Co-published by Devolver, Breach & Clear: Deadline isn’t just another zombie game

Mighty Rabbit Studios gives us an on-site demo of Deadline

Something about the video I posted on Gun Media and Mighty Rabbit’s title Breach & Clear: Deadline didn’t sit well with me. I kept thinking about it the day we ran the story.

After revisiting it that night, it still didn’t hit me as to why Devolver Digital had decided to co-publish this game. I just kept feeling that I was missing something important here. So, the next day I decided to reach out to Mighty Rabbit to see if I could take a look at the game in person.

To my surprise, co-founder Josh Fairhurst was nice enough to set up an appointment for me to meet the team on Labor Day. After arriving at Mighty Rabbit’s studio, I was given a hands-off walkthrough of the same gameplay segment recently shown at gamescom