One of the best and worst games to come out of the first Xbox's short-lived Japanese support, this beat-'em-up/shooter was obsessed with first-person immersion - from throwing up in a toilet bowl to dizzying roundhouse kicks to making jumping puzzles near-impossible.
A brilliant mess, all of Breakdown's memorable ideas couldn't overcome its control failings, and only determined (or perhaps demented) players would see it through to the final showdown. If only the developer was given the chance to learn from its mistakes, console FPSes might be a lot more interesting.
Above: Breakdown's set-pieces are like no other, such as when your sidekick Alex throws you both off an exploding building
Giants: Citizen Kabuto
PS2, PC (2000, 2001)
There're a lot of third-person shooters and there are some that are set in the lush outdoors. There are even a few that use the colour values above brown and grey. But so far only Giants has done all of the above in a tropical deep-space nebula where you play a colossal alien giant, a gang of jet-packed Mockney mercenaries, and a topless sea nymph queen. And that's only part of the Giants difference - a game that can fit every 'It's like XXXXX - ON ACID!' tagline.
If gaming's ever in danger of becoming too sensible, we'd want to see Giants 2 lead the battle against normality.
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