Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Breach

Review: Breach

5:00 PM on 01.27.2011 // Darren Nakamura
  @Dexter345

Atomic Games has had a rough time leading up to the release of Breach. Originally developing the controversial Six Days in Fallujah, which had publisher Konami famously pull support, Atomic went on to salvage what it could to produce this multiplayer-only downloadable first-person modern military shooter.

These days, it's difficult to produce a modern military shooter that doesn't waste away in the shadow of the genre's juggernauts. Does it deliver an experience on par with Call of Duty or Battlefield?



Breach (Xbox Live Arcade [reviewed], PC)
Developer: Atomic Games, Inc.
Publisher: Atomic Games, Inc.
Released: January 26th, 2011
MSRP: 1200 Microsoft Points, $15

Anybody who has played a military shooter in the past few years will know what to expect with the basics of Breach. Players can choose from one of a handful of customizable classes, with weapons ranging from sniper rifles to machine guns to shotguns. Firing can be done from the hip for increased maneuverability or down the sights for increased accuracy. Grenade launchers, red dot sights, and other weapon attachments can be purchased. Each class has room for a single perk, allowing for abilities such as improved headshot protection or increased sprinting time. All of this is pretty standard fare for games in this genre.

What makes Breach different--its gimmick, perhaps--is the destructible environments. Players can take cover inside buildings or behind low walls, but many objects in the world can be destroyed, creating a changing landscape with ever-eroding cover. Materials act about as one would expect, with wood splintering to small arms fire, but concrete requiring heavy weaponry or explosives to punch through. It's a potentially interesting idea that doesn't pan out especially well in practice. After players learn to navigate the few maps in play, many will use the liberally placed rocket launchers and mounted machine guns to destroy key bridges and buildings before the enemy even has a chance to use them, creating a battlefield that is not only devoid of usable cover, but also identical to the landscape of games previous.

Breach advertises five playable maps, however there are only technically four, with the fifth map being simply a night time version of one of the others. This actually creates fairly distinct gameplay; the darkness of night makes enemies much more difficult to spot, allowing for more stealth and limiting long range fighting. Its inclusion is welcome for the sake of variety, but it begs the question: why not just allow day and night versions of all four maps?



Speaking of the maps, they are all clearly built for the game mode Convoy, which tasks one team with escorting a pair of APCs from one end of the map to the other, and the other team with stopping the convoy's progress. As one of the more original ideas in Breach, it has some good elements going for it, but they are unfortunately dragged down by the bad. Teamwork is necessary for victory, yet the game doesn't reward the player for playing with the team in mind. No points are awarded for moving the convoy along or destroying roadblocks in the way, while the rear gunner who is doing little to help progress can rack up points for getting kills with an infinite grenade launcher.

The other modes don't work as well on the maps, which are typically long, serpentine paths, simply because they are too large. Unless one team is particularly careless, only the central control point in Infiltration (Breach's version of Domination or Territories) is ever contested due to the sheer time it takes to traverse the maps. Team Deathmatch is fairly uneventful, and Sole Survivor (team deathmatch with no respawns) is by far the worst. Billed by Atomic as the most realistic of the modes, it puts two teams on opposite ends of large maps and gives no incentive to either to do anything but camp inside buildings. Most of these games end after the time limit is reached with only a couple of kills--usually the people who were silly enough to want to play something rather than huddle behind cover for three minutes. Those who die early in this mode are treated to a still camera of the battlefield, so they can watch as nothing happens for the rest of the match.

One of the biggest flaws in Breach is that the game seems reluctant to provide the player with feedback, both on and off the battlefield. Customizing loadouts and checking stats cannot be done simply between matches; the player has to exit out to the main menu for those options. There is even a class that cannot be selected initially, and there is no indication anywhere how to unlock the class, or even why one would want to unlock it.



Although the UI annoyances are relatively minor, the lack of feedback on the battle ground is by far the most frustrating aspect of Breach. After firing a bullet, a significant amount of time passes before a hit marker or a kill indicator shows up. This has two effects: one is that the player ends up spending much more ammunition than should be necessary, and the other is that it makes the supposedly deadly weapons feel ineffectual. When the player does score a kill, there is no indication if the kill was a headshot, and when the player hits an enemy multiple times but doesn't get a kill, there is no indication of whether the enemy had some sort of armor bonus or if the player only hit extremities.

