Facebreaker Hands-on Preview

Written by Joe Martin

July 25, 2008 | 08:34

Tags: #360 #beat-em-up #facebreaker #facebreaker-ko-party #freestyle #ice #sparrow #wii

Companies: #ea #electronic-arts

Facemaker

The ability to create a boxer all of your very own is one of the key features of Facebreaker and the game doesn’t just limit you to tweaking a load of sliders ala Mass Effect either.

Instead, one of the most hyped things about Facebreaker is the ability to literally scan your face into the game – something which EA Canada did recently with Peter Moore’s face at E3.

The technology for face-scanning itself isn’t anything startlingly new, it’s true. In fact, the ability to scan photos and pictures in first came about in EA’s Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2008, though the technology was a lot more limited back then.

EA has worked to make the system a lot more accessible and easy to get into as well, though it is worth pointing out that the Wii version of the game doesn’t include the facemaker option at all. Instead of relying on the official camera attachments for the consoles, as PGA 2008 did, EA will enable you to upload pictures online and transfer them to your profile.

Facebreaker Hands-on Preview Facebreaker Hands-on Preview - Facemaker

The system is also a lot more detailed and easier to use than ever before. Previous versions of this system could only retexture existing face shapes with new pictures – a process which used to produce results more disgusting than Harry’s trademark lunch of cold tuna, cold beans and over-microwaved potato mixed together.

The new version however has no such limitations – you can retexture a face and then, if the texture doesn’t quite match, tweak all the individual settings and resize the nose, selion, eye position, forehead and whatnot until you get the face just right. These faces are then assigned to one of the existing character bodys, which can be altered in terms of bulk but stay mostly the same in order to preserve the fighting animations.

The ability to create faces though isn’t just a gimmick to Facebreaker – it’s been made absolutely key to the game in a number of ways. Every face you create can be stored on your console (each user can store 40 faces) and can then be used as a wager between players in online battles, allowing you to earn faces as trophies – complete with the bumps and bruises which are the product of the facial deformation software.

Facebreaker Hands-on Preview Facebreaker Hands-on Preview - Facemaker

Speaking of bumps, it’d be impossible to talk about the facemaker feature without at least briefly mentioning the demonstration we saw of Peter Moore’s face mapped onto a voluptuous and full female body. Sorry Pete, but that is going to give us nightmares for weeks.

Naturally though, there is room for naughty people to do naughty things with this little bit of software and if Spore has taught us anything then it’s that gamers when given a gadget to play with, will undoubtedly look to make the rudest things possible. It’s probably a good thing then that EA will be policing the online catalogue.

Each boxer you create can also act as an independent user or person in the game and the Facebreaker has a whole heap of stat-tracking tools under the hood to help monitor the different tendencies of each user.

That might not sound great as a feature – being able to have multiple users, but when you’ve got a game that is very much built around the idea of face-to-face multiplayer (that is, all in the same room) then being able to have a number of fully customised and distinct users all kept on one Xbox profile is a sure way to keep everyone happy.
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