Breach Preview

Although still very much an early access game that is missing a lot of promised-later content, Breach is a third-person, co-op action/RPG game set in a sci-fi fantasy world. Any game that can successfully fuse a handful of genres is almost by definition interesting and eventually, Breach may indeed be a landmark title. Right now, it’s an incomplete experience with several limiting factors.

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Apt comparisons have been made between Breach and Funcom’s Secret World, and indeed both share a modern-day setting that combines the realistic with the monstrous and supernatural. In Breach, the hook is that your character can either be one of several classes of soldier/magic/technology user fighting the demons, or control a supernatural Veil Demon, which in turn spawns and controls various critters and creatures, each with specific abilities. This dual mechanic has appeared in a number of multiplayer games lately.

Although playable with AI bots filling out the roster, Breach is designed for online co-op play but in my experience that has been pretty hit-or-miss, both in terms of inconsistent server population and bugs, wait time issues, and other signs that the game is not quite finished. Although a mind-boggling array of classes is promised, currently the selection is limited and lacking in all but cosmetic variety and the number of maps and missions is extremely proscribed. The objective-based missions themselves aren’t particularly compelling, either, mostly involving fighting groups of demons, hacking terminals, escort tasks, and moving forward to the next area.

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Playing with a human squad is — unsurprisingly — more rewarding than with bots but Breach doesn’t demand high level tactics or complex teamwork. Anyone familiar with some basic concepts will do just fine. Perhaps with a wider variety of classes this will become more engaging.

Breach’s screenshots imply vibrant, if not bleeding-edge graphics but there is nothing terribly remarkable about the art design. Environments lack stand-out detail while character models—both human and demonic—are occasionally imaginative variations on familiar demonic tropes. Of course, time and further content releases may expand the visual variety.

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Conceptually, there are some strong ideas driving the game. Other than a tutorial mission, there is no real narrative or campaign at this stage of release, but the core mechanics of moving, shooting and spell casting are strong and there is some fun to be had as playing the Big Bad. I look forward to checking in with Breach several months from now.