Facebreaker has two things going for it, one of them is a pretty deep customization for the male boxers and the other is the ability to upload photographs, or scan your face using the Xbox Live Vision camera. Female boxers are given the short end of the stick and thereís a smattering of options for you to design a decent looking female character.
You can share your creations online and thereís already a growing list of celebrities from George Bush to Arnold Swarznegger.
The rest is a big pile of badly coded cat-vomit. Seriously, this is the kind of game that deserves to be put on a pedestal, the pedestal loaded into an incinerator and the whole thing melted down. I canít begin to describe the true abomination that Facebreaker is, but Iím going to give it a go as I step into the ring with one of the worst boxing games ever to grace any format. This game has the most god-awful controls and itís a button-masher, not a good button-masher either.
Thereís punches and a throw, these are all pretty much standard and each fighter has some kind of signature move, the only problem is that since the AI is cheap it doesnít really matter much since youíll just be mashing buttons to survive. Knock down your opponent over three rounds and you win, then thereís overdrive mode which is a sudden death mode when no oneís won for three rounds and you get to level the playing field against a cheating AI or a human player who you might have dominated for the last three rounds.
I can tell you, losing in those kinds of situations annoys the hell out of me.
The AI has a firm favourite tactic that it will throw in your face, itíll back you into a corner on those ropes and break you down until youíre mewling on the floor and lying in a pool of your own blood. You can mash those buttons until youíre blue in the face but against such cheating AI, youíre pretty much boned. Then you have to contend with the over the top finishing move, known affectionately as the Facebreaker.
You earn one of these brutal finishers by connecting punches, filling a meter, delivering a haymaker and then pressing a button to mash your opponents face into pulp. Thereís something oddly satisfying about it however and you might forgive the game if it wasnít so badly designed as to be no fun at all. Thatís right, Facebreaker is zero fun especially when the AI pulls these cheap-ass moves and youíre obliterated in a few seconds when you were pretty much dominating the fight.
Thereís always a human player online, I hear you say!
Yes youíre right, except for one thing. The game is crud online, its rubbish, you might be able to play a league mode but against a human player with the best connection youíre boned. No amount of button mashing will save you if the guy (or gal) youíre battling has a superb link to Xbox Live. Its advantage low ping bastard Iím afraid.
The game is light on anything fun, there are several gameplay modes availableÖnoÖwait there arenít, thereís a tiny handful. Like the amazing (not) Quick Fight (boring) and Brawl for it All which is essentially a ladder-based battle where you have to win five belts. With the cheap-ass AI this is a real slog.
Couch Royale mode interested me for a moment, until I realised youíre just collecting trophy heads in a round-robin style tournament (no, you donít collect the heads, just trophies of them, so put down the pen and paper or stop writing angry emails to Jack Thompson asking for the game to be bannedÖno actually, write away, since the game deserves it!)
Facebreaker looks decent enough though, itís good a good mix of sounds, grunts, groans, smacks and cracks. However, you can have the nicest graphics, the most awesome sound and the best voice acting in the world, marry that with trite, cheating AI, utterly abysmal controls and lack-lustre gameplay modes and you might as well be tying the knot with the huge fat chick that no one would ever marry even if they were a mental patient.
I seriously couldnít give this game more than a short amount of time to play, it alternated between giggles of amusement as the Facebreaker landed to feelings of repressed anger that made me want to send the 360 and controller into high orbit, either that or take the disc out of the machine and snap it into exactly eight separate pieces, then post each piece to a separate country with strict instructions that theyíre never to be combined in the same place unless the world wishes to suffer a great disaster.
In short, if you canít be bothered reading and skipped to the end.
Donít buy it, donít rent it, just forget it even existed. Itís an exercise in pointless button-mashing brawling that fails in every single way to engage you as a player.