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Critic Reviews 70% add missing review

Game Over Online (89 out of 100)

There are a few other small things I could mention, like the lack of a quick-save feature or Derrick's near-Sam-Fisher-esque levels of inaccuracy with a pistol, but really, they'd just be nit-picking. Breakdown, when you first play it, feels more like a storytelling experiment than an actual game. Once you get into it, you'll find a flawed, but quite playable shooter/brawler underneath it all. It's not going to be to everyone's taste--it's a little shallow for the FPS players, and its sheer linearity may put off the adventure gamers--but Breakdown represents a solid step forward for what a video game is capable of. If nothing else, it's definitely an attempt to do something new, and that alone is worthy of support.

Mar 23rd, 2004 · Xbox · read review

TalkXbox (88 out of 100)

All in all, this is a very good game that I would recommend to anyone who wants a good action title. At first the story seems simple, save the world by uncovering a mystery, but after you engross yourself, which is easy to do, you soon realize it’s much more refined than that. The game is fun and entertaining, which is what the developers aim to give the gamers. I would say they did a pretty damn good job of that here.

Mar 28th, 2004 · Xbox · read review

MS Xbox World (8.5 out of 10)

Throw in four difficulties, multiple branches in the storyline, two different endings, extra content in the form concept art, a full soundtrack, and Breakdown’s original preview trailer, and you have the makings for one hell of a great game. Buy this game, even if you have to sell three to get the cash for it. Breakdown sets itself up for a great sequel with one of the endings, and you’ll want to stay fresh on the storyline when Namco makes this Game of the Year nominee even better.

Oct 28th, 2002 · Xbox · read review

Game XC (GXC) (8.5 out of 10)

Breakdown has its fair share of problems and then some, but the excellent sci-fi story brings you into a new world where you can’t wait to see what happens next. Namco had a lot of great ideas but most did not get put into play properly, which kept this game shy of being an excellent game. Breakdown’s a blast to play and will keep you glued to your seat, but for how long after you’ve beaten the game?

2004 · Xbox · read review

Game Chronicles (8.3 out of 10)

Despite some obvious flaws, Breakdown has probably had the single biggest impact on my perception of gaming since the original Half-Life. It’s not the prettiest game on the Xbox and there is nothing really new or innovative in the core gameplay design, but the unique virtual perspective, rewarding combat system, and a gripping storyline worthy of an Outer Limits episode makes this a game that every Xbox owner should at least play if not own.

Apr 1st, 2004 · Xbox · read review

Xbox World Australia (XWA) (81 out of 100)

Even if you only own Breakdown for a short period of time or rent it, its quality and innovation in a well-tested genre will surprise you. Breakdown isn't perfect, is repetitive in places, not all that pretty and it's at times damn hard, but if you can make it through the first 10 hours you will not be disappointed as it's well worth the effort.

Jun 22nd, 2004 · Xbox · read review

VGPub (8.1 out of 10)

Would I recommend Breakdown to you? Sure, if you are up for a challenge and don?t balk at having to try a level multiple times to advance. The story is very cool and definitely is a reason to keep playing the game, but could have been fleshed out a little more. Overall I feel that this game is worth a rental at least, and for those who are into a challenge and a change from the standard first person shooters, then I recommend this to you.

2004 · Xbox · read review

GamePro (US) (4 out of 5)

Save a few innovative offerings, first-person titles rarely venture outside the safe boundaries of a straight weapon-based shooter. Breakdown is an interesting attempt to add depth to the first-person perspective with weapons, fighting, platform hopping, magic, and a lengthy narrative, but it?s frequently undone by clunky interface issues and other nagging details.

Mar 25th, 2004 · Xbox · read review

Kombo.com (8 out of 10)

This is a game that innovates, which is somewhat rare these days. It seems like more and more sequels are coming out on each system, but only a few new innovative titles ever really make it to the shelves. Breakdown is one of those few, and like all first-of-its-kinds, it has problems that can be worked out by the time it makes its way to the shelf. However, the few problems aside, this is a very solid title that is worth at least a rental.

Jun 2nd, 2004 · Xbox · read review

DreamStation.cc (8 out of 10)

Breakdown is a nice change of pace to the FPS with a great soundtrack and good graphics. The fighting system works well for this type of game. You will need to get use to the look of the game, and learn a number of attacks after about 8–10 hours of gameplay. Backgrounds look the same, but this is a minor thing. Playing Breakdown is more like playing a movie than a game.

Apr 13th, 2004 · Xbox · read review

GameSpot (7.6 out of 10)

Breakdown is unable to bear the weight of its own innovation, so it's really just a pretty good action game that you can't help but feel could have been so much more. When you hear the words "first-person action game," you can most likely quickly amass a pretty clear picture of what to expect from said game. This is because for years upon years now, the category of first-person action titles has managed to survive using the same core ideas and gameplay mechanics over and over and over again. Sure, innovations pop up here and there, but it's a real rarity when you see or hear of anyone really setting out to do something truly original with the concept. Namco's latest first-person action title, Breakdown, is of this rare breed.

