If you’re a fan of strategy games or even strategic board games, Into the Breach (which has quickly become one of my favourite ever games) might be worth checking out.
Developed by Subset Games and released in February 2018, I’d seen Into the Breach around but only picked it up because it was free in Epic Games.
Following an invasion from bugs known as the Vek, humanity has been almost fully destroyed. To avoid this, you’ve travelled back in time and, armed with a team of three mechs, your job is to defend buildings over a set number of turns and complete a few other optional objectives.
So is Into the Breach worth picking up?
- Deep gameplay
- Great visuals
- Immediately replayable
- Difficult right from the start
- Weak audio
The gameplay is magnificent. I’ve been a big fan of Xcom for a number of years and while this is much smaller in terms of scope, it does get rid of irritating RNGs but still remains very challenging.
Since you’ve travelled back in time, your shown every enemies move the turn before they do it. While you’d think a game where you know every enemy’s next move would be simple, it’s not.
Before you do anything, you’ll have to run through all your possible moves, the order you’ll do them, and how they’ll set you up for the following turn before you can even launch your first attack. Though you can reset an entire turn once per battle, once you’ve attacked, the decision is final.
Visually, the game has some nice pixel art but footage of the game always made it look kind of boring. Despite how many people I’d heard praise it, it never looked fun. The art is nice but since the game is turn-based, most of the footage is just the battlefield looking quite static. Don’t let this put you off, you won’t notice this when you’re playing it.
This brings us to one of the only things I could really criticise, the difficulty. This game is quite tricky, which I really love, but you’re regularly in situations, right from the start of the game, where no matter what you do, you’re in trouble.
The audio could be better, too. You’re going to spend some time on each move and the aural landscape is quite barren. There are some nice sounds when units attack but this is a game that doesn’t change much whether you can hear it or not.
Despite how basic Into the Breach might look on the surface, this is an iceberg of a game. There’s a lot of depth to be discovered and you’ll regularly be challenged. The more you play it, the more you’ll love it.
Every turn feels like the result hangs in the balance and even when you’re just looking at your screen thinking about your next move, it’s all very tense and enjoyable.
Into the Breach is available on PC and Nintendo Switch.