15th Apr2021

Digital Shorts: ‘Breakpoint’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Phil Wheat

In DIGITAL SHORTS we review some of the latest video games that are only available digitally (at least in the UK), in a short-form review format. In this edition we take a look at twin-stick slasher (NOT shooter), Breakpoint.

Breakpoint is a twin-stick slasher that provides all the hectic action of a bullet hell with the crunchy satisfaction of melee combat. Unlike other twin stick games, there are zero ranged attacks in Breakpoint. You have to control the battlefield with a variety of physical attacks that see you slice, smash, and crush your way through waves of enemies to defeat the swarm.

Visually Breakpoint looks like an updated Vectrex game, line-work and neon is the order of the day here. It’s a simplistic design but one that works for the simplistic gameplay. Though to be fair to Breakpoint, the game is only simple on the surface – there are plenty of ways to level up your attacks by building your weapon skill tree up to powerful AOE attacks and upgrade the lethality of your weapons – which you can then use to claim the high score on the worldwide leaderboards (should you wish) by trying different combos and patterns.

However… It’s not all about using your weapons to the best of your abilites, instead you can use and abuse your weapons to the point of destruction. Why? Well once they break, the explosion can be a major tactical advantage. Especially when you’re swarmed by a vast number of enemies; and believe me you WILL get swarmed! So much so that I was reminded of playing Super Smash TV back in the day – this game is just as frenetic, as chaotic and as addictive as that game was. Only here there’s more of a pick-up-and-play aspect to the game the cleverly matches the same qualities in the Switch.

Speaking of which, Breakpoint is very well suited to the Switch in handheld mode – the fact you can see all the screen at once actually gives you an advantage in the game! And given that the vector-like graphics are simple there’s no loss of clarity when playing on a smaller screen either. Plus the techno soundtrack sounds fantastic pumping out the Switch’s speakers, and even better with headphones!

My only complaint with Breakpoint is the difficulty level; it really does get frustrating at times when the difficulty level feels like it just jumps up out of nowhere. Just when you think you’re getting the hang of the frentic twin-stick slashing controls and, more importantly you feel like you’re winning, along comes another wave of seemingly indestructible enemies that take multiple hits to destroy… meanwhile the regular enemies are sneaking up behind you for the kill! But then we’d be complaining if the game was too easy to…

Breakpoint is available on the Nintendo eShop now.

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