Review by JT_Grogan

Reviewed: 05/18/09

A lot of hype, but it's still EA...

Going into this game I was expecting something decent. Not great, but decent. While Facebreaker did get a lot of hype before release, I never got my hopes too high, seeing as how it was being developed by EA. What I got was not decent. It wasn't even playable. But once again, because EA made the game, I am somehow not surprised.

Hold still for a second...

One of the first things I noticed while playing Facebreaker is that the controls are completely unresponsive. While movement with the control stick responds decently, nothing else does. The attack commands all seem to have at least a second delay from the time the button is pushed to the time the attack animation commences. One second might not seem like a big deal to most people but veterans of fighting games know all too well that one second can change a match. This is an especially big problem considering the actions of the AI. This is because there is no way of telling when an opponent is about to attack until they actually do. The only warning you get as to when you should block is when the AI begins their attack animation. The attacks in this game are lightning fast, leaving you less than a second to comprehend an attack and take action to block it. Of course, with about a second delay on the controls, you won't even think about blocking an attack before it knocks you on your ass. Of course, the AI can block every attack you throw at them without breaking a sweat. Because you'll never be able to block or dodge attacks, you're never going to be able to fill up your combo bar, meaning that you'll never break a face during your time with this game.

Hey, let up on the new guy for a second...

Another thing that this game does wrong is difficulty. Essentially there are two difficulty settings: Turn me into a bloody mess and Turn me into a bloodier mess. At first the game seems to make up for the control lag with a difficulty proportional to a game with such bad lag. Of course, this was in the training match. While the training match isn't too bad, the first real fight of the game is going to destroy anybody who isn't ready for it, due in large part to the fact that the tutorial doesn't teach you all of the moves that you are going to need to beat the game. The learning curve on this game is so steep it's essentially a learning right angle. While getting up to and beating the first boss is possible, it's also very painful. You're going to have to play the same two fights leading up to him over and over and over before you can finally reach the fat ninja and even then if you lose to him even once you have to go back and fight the person before him again in order to play your rematch. I never even reached the second boss because I kept getting my face broken (literally) by the first one because remember, you can't block in time not to get hit. Basically the bosses in this game are all combinations of Tyson, Ali, and Brock Lesnar with the speed of Usain Bolt.

Online play is a joke...a really bad joke...

I say that the online play is a joke because that's exactly what it is. Button lag still plagues the game. Add to that the online lag that all fighting games have and online play basically becomes a game of "Who ever presses the attack button first wins." The only good online feature, and in fact in the game, is the ability to customize a boxer to look exactly like you. Or whatever else you can imagine up. You can then upload it to the EA servers for other people to view and download for their own use. Of course, not surprisingly, the last time I checked the only custom boxers I saw were about 400,000 Heath Ledger Joker clones. But this was about the only good feature I found in Facebreaker.

Play at your own risk...

In my professional opinion this game is not worth buying, renting, borrowing from a friend, or even taking it from someone who wants you to have it for free. Having laggy controls, terrible online play, and a difficulty on par only with a few Japanese games and achieving total spiritual enlightenment. The game is utter and complete garbage. However, as I stated earlier, I'm not the least bit surprised by this, as it was developed by EA. It's just another evil creation from the EA cave of eternal horrors, and I personally believe that anybody who knows anything about EA's past performance will agree with me without having ever played the game.

Rating: 1

Product Release: FaceBreaker (US, 09/05/08)

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