Mar 16th, 2004 · Xbox · read review

GameZone (7.5 out of 10)

If you‘re an old-school gamers--such as myself--you might recall a side-scrolling first-person arcade brawler called The Super Spy that was not only innovative but pretty fun as well. While the demand for first-person fighting games took a backseat to the much loved first-person shooter, gamers couldn’t help but cheer the news that Namco has decided to revive a brawling game that is seen through the character’s eyes. Breakdown is here to offer gamers something completely different--and there’s definitely nothing wrong with something different.

Mar 18th, 2004 · Xbox · read review

Extreme Gamer (7.5 out of 10)

Breakdown is hard game to judge, and if you're reading reviews on the game you will find that some will love this game while others hate. It's just not right hating a game which tries so hard to do something fresh. Even with its flaws the Breakdown is better then the average game. Take the time with this gem from Namco and decide for yourself. How does it feel to be Derrick Cole?

Nov 29th, 2004 · Xbox · read review

MS Xbox World (7.5 out of 10)

Breakdown is definitely an interesting game and succeeds to a degree. However the overall look of the game lets it down as does the repetitive feeling you get from some of the more confined areas of the game. As an ambitious title that successfully combines shooting and fighting in first person Breakdown is definitely one to check out if you are looking for something different. The story telling is of a high standard and the through the eyes view is paramount to its effectiveness. A solid title well worth a look.

Jun 28th, 2004 · Xbox · read review

Deeko (7.5 out of 10)

It's hard to dislike Breakdown. Though it really does have a number of shortcomings, the game does manage to break the mold in many respects. I will admit that I found some of the details within the game a bit TOO detailed for my tastes (especially the consumption of food), but it does faithfully create an atmosphere that makes you really feel like you're there. In many ways, it is a groundbreaking title and is certainly deserving of praise for attempting to do something new, however it fails to be as good as it could have been, resulting in a game that has many fantastic parts that never form a unified whole. The combat system needs work, the level designs really need to be more varied and the immersion needs to be toned down a tad bit (though certainly not in combat situations). In the end, what you're left with is a very good title, but one that never fully realizes its full potential.

2004 · Xbox · read review

4Players.de (74 out of 100)

Die Grundidee von Breakdown ist so einfach wie genial: viel nĂ€her kann man dem Begriff First-Person nicht kommen. Und genau dieses ungewöhnliche Feature wird die Fans neben der interessanten und spannend erzĂ€hlten Story bei der Stange halten und ĂŒber diverse Designfehler hinweg sehen lassen: Wieso kann ich keine Tritte nach hinten austeilen? Warum ist die KI einfach nur doof? Und weshalb zum Teufel muss ich einen Großteil der Spielzeit durch eintönige BĂŒrogĂ€nge laufen, wenn in ein paar Lichtblicken gezeigt wird, was die Grafiker von Namco drauf haben? Doch so sehr ich Breakdown wegen seiner offensichtlichen MĂ€ngel hassen gelernt habe, so wenig konnte ich mich davon losreißen. Denn das Mittendrin-GefĂŒhl (Orientierungsschwierigkeiten inklusive), das Breakdown mit seinem etwas zu kleinen Sichtfeld erzeugt, ist ein erfrischend neuer Ansatz. Wenn jetzt auch noch das Design ausgefeilter wĂ€re, hĂ€tte sich Breakdown durchaus eine Wertung jenseit der 8X Prozent sichern können.

Jul 8th, 2004 · Xbox · read review

contactmusic.com (7 out of 10)

Overall Breakdown isn't breaking out of the mold. If you have played and completed all the classic first person shooters I don't think there is going to be much here for you to enjoy. On the other hand, if you are new to the genre and are looking to buy a first person title, Breakdown offers quite a well rounded package that may tempt you to wander around some more derelict labs looking for aliens to frag.

Jun 3rd, 2004 · Xbox · read review

Gamesmania.de (68 out of 100)

Schade, Namco, aber "anders" ist nicht unbedingt "besser": In Breakdown stecken einige gute Ideen, doch verschiedene SchwĂ€chen demolieren unnötig den Spielspaß. So innovativ die 100%ige Ego-Perspektive auf dem Papier ist, so undurchdacht wirkt sie an vielen Stellen. Das betrifft sowohl die immer gleichen Animationen als auch die ungenaue Steuerung im Nahkampf - The Chronicles of Riddick löst das deutlich besser. Addieren wir die enttĂ€uschende Story sowie eine unterdurchschnittliche Grafik hinzu, so ist Breakdown ein insgesamt mittelmĂ€ĂŸiges Spiel, das lediglich harten Genre-Fans auf der Suche nach etwas gĂ€nzlich anderem zu empfehlen ist.

Jul 15th, 2004 · Xbox · read review

IGN (6.7 out of 10)

Don't you hate it when a movie trailer is ten times better than the movie? There's nothing worse than being hyped for a flick four months in advance only for the finished product to be a poorly assembled mess. Namco's Breakdown is the case of a video games to totally astound with its trailer (which got much love at Microsoft's E3 2003 press conference) only to come up very short with the finished product.

Mar 16th, 2004 · Xbox · read review

XBox Front (65 out of 100)

Die Idee ein Spiel aus der Ego-Perspektive zu spielen, ist nicht neu. Jedoch komplett in die Ich-Sicht zu schalten und dem Spieler das GefĂŒhl geben zu wollen, direkt im Körper des Protagonisten zu stecken, versucht Namco nun mit seinem aktuellen Action-Titel "Breakdown" zu verwirklichen.

Jan 10th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

X-Power (6 out of 10)

Het is misschien wel typerend dat net een Japanse ontwikkelaar nieuwe ideeën implementeert in een genre dat uitsluitend door Westerse ontwikkelaars wordt gedomineerd. De moed die Namco in Breakdown etaleert door een "echte" first person view te gebruiken en door de focus van de gameplay te leggen op hand-to-hand combat verdient respect. Jammer genoeg is de uitvoering ervan niet geslaagd. Hierdoor bevat het spel veel te veel frustrerende momenten. In die mate zelfs dat je als gamer eens te meer het gevoel krijgt om het bijltje er gewoon bij neer te leggen. Breakdown bevat een schitterend verhaal en dat is nog enigszins de redding van het spel. De grafieken zijn matig en bijwijlen eentonig. Maar Namco zet hier ongetwijfeld een standaard neer voor toekomstige FPS'ers. Hopelijk neemt een ander bedrijf (of misschien Namco zelf wel) deze ideeën over en slagen ze erin dit te onderbouwen met een zeer degelijke gameplay. Huren is ons advies.

Aug 14th, 2004 · Xbox · read review

Thunderbolt Games (6 out of 10)

So now we come to the million dollar question: do I recommend Breakdown? This is a very though one to answer. On one hand, the game is seriously flawed at a fundamental level and it is hard for me to urge others into shelling out money for such a faulty game. But, on the other hand, the story is simply brilliant and should be experienced by anyone who owns an Xbox. I suppose I’ll just leave it up to you. If you think you can look past the fighting issues and other problems that I have mentioned above, then go ahead and check it out. But, if you are easily frustrated when a game employs cheap methods at boosting the difficulty, then steer very far away from Breakdown.

Mar 28th, 2004 · Xbox · read review

GameSpy ( )

Breakdown is a weird, and on occasion a wonderful twist on the heavily saturated first-person shooter genre. Namco offers Xbox gamers the chance to take on the role of Derrick Cole (his name takes me right back to Peter Jackson's excellent splatter-fest, Bad Taste!) who's suffering from a bad case of amnesia and an even worse case of inexplicable "why-the-hell-are-my-veins-glowing-yellow" type nonsense. Taking a vast number of cues from the likes of Half-Life, Trespasser, and a whole host of other FPS/adventure games, Breakdown has its good points and its bad.

Mar 19th, 2004 · Xbox · read review

Eurogamer.net (UK) (5 out of 10)

There's something about the first-person shooter genre that Japanese developers just don't get. After 12 solid years of running and gunning, you would struggle to count the number of FPSs originating from this celebrated centre of gaming creativity on the fingers of one hand. Let's think: Outtrigger... no, Maken X doesn't count, and...um, Breakdown. It's a fascinating situation, and it's almost as if they've been shielded from it - instead content to make any number of freakishly bizarre niche titles to satisfy their wanton lust for dating games or Let's Make A Horse Riding Go-Go Trial Simulator Yay 11.

Jun 22nd, 2004 · Xbox · read review

Games TM (5 out of 10)

If only Namco had put a bit more variation into the actual content of the game instead of placing all the emphasis on the innovative interface, this might have been more than just a good starting point of the future.

Jun 17th, 2004 · Xbox · read review

Game Revolution (D+)

And unfortunately, that's just about all Breakdown has going for it: a genuinely good sci-fi story. But even that gets overpowered by numerous gameplay flaws, from the unconvincing AI and crummy fragging to the boring environments and irritating pacing. Like Kafka's cockroach, Derrick Cole should have just stayed in bed.

Jun 6th, 2004 · Xbox · read review

Bordersdown (3 out of 10)

Ultimately Breakdown is a fairly awful experience with just a literal handful of inspired moments, and since these moments are so heavily scripted, you are better off just watching videos of it instead. Yet, Namco have not wasted their efforts with Breakdown and ultimately we can only hope that other developers (or Namco themselves) are able to salvage the positive aspects and carefully integrate it into a future title.

2004 · Xbox · read review

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Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Wizo, nyccrg, Patrick Bregger, Alsy, Yearman, Cantillon, Tim Janssen, Alaka, Spenot.