Xbox 360 Review: Facebreaker

Cartoon-style boxing = instant KO

The renaissance of the arcade boxing genre is upon us. Created by the same team that developed the award-winning Fight Night Round 3, this all-new intellectual property offers irreverent fun, immersive gameplay and eye-popping stylized graphics.

In this in-your-face, arcade world full of ego-wielding characters, each boxer comes to life with unique attributes and distinct personal style. Pit Romeo, a Latin lover known for his pelvic thrusts, against Molotov, an oversized Russian demolitions expert with a penchant for fighting dirty, to see how Romeo’s back-handed slaps fare against Molotov’s illegal use of explosives. Add a little personal motivation to your fight by uploading a photo of your face to create a realistic likeness using Photo Game Face, and go toe-to-toe with a real-life friend or foe.

Following the total domination of your rival, mount their head onto the wall of your virtual trophy room where you can relive your conquest over and over again. Every time you clobber someone in the ring, you earn their head for your collection. Go on a head-hunting mission to assemble your own army of pugilists. Then upload a clip of your clash to extend their humiliation.

Laugh out loud as you pummel your opponent with a barrage of blows to the face and watch in satisfaction as your progress is illustrated by real-time facial deformation. With haymakers, face shots and body blows, wait for the right moment to drop a breaker to make your presence known. Let FaceBreaker help you to rediscover the joy of ass-kicking.

  • FaceBreaker—Go from a couple of quick punches to unleashing the ultimate combos – ground, bone, sky and face breakers – and enjoy the satisfaction of deforming your opponents face. Add insult to injury by bringing their head home to display in your Trophy Room.
  • Pick Up and Punch— The core fighting mechanic was developed with three keys in mind; responsive, approachable and layered. String together haymakers, face shots and body blows, and find the right moment to drop a breaker to make your presence known.
  • Photo Game Face—Upload your face – or perhaps that of someone more notorious – and share them on EA SPORTS World.
  • Customized Boxers- Choose a head from the online gallery – or upload one yourself. With 60+ sliders to play with, a full color palette and a closet full of costumes, your possibilities are endless.
  • Online Gallery—Pump up your status and post your biggest beat downs with video upload on EA Sports World or download a created boxer and/or their head to add to your collection.
  • Head Hunting for your Trophy Room—Make that den into a trophy room and mount your opponents heads on your wall to commemorate your victories.
  • 12 New Friends to Call Your Own— If you are struggling to find friends in the real world, 12 outlandish characters await for you to play with and against – each with unique attributes and character-specific special attacks.
  • Brawl for it All– The ultimate extreme boxing tournament. Prove your skills and work your way past every character in the game, earning belts along the way.
  • Couch Royale—The magic of this game is in multiplayer. Pass the controller and the trash talk around the living room as you and your friends pulverize each other. With knockdowns carried over from bout to bout, this is a fair fight regardless of skill level.

    FaceBreaker was meant to be part of the new EA Sports line-up, Peter Moore promised great things…so where did it go so wrong? What we get instead of Fight Night Round 4 is a cartoony boxer that is awful to play with repetitive modes, moves and controls. First off, it’s hard to tell what age group that EA Sports are trying to market the game to. The cartoony visuals may hint at the younger gamer, but the close up cleavage shots make me think otherwise. On top of that there are the controls that will frustrate both age groups.

    The controls are more of a button-basher style than the slow paced nature of Don King’s PrizeFighter, the problem is that the AI can be unrelenting with their punches and they can be impossible to block or evade due to bad placing of the buttons to do so. Once an enemy starts pummelling you, it’s hard to get out of it. On the other hand, the game can be very easy if you master these buttons and then strike back, but that takes a lot of time to get used to, time I doubt younger gamers will spend playing this.

    You can create your own boxer, add a face to it with your Live Vision Camera or download a photo from the game’s website that you uploaded…the problem is that you can’t customise the fighting style of the boxer, instead it just takes on the fighting style of a particular boxer…you can’t customise it like you need to, so there’s little point to this option. There isn’t any variety to fights either; it’s just a case of choosing a boxer and fighting the rest. There are no differences apart from the fighting styles of each boxer; the lack of anything else to do is shocking and a rip-off for a game that costs £30-40, I just can’t believe the lack of content here.

    You don’t even need to win fights to unlock content like costumes, characters and so on. There’s little consequence to losing fights, so that fairs a little better for the younger gamer…but it still seems a little cheap. The irony is that the visuals are perhaps the only good thing that FaceBreaker has to offer, the boxers are all stereotypical and over the top, the voice-acting can be irritating at times.

    The Verdict

    FaceBreaker had a chance to overtake Fight Night as the new Boxing Game to get; instead it becomes frustrating quickly with a lack of modes, unforgiving AI and bad controls. If you think you may like it, try the demo on Marketplace and then decide if you really want to pick it up…at your peril.