Breakdown Xbox

  • Publisher: Namco
  • Release Date: Mar 16, 2004

Mixed or average reviews - based on 62 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 62
  2. Negative: 4 out of 62
Buy On
  1. An admirable but stilted tilt on the age-old FPS genre. It attempts to do so many things and, perhaps purely through the power of statistics, actually nails a few.
  2. If nothing more than an interesting footnote in the evolution of gaming ideas, it would be a real shame to let this game fade into obscurity without at least coming to your own conclusion.
  3. Fans of run 'n' gun games and arcade-fighting titles likely will find that Breakdown is a uniquely enjoyable -- though visually dizzying -- single-player tale.
  4. The learning curve jumps due to the confusion the player feels while trying to get a hold of the camera and the involved combo system turn into a button masher in frenzied fights. Still, the title is worth a look.
  5. Breakdown was meant for a rental from start to finish, assuming you have a strong stomach to handle the first-person camera. Stick with the game and it can offer plenty of satisfying fun to accompany the initial frustration.
  6. On the one side, you have a horrid control scheme that forces combat to be a burden rather than a joy and makes your interaction with the environment slow and arduous. On the other side, you have one of the best presentations in any first-person shooter game ever with an uncanny immersion factor and a nicely directed story to tell.
  7. One huge graphical glitch in the game is that Derrick's appendages seem to penetrate enemy corpses when he's picking up items from them. All of the sudden parts of his hand seem to vanish, go through the enemy or both.
  8. The overuse of bland office building environments and a steep difficulty curve mar an otherwise captivating storyline and novel use of the first-person perspective.
  9. It’s a good game with tremendous ambition that often drags you out of an immersive experience and throws your focus on a few, flawed mechanisms of gameplay.
  10. Weekly Famitsu
    7 / 7 / 7 / 6 - 27 [Vol 798; 30 Jan 2004]
  11. 67
    From mindless AI to boring and generic level-design, Breakdown plays out more like a bad Schwarzenegger flick (repetitive, unfunny, and without soul) than a work of staggering genius. Yet still, this is one of those bad games I couldn't help but enjoy, even as I cursed its very existence.
  12. It doesn’t succeed in making you feel like you are a part of the game’s world, but rather that you are involved in a tedious and repetitive exercise over which you have very shaky control.
  13. The hand-to-hand combat is actually quite fun to use, which more than makes up for the mediocre gunplay you have to use early on.
  14. Cheat Code Central
    Some aspects of the game could have been tightened up such as the storyline and the combat mechanics but I would equate this game with a trip to the country. It's a little laid back but offers you plenty of breathing room.
  15. While getting into a one-on-one fistfight was often quite cool, getting trapped by a horde of mindless drones was quite the opposite, making the game extremely frustrating and even cheap at times.
  16. 60
    Fighting multiple opponents is so difficult, gamers lacking dedication will feel like washed-out students under a demanding sensei. The story line may be pop-culture sci-fi, but the gameplay is hard-core.
  17. While the story is entertaining, it never takes off and soars the way it could have. It's a very generic shooter with a gimmick, but that gimmick's cool enough to last you to the end.
  18. It's never a good sign when adjectives such as linear, bland and dull spring to mind after a mere 2 hours behind the pad, but that's exactly what happens here. [JPN Import]
  19. 55
    If you're a fan of the genre, then you'll find plenty to get your teeth into, but after several hours even the most ardent fan will be forced to concede that this is by no means an original, immersive or hugely fun first-person shooter. Starts well - fades - then crumbles, if you'll pardon the pun.
  20. Enormous potential. However, those moments where you feel justice being done are few, and a brave mess is still, after all, a mess. [Apr 2004, p.104]
  21. For what is one of the few Xbox-only Japanese titles, you'd expect much more than almost featureless corridors, and only the occasional glimpses of artistic talent from Namco's team.
  22. games(TM)
    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 for the future. [July 2004, p.117]
  23. The first-person action/adventure title does a decent job of fist fights and immersing the player in a mysterious plot. But some of the first person aspects will leave you as frustrated as the protagonist.

Awards & Rankings

#38 Most Discussed Xbox Game of 2004
#27 Most Shared Xbox Game of 2004
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Sep 21, 2014
    One of the best games I've ever played. I'm probably biased because of nostalgia and having played it when I was 14. The story is so deep andOne of the best games I've ever played. I'm probably biased because of nostalgia and having played it when I was 14. The story is so deep and confusing which I loved. Threw in some unexpected plot twists that didn't feel cliche at all to me even now as a somewhat jaded adult when it comes to cliches. Looking back the fighting controls were a bit choppy and could really screw you over on the hardest mode. The graphics were top notch for the time it came out and I think still hold up fairly decently, but they could have done a little more interesting level designs. Some of them were cool, but there was a lot of sameness. They set it up for a sequel though and that sequel never came! I try to look at the fact the they never went ahead with a sequel as a good thing because at least this way there is no chance of the game being tarnished for me. It will forever remain a classic in my eyes. Even though it has some flaws. I'm giving it a 10 because it holds a special place in my gaming memories. Full Review »
  2. Jul 29, 2014
    Honestly one of the greatest experiences I've had. Yes the game has many faults but this game so much innovation during its time. It's hadHonestly one of the greatest experiences I've had. Yes the game has many faults but this game so much innovation during its time. It's had that it was extremely underrated title. Would have loved to have seen a sequel to this franchise. The story alone had me glued to my old CRT TV for HOURS! Man do I miss this game I need to buy an Xbox now XD Full Review »
  3. Sep 22, 2013
    The word "innovative" has lost its meaning over the years because quality in games is judged by subjective elements like "graphics," "sound,"The word "innovative" has lost its meaning over the years because quality in games is judged by subjective elements like "graphics," "sound," and "replay value." But Breakdown is a masterpiece for all the right reasons, and in the areas where it needs work, you can't blame it because it's already doing so much at once. For the gamer who doesn't see quality in Breakdown's well-designed and unique enemies, its set-piece moments that radically change level structure and narrative flow, the unique real-time first-person fighting mechanics, the super powers (like the ability to slow time to a crawl, jump incredibly high, and sweep rooms with sonic blasts), or the intricately designed time-travel plot, at least play the game for the subjective reasons reviewers themselves present to you as incentive to play: Breakdown was one of the first of its kind to utilize motion capture, and indeed it was used to great effect with each and every character; the game is also very difficult, even on the ''easiest'' setting (which seems to garner attention these days, since most games are simply too easy, which holds the player back from using everything at his/her disposal); lastly, it actually has a soundtrack that's heart-pounding, eerie, and anticipant at all the right moments. There is no game in existence that is more deserving of a sequel than Breakdown; if it got the recognition it deserves, the result would be a truly fulfilling franchise. Full Review »