EA Games FaceBreaker
A potential heavyweight that went down in the early rounds.
- Fast-paced boxing action has its moments and the character creation tools are surprisingly deep
- Control scheme is iffy, gameplay has issues and the computer AI is uneven
It's fun for a few quick rounds but it lacks the staying power to go the distance.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
I really wanted to like Facebreaker for one reason: it's a boxing game with over-the-top characters, crazy moves and fast-paced action. That sounds like the recipe for a next-gen update to the classic NES game, Mike Tyson's Punchout, which is something I've been dreaming of for a long time. But while Facebreaker has certain qualities that reminded me of Punchout, it just can't go toe to toe with Little Mac when it comes to fun. With control issues, a core gameplay experience that's uneven and flawed, and computer AI that doesn't always fight fair, Facebreaker is a passable boxing game that will probably only appeal to gamers who already have an affinity for boxing. In other words, Facebreaker was a potential heavyweight that went down in the early rounds.
I have to admit that Facebreaker does have a lot of potential. The graphics won't exactly knock your socks off but they're still pretty in a cartoony sort of way and the boxing is fast and furious; I have mild carpal tunnel from sitting in front of computer all day and it definitely flared up after a few rounds with Facebreaker. But as hard as I tried to like the game, I just couldn't get into it that much. There were some issues with the core gameplay that got in the way of my enjoyment.
Technical Knock Out
Take the control scheme, for example, which is simple yet ill-conceived. There's a button for high punch and low punch, a 'Haymaker' button, and a block button; movement is handled by the analog stick. It sounds pretty straight forward but it's sort of a bitch to use. For one, dodging and parrying-two highly important skills-require some tricky finger manipulation and button presses. In order to dodge a low punch, you have to hold the low punch button and let it go right before your opponent's low punch lands; to parry it, you have to do that plus hold down the block button.
But it's ridiculously hard to do because your opponent's blows come at a pretty furious rate. You're almost always guaranteed to take the first few punches of an opponent's attack which also sucks because it makes it nearly impossible to build up the meter that lets you pull off major moves like Groundbreakers and Skybreakers. There's supposedly some ultimate move that lets you knock out your opponent with one blow but I never managed to get my meter built up high enough.
Get Out The Smelling Salts
Also, call me paranoid but the computer AI cheats. I kept feeling like it was reading my moves and reacting with the perfect counter at various points in our matches; it's fine if it does that every now and again but it was pretty consistent in its perfection, which is always aggravating. Computer opponents also have a tendency to dance around the ring. They're constantly dashing around like hopped up squirrels, making it hard to engage in an actual fight unless you can get them up against the ropes.
I'd probably say that during my time with Facebreaker, I felt more frustration than enjoyment. Between the less than perfect controls, the cheap computer A.I. and lacklustre gameplay, I had a hard time settling into a groove. There were moments when I'd hit a nice rhythm and was able to beat the living crap out of my opponent for a few seconds but those were too few and far between. It's a passable arcade boxing simulation that probably has enough content to warrant a purchase if you're really into boxing games-both the online multiplayer and the character creation tools have potential-but I'd suggest you rent it first to make sure that its brand of fast-paced boxing action appeals to you.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Review: TCL C1 series 4K TV
- 2 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 3 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 4 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
- 5 Microsoft Lumia 640 review: Honouring Nokia's legacy
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Asus ROG teases a massive gaming notebook that outperforms Titan X
- Review - Total War: Warhammer
- Total War: Warhammer DirectX 12 performance preview: Radeon reigns supreme
- Microsoft brings Halo 5's map editor to Windows 10 for free, but stays quiet about Halo 5
- What is WESA and what it means for eSports: Counter-Strike got its own version of FIFA
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTTester/Business AnalystWA
- FTFunctional Business AnalystNSW
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (.NET C#/MS ASP .NET) 160526/AP/263Asia
- CCPMO SupportQLD
- CCSenior Business Analyst - NV1VIC
- CCSkilled Sitecore / .NET DeveloperNSW
- CCPHP / Magento E-Commerce DeveloperNSW
- CCSystems Engineer- VMware / Cisco UCSNSW
- FTSystems EngineerACT
- CCSoftware Licensing AnalystVIC
- CCSystems Analyst (HTML/JAVA/Wireless & Mobile) 160525/SA/443Asia
- FTWeb DeveloperSA
- CCSecurity Administrative Support OfficerACT
- CCFront end and Full Stack DevelopersNSW
- CCOracle Payroll Functional ConsultantNSW
- CCData Feeds Developer | Financial Services | C# & SQLNSW
- CCSolutions Architect - SAP HANAQLD
- CCSystem Engineer - Server Migration experienceNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/SQL) 160606/AP/251Asia
- FTAgile CoachNSW
- CCSenior IT Security Specialist-SANS, ISC2, ISACA, ITILNSW
- FTStibo PIM Consultant - Permanent OpportunityNSW
- CCInfrastructure and Cloud Project ManagerVIC
- CCData Center ArchitectNSW