Being the purveyor of some of the finest beat-em-ups around, it's not difficult to see why Namco has seen fit to incorporate a hefty amount of hand-to-hand combat into this latest first-person adventure. Not what you'd expect to be the most obvious of features in a FPS (mainly due to the fact that fist-fighting has more often than not been extremely frustrating and ineffective in similar past titles) Breakdown nevertheless combines this concept with some of the best elements of traditional shooters to make for quite a unique experience.
In the game you assume the role of Derrick Cole, a US soldier badly wounded in combat and brought back from the brink of death as a result of 'cyborg' experiments. The story sees you wake up in the Carter Research Centre - a US facility located in Yokohama, Japan - unable to remember your past and soon finding yourself coming under attack from US soldiers. After you're unexpectedly saved by the obligatory chick, Alex Henderson, it's then obvious that you have no choice but to escape from the research centre and attempt to unravel the sinister plot in which you've become entwined.
As you work your way through the adventure, you must fight for survival against a determined military faction and a legion of seemingly invincible super-human warriors. You start out with just a simple roster of punches and kicks but, along the way, the story sees you learning new techniques that allow for the development of a variety of combos, throws and special attacks. And let's not forget about the weapons as, within not much time at all, you soon find yourself equipped with a comforting arsenal of guns, grenades and rocket launchers.
Breakdown isn't just straight-up action throughout either - along the way you're also faced with numerous challenging puzzles, as well as some surreal dream sequences, advanced AI, and a host of expansive environments that you need to explore.