those ridiculous 'bikini girls' that hold up round cards and it seems the developer thought it would be amusing to poke fun by making them as brainless and big breasted as possible… yawn.

What could have been…
FaceBreaker could have been great, why you can almost smell it! It has all the elements there, the quirky characters, over the top pummeling, facial deformation, insane FaceBreaker moves, sweet soundtrack and cool customization options. It is such a shame FaceBreaker gets KO'd by its own shoddy control mechanic and frustrating unbalanced AI.

Review courtesy of our friends at LesbianGamers