How about a game you probably haven't heard of before? A NAMCO creation that just didn't get the media it deserved. When my friend told me about it, I had never even heard of it. This might even be the first time you have heard of it. For all those people that say the game industry is lacking in originality and innovative ideas, I agree with you. That could be why I enjoyed this game so much. Breakdown is a first-person-shooter (seen TONS of those). But this one is different, because there isn't much shooting. The majority of action in the game is hand-to-hand combat. In fact, think of it as a combination of FPS and Fighter gaming genres. That's where I am talking about *innovative*. This was the first game I had seen like this. Now, Condemned: Criminal Origins for the Xbox 360 is using the same idea.
First off, I must warn you that this game is OLD. Over two years old actually - release date 3/16/04. If you're expecting graphics comparable to Doom 3, you won't find them here. That's not to say they are the worst I've seen, but they certainly aren't the best. Breakdown makes up for that in its gameplay.
The entire game is from a first-person view. And I mean it. From the very beginning of the game, during cinematics, and through the credits, you are in first person. The only time you even see your character is while walking by a mirror. You won't switch characters either - you stay the same person the entire game. The theory is that this makes it so that "you are the person in the game."
You and your girlfriend will have to fight your way (literally) through super-steroid T'Lan warriors and army soldiers. Along the way, you'll experience hallucinations and other crazy stuff that just doesn't make sense. Your arm suddenly starts flashing with a lightning effect out of nowhere, and then a moment later the flesh is completely gone and you can see your skeleton arm. Then a cat shows up out of thin air and disappears soon after. Open a door inside and find yourself going from a business hallway to a barren desert, then back into the hallway again. You'll see the cat again, and concrete pillars will have faces on them and talk to you. Funny thing is, it is all explained in the end and makes perfect sense. How you ask? Well, you will just have to play the game and keep up with the storyline to find out. One thing I can say is do not play this game if you have no intention of beating it. It really finishes up the experience.
Breakdown is an innovative game that just didn't get the hype it deserved. I heard about it from a friend (and avid gameplayer) who loved it. I played it, loved it, and told a couple friends to play it. They both loved it also. I have yet to find somebody who absolutely hated it. Being an old game, you can probably pick this up for under $10 used at a Gamestop or EB Games somewhere.
Here's the E3 trailer to give you an idea of the game: