By Don Robbins
A single-player arcade-style action game, Breakpoint for the Nintendo Switch provides a fun burst of adrenaline best enjoyed in small chunks of time. It features some difficult gameplay, challenging you to chase your best score while fighting to stay alive for as long as possible. The button mashing and analog stick swirling motions can tire out your hands after a while, though, creating a feeling of repetitiveness eventually. In fact, my highest scores came at the beginning of a play session when I felt fresh and ready to rock.
Breakpoint’s fighting action revolves around you controlling various melee weapons such as a sword, hammer, axe, etc. Your mission in the game is to swing these weapons at geometrically shaped enemies that come at you both individually and in massive swarms as well. The more enemies you can slice and dice in one fell swoop the better your score. Your ultimate goal is to create a “Break,” which is an explosion that destroys all enemies in an area. You need to trigger these Breaks to clear large groups of the baddies. When starting up the game for the first time, a player will immediately be faced with navigating through an action sequence that explains a few of the basic movements as you read through the game creators’ credits.
Each melee weapon has its own special abilities and upgrades. Likewise, each different enemy you face has its individual strengths and weaknesses. The game menu options include detailed 43-item “tips” section that you would benefit from reading, because it will help make you a more strategic fighter. There are a dozen types of enemies with complex attack patterns that you need to learn, so that you can succeed.
Controls for Breakpoint consists of moving, aiming, a light attack, a heavy attack and even the ability to throw a weapon. Among examples of weapon types are Daggers, which swing multiple times per attack. Dagger swipes are short but quick, according to the game’s tips section. One of my personal favorite weapons is the Axe, which is described as a good all-around tool, which can be rotated while swinging for maximum carnage inflicted on enemies.
Enemies include objects such as the Bruiser, which accelerates whenever it is traveling in a straight line. Meanwhile, another enemy called Guardians shield other enemies within their radius.
A player can determine how well he or she is faring by checking scores from a global leaderboard and a personal leaderboard. You can even watch replays of your gameplay and other competitors’ battles from around the world.
The best parts of Breakpoint include its vibrant color palette and its innovative control scheme. The whole screen lights up brightly when you clear out a chunk of enemies at once. There’s a gut-level feeling of satisfaction when that happens. Considering its pros and cons, Breakpoint earns itself a score of 6.9 out of 10.
Thank you to Publisher The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild and Developer Studio Aesthesia for the review code.