Beatdown: Fists of Vengeance PS2 Review
Beatdown’s story begins at a local bar somewhere in the fictional City in the game called Las Sombras (you may be getting GTA images in your head now, but get them out of there as quickly as you can as you will just be hugely disappointed!) Why are you at this bar? Well the simple answer to that is the fact that a drug deal as gone awry and people have got double crossed and what better place to gather you thoughts than at the local bar! The nice bartender there offers you some health drinks (like all good bartenders do) as well as jobs which will level up your character.
Another person at the bar is an informant who gives you missions for you to progress in the game. Of course you don’t have to do these missions if you do not want to as you can just roam around the city, doing the limited amount of activities available at your leisure, but of course if you want to finish the title (or you can be bothered to) you will have to do these missions sometime. There are also loads of other non-player characters that may offer you information, join your gang, offer you missions, or become hostile as you approach them. Now all off the above does sound interesting and I believe would make a very good game if developed correctly, but that’s the main problem with Fist Of Vengeance, it is just not developed well at all, in fact it is bordering on atrocious.
Everything in the game seems half finished and the fights get repetitive after just a few minutes of play. It is possible to interrogate people but it is pointless as it is badly executed. There is also some annoying load times in the game as every time you enter or exit a building you get loading screens, and to finish the game you will have to go in and out of areas a lot. There is a nice selection of 5 main characters to play as but even though they have their own pro and cons they are ultimately all very alike and are not very appealing. Speaking of people in the game been alike all the models of cops in the game are the same guy which is something that should not been seen in any game these days, but this was something I found very funny as I played through the game. There is loads of blood and violence on show in the game, so Fists of Vengeance may appeal to you if you love that sort of thing, but there are much better titles out there if you are looking for a quick punch up. Everything in the game is disappointing and actually thinking about it to write this review is painful enough so I will just stop here!
Graphically the game looks very last gen, the likes of this could easily have been done on a PlayStation or N64. The main city in the game isn’t really that big either; it’s not like the game has to processes a large city, so there is really no reason to have something so bad looking as we approach the end of this generation of gaming. The textures used in the game aren’t up to this generation standard either and wouldn’t look out of place on a Nintendo DS. The characters themselves look good and some nice animation has been done to make them look good whilst punching or running, but some of this animation doesn’t gel well together, making an already bad game look even worse. Couple this with a terrible camera and you should now be starting to rip hair for your scalp, I am anyway!
Audio wise the game also does not fair too well either. There is music in the game but it is set on a loop; each section of the game has it’s own music but it last for about 30 seconds before starting all over again. It keeps doing this until you reach the end of the section. I though we could have been rid of this kind of music problem last gen, but I guess I thought wrong. It also doesn’t help when the 30 seconds worth of music you get pre level sounds like it has be composed by a blind diseased rabbit. Now onto the voice acting, and surprisingly it isn’t too bad. There is much worse out there but there is also much, much better. Like I said the voice action is done well but the actual script they are reading from leaves much to be desired. The game also contains loads of swear words for the simple reason of just having swear words, which is terrible. All in all it’s another disappointing aspect of a very disappointing game.
Lifespan is almost nil with this, to start with you should not really want to play the game unless you are extremely demented person that wants to be tortured. If you are unfortunate to actually buy and play this title then you will find just five characters to pick from, then you will find the game gets very boring in less than a hour. If you can last the full length of the game without going mad then well done to you, but that will probably last you under a days play. Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad!
The basic idea for Beatdown: Fists of Vengeance is okay, but the sad fact it that it is just poorly implemented and doesn’t work well. There is some fun to be had in the game but the fun is buried way too deep for me to in any way recommend you spend money on this title. Even after a (inevitable) price drop I could still not recommend you picking up this title for anything less that £10 and maybe even that’s stretching it. There was potential for a good quality title in Fists of Vengeance, it just got lost somewhere before the final product hit shelves, and from a company that can produce such quality titles as Resident Evil 4, Devil May Cry and Viewtiful Joe this really is just unacceptable
3.8 out of 10