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Facebreaker PS3 Demo Impressions

What do I know about Facebreaker?

  1. It’s a brand new boxing IP from Electronic Arts Sports division.
  2. It’ll have an arcadey feel.
  3. It has a wacky art style.

That’s it. This gives me an opportunity to go through the newly released PSN demo with a clean slate. The videos of it showed off something different from the norm and I commend it for that. But, as we all know, looks aren’t everything. So let’s see if this Facebreaker is worth going toe to toe with.

First off, let’s see what we get for downloading the 900+ MB demo. We get three playable characters and two pre-made custom characters including the great Peter Moore and Kim Kardashian, stylist, TV personality and all around hotness. Kim’s Facebreaker rendition doesn’t quite do her justice, though. Despite the restrictive 90 second time limit, I did manage to get a feel for the game.

The mechanics themselves were simple enough. High punch, low punch, throw, block, taunt and a ‘special’ button — not too complicated at all. So to win, you simply mash buttons until the opponent topples over or submits to a Facebreaking opportunity. You can mix things up with dodging and parrying, but the shallow nature of the game does wear thin rather quickly. By the third 90 second match, I had my fill of Facebreaker.

On the plus side, I liked the stylistically designed character models. They reeked of personality and it was quite easy to gauge the speed and power of each character through their appearance. From a technical perspective, the game was running smoothly, however the texture work wasn’t exactly eye catching. I wonder if the same could be said about the Xbox 360 version. Lastly, the rumble response was worth noting – honestly, it was quite good!

That’s Facebreaker, ladies and gentlemen. As much as I enjoyed the over-the-top action and the face deformation, I just can’t justify paying over $39.99 CAD for a button masher like this. You’d think playing against a human opponent would result in a battle of wits and strategy, but it quickly boils down to a mess of frantically thrown punches. Perhaps there are those out there who can find appreciation in Facebreaker’s highly customizable and simple fun, but for the rest of us, we’ll patiently wait for Electronic Art’s other boxing offering, Fight Night Round 4.

Facebreaker debuts on September 5th, 2008 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii. Visit the official site for more details.

Thanks to Electronic Arts for the screenshot.

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