At one point, against a player who was away from the controller, I had to fire four sniper rifle shots at his face before he finally went down, and I still have no idea why.

Through all of these design flaws, there are still some good ideas in play. The destructible environments change up the flow of battle in interesting ways, at least the first time the player experiences them. The game is definitely built to favor more methodical, communicative teams over groups of lone wolves. However, aside from diehard fans of the genre, it's difficult to imagine someone convincing enough of his friends to buy Breach to form a cohesive team. It's even more difficult to imagine that as a multiplayer-only title, a purchase now will be any more than worthless a year down the road.





THE VERDICT

4

Breach - Reviewed by Darren Nakamura
Disappointing - I feel sorry for this one. It came close to being passable, but dropped the ball too many times to prevent itself from being an embarrassment.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Darren Nakamura, Associate Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure Dexter345 Tips
Darren is a scientist during the day. He has been a Destructoid community member since 2006, joining the front page as a contributor in 2011. While he enjoys shooters, RPGs, platformers, strateg... more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Breach


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Exclusivity is (mostly) Bad, except for when Nintendo is involved

Summer Wars: The Video Gameā€¦.I mean Digimon: Cyber Sleuth

Gaming's Beautiful People #4: Valentine's Day Special OR Love Multi-Kills

Exist Archive: The Other Side Of The Sky Import Review

Stupid Teens Do Stupid Things: An Oxenfree Critique

A blog test. Brought to you by Buckner & Garcia

Cblogs of 2/11/16, 2/12/16 + Firethoughts

XCOM 2 And The Glory of Mods

PS+ Games of the Month January 2016 - Feat. GajKnight and SolarPonyDjango

Your Opinions On Racing Games Are Stupid

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

TheKodu avatarTheKodu
It's Alcohol day. I've had Alcohol. Here have a page to hire Anita Sarkeesian for public appearances or speeches only $10K a time http://speakerpedia.com/speakers/anita-sarkeesian?from=speakear-sidebar
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Irony: over 9000!. The same UN with staff distributing child porn, Saudi Arabia heading its Human Rights Council and troops accused of rape wants to school Japan on their treatment of women in videogames. You can't can't make up this stuff.
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
So I got my game recorder. That's good! But I ordered the wrong one. That's bad. So just gotta send back to Amazon and order it. Could've sworn on the website it said the HD60 Elgato let you record old games too.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
It just occured to me that given the 99% probablility of there being an update pack to XCOM 2-ala Enemy Within-waiting for a while may be a better option, so that when I do get the game I get it in its optimal form-and on sale, to bring it below 90 total
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
My mustache froze while walking home from work. Fun!
Sir Shenanigans avatarSir Shenanigans
I've discovered Fangamer... This stuff's amazing!
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
No comment.
Parismio avatarParismio
Omg i love the internet
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
Iron Paladin avatarIron Paladin
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
I can't wait to mute Niero. #NoRules #ThePurge
Joe Parlock avatarJoe Parlock
I spent all last night playing Day of Defeat: Source. If only Valve gave it even half the attention it did to TF2 or CS:S...
BaronVonSnakPak avatarBaronVonSnakPak
Nearing Platinum status.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
THIS IS THE BEST EMAIL I'VE EVER GOTTEN HOLY SHIT
Parismio avatarParismio
Sheesh i played metal gear rising before and Platinum ruined the franchise.
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Toonami is running a poll right now at [url]www.toonami.com/poll[/url] where one of the questions is which show you'd want un-cancelled. Oh, Teen Titans is included? That's curious...
SlyTAdvantage avatarSlyTAdvantage
"The Ravagers dropped the giant insects and waited for them to evolve ... it's clear. This is their plan from the start" -EDF 4.1 scientist So dragons are evolved forms of ants, spiders and/or wasps ....... what?
Ckarasu avatarCkarasu
Every time I hear "I don't understand why people like _____ game", I get annoyed. Of course you understand, if you've listened to what those people were saying. You just don't agree, and that's A-OK. I HATE Twilight, but I understand why people like it.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Just tried playing the first Bayonetta game... it was really bad. Honestly I don't understand why Platinum games are so well regarded. None of them are really worthwhile.
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
The first person I block is the person who talks shit about Platinum
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -