I spent 20 minutes looking for any solution for me not to fail the final mission. My mechs were well upgraded and defending the bomb was my priority. Somehow I had 6 Vek attacking from all angles and everything I could do wouldn’t stop them from destroying the bomb. I was going to lose; I had given up on this timeline. I won’t fail next time. From the makers of FTL: Faster Then Light, Subset Games have given as another addictive and complex strategic game that will push you to the limits of frustration as well giving you moments of pure genius.
If you have played FTL you will know how frustrating the no win situations can be, with Into The Breach you have time to look at every possible angle and with a similar rogue-like progression you can gain weapons, pilots, mechs that can turn the tide of battle. It feels similar to games like Advanced wars and Final Fantasy Tactics but it plays more like a Kaiju chess game. I have to say I’m really enjoying the strategic challenge.
This is a turn based strategy game that plays on grid of 64 squares. At the beginning of each game you have a small area into which you can place your mechs. The Vek are usually at one end of the map and will make the first move. You get to see their attack pattern and have to counter with all the tools of your disposal. By knock back or teleportation and a host of other ways you can move the enemy around to safeguard the buildings on the map, if you plan well enough you can even make the Vek attack each other. Their are special mission objectives that can give you bonuses at the end of each round.
Gigantic monsters are threatening the remnants of the human race. You take control of the rift walkers, pilots of mechs that are charged with defending earth by going back in time to stop the Vek threat. The Vek are breeding beneath the earth and eventually will/have wiped out the last humans. Three mechs are sent back through the timeline to battle courageously and save us all. Defeat is not an option; if you fail you will be sent back again and again.
There are 4 different islands each with their own challenges and environments. One being a futuristic area with pools of acid on the map and moving floor pads. Another is a grassy island that you have to protect a train passing through. These islands all have their own back story but overall the story is relatively small and straight forward.
The background music brings an eerie but focused accompaniment to the game. As with FTL, a beautiful score that truly lifts the game atmospherically to the next level. I spend a good half an hour sometimes on 1 challenge and the music stirs me to do the best I can, it pushes me towards getting that perfect game. Along with fitting sound effects and the dying cries of the Vek as I slaughter them in moments of brilliant tactics.
Subset Games have been going with 2d pixel style for their games and have been focusing on content rather then stunning graphics and it totally pays off. Using simple graphics allows them to make a quality game focusing on the tactics involved and the strategic game play. The character movements are simple and the graphics on attacks and a nice little flair to the game. The graphics just work so well in this game, there are no distractions in graphics to annoy you or to blame the game for any mistakes you make. Just looking at the minimum required specs for this game shows how playable this game is, I have been running from a 5 year old basic Lenovo laptop with no problems what so ever. FTL and ITB are both great games to play when on long journeys, they just while away the time.
being able to see the Vek attacks means there are no surprises. You get all the time you need to come up with a solution as how to handle their attacks. This is a great mechanic but incredibly frustrating at the same time if you know there is nothing you could do about it. As you play you need to complete at least two of the islands before progressing to the final level and defeating the Vek. You can if you chose progress to the other islands but all the encounter will be scaled to the gear level you posses. Trust me it gets very difficult.
Each time you lose/win you start again, you get to pick your set of mechs or custom build your team from across the selection. You take your one level;ed pilot that you send back through time and get two basic companions for now. Along the way time pods may land that can offer you weapons, pilots or reactor cores . Weapons are varied and need reactor cores to work. Reactor cores can be bought at the end of an island or won be completing specific map challenges. New pilots come with different abilities that can help in massive ways like being able to move again after using your weapon to always deploying with a shield. Your main health bar in the top right is the power grid. This represents the buildings in each level, take to many hits and game over. They can be regained by map challenges or by being bought at the end of the island. You have to make some tough ol choices whether to let some people die or kill your mech pilot.
Completing a challenge will sometimes provide you with reputation and this is your currency on that specific island to spend on upgrades or more grid points. By perfecting an island you get bonus cores, reputation and so on. Its so useful for building up powerful mechs.
There is so much replay ability in this game as it forces you to start again win or lose, you can earn coins by completing achievements in ahuge variety of ways but be aware that some are incredibly difficult to obtain. With the coins you can purchase new mechs, with 8 sets available they test you in different game play styles and the customized squad allows you to pick your favorites. As a single player game it works as a game you can pick up at anytime and play a few rounds but believe me when I tell you that you lose track of time so easily.
I am a huge fan of FTL, its premise, game play, style and utter nonsense randomized paths and subset games have only gone a dropped another gaming bomb on me. Into The Breach has been an incredible game to play. The challenge it presents in its scaling strength as you progress on normal mode has had me beside myself trying my best to succeed. It has to be one of the best strategy games I have played this year. Subset Games, any chance of FTL 2?