Reviews

Breach – Review

Release Date: Out Today!
Developer: Atomic
Publisher: Atomic
Singleplayer: No
Splitscreen: No
Multiplayer: Yes.

Xbox Live Arcade Title. Price – 1200MSP

There are plenty of shooters out there that offer manic run ‘n’ gun experiences, so it’s a breath of fresh air to play a shooter that has a slower pace and rewards a slower, more tactical style of gameplay.

At first glance Breach plays and looks like any other FPS, but after a few minutes of play the differences become obvious.
First and foremost is the slower movement speed than the likes of Call of Duty: Black Op’s. Press up on the analogue stick and you’ll move forward at what seems like a crawl, until you realise that this is the speed soldiers would move forward at.
Sprint feels the same, while Black Op’s lets you run around like some sort of drug addled chicken, Breach gives you a more realistic pace.

This simply helps encourage a slower and more thoughtful style of gameplay, as does the games cover system.
Click the right stick and your character will hug the wall like it’s his only friend in the world and your view will switch to 3rd person. The standard blindfire option is here and present, or you can hit the RT to aim down the sights which swaps you back into first person.
To help encourage you to take cover it add’s in a bonus, as well as the obvious one of making you harder to hit, in the form of a bonus to your armour allowing you to soak up a little extra damage, but don’t be fulled you can’t stand out in the open in Breach and soak up bullets.
While this system doesn’t feel as smooth as Gears of Rainbows cover it still works well enough and further helps encourage more thoughtful gameplay as those who simply run around will quickly be killed by those that take cover.
I did find the cover system could be rather selective about what you could take cover behind; occasionally it wouldn’t let me take cover behind a corner at a house. It coped with holes being blow in walls well enough allowing you to take cover at the edges, but sometimes I needed to take cover a little way inward and then move toward the hole.

Oh boy.

Breach also brings building destruction to the table, and also manages to bring a few tricks of its own to keep it feeling different to other titles.
While you can’t bring down an entire building Bad Company style, you can shoot out separate bricks in the wall of a house to make a shooting hole, and the cover system will also adjust to the new hole allowing you to take cover and shoot from your DIY sniper spot. The cover system does prove to be a little picky when it comes to the height and positioning of the bricks you shoot out.
The destruction here isn’t as central to the game as Bad Company’s but provides a nice tactical element that the intelligent player can make good use of during play.

Destroying buildings is cool, but you can’t do it without some good gear and here Breach falters a little again, but then picks itself back up and hands you over a cool selection of gadgets to play with.
Out of the 4 unlocked classes in the game there is a combined total of twelve weapons to play with. That’s three for each class. However you can only get access to one weapon from each class at the start as you need to earn XP through playing the game to unlock the other weapons.
It’s a fairly limited weapon selection compared to most other games, and if you don’t like the starting weapon then it can be a little frustrating to be stuck with it while you level up.
The weapons themselves aren’t the most satisfying to shoot, each one sounds rather weak and doesn’t feel powerful to wield on the field, but it shold be said that they do sound fairly close to their real life counterparts, they just lack a certain something in Breach.
Each weapon has a small selection of attachments like different scopes and one or two even get access to a grenade launcher or silencer, but those expecting plenty of customisation may be a little let down by the selection on offer.
When it comes to explosives there are a good few around to grab. Riflemen are armed with breach charges and Gunners get some tasty grenades to throw around. The maps also have ammo points where you can grab RPG’s, which are in plentiful supply, and go nuts with them as they’re scarily accurate in the game and death by RPG is a common pastime.
Get to the gadgets though and you’re going to have a hard time picking just one to take with you. There are fairly standard things like body-armour up to things like Bionic Ear’s which lets you pinpoint gunfire and the sound of footsteps. Other sweet tech includes being able to essentially see through walls, though you’re going to have to rank up a good bit to get your hands on that.

Tag. You're it.

To round out your arsenal is a selection of Perks to take with you. Like your gadgets you can only take one but there’s a nice selection here from the more usual Steady Aiming to the Bad Ass Perk which halves your health in return for earning twice the XP.

Finally we get to how much you get for your money in terms of maps and game modes, and it’s a decent bit with the game weighing in at 5 modes with the star being Convoy – a mode in which the one team has to defend a convoy, as it moves across the map the team will have to destroy roadblocks and defend it against the attacking team – which produces some great action.
The maps offered support the modes beautifully with fairly open maps that encourage you to keep your head down. Each map is well layed out and have plenty of opportunities to use your head such as taking out certain bridges to funnel enemy troops.

"You know what, I'll just blow it up and save us the effort"

Breach has some faults; the occasional glitch and bug, and it still needs a few tweaks as RPG’s are incredibly powerful and accurate, but the gameplay offers something highly enjoyable and hugely addictive. While the slower pace of the game may put off many raised on the COD diet, I feel that Breach could cultivate a hardcore following of players who love to use their heads and play as a team.
it’s expensive at 1200MSP, but for that money you’re getting the best shooter on Arcade and a breath of fresh air.

The Good:
+ It looks good for an Arcade game!
+ When it doubt, blow it up.
+ Suppression system is a great addition.

The Bad:
– Death by RPG again? From across the map!?
– OK, why can’t I take cover there?

Scores:

Graphics: 8
Breach looks good for an Arcade title with decent character models and nice environments, though there are some glitches like floating bricks or no reload animations.

Sound: 6.5
The guns don’t exactly sound great as they lack a certain snap. There’s little music here either, but the occasional comment from your character is amusing.

Story: 0
Being a multiplayer game there really is no story. Well, apart from shoot that bloke over there.

Gameplay: 8.5
It may not appeal to everyone, but the gameplay here is addictive and fun. It has flaws though.

Lifespan: 8
Being a multiplayer game it’s hard to judge, bit I can see myself spending a good bit of time here.

Overall: 8
It may have a fairly big price-tag but Breach is worth every penny providing a unique gameplay on Arcade and a nice change from the likes of BLOPS and other FPS games.
Breach is a blending of Rainbow Six Vegas and Bad Company 2, and a blending that has created something truly enjoyable, and truly different on Xbox Live Arcade.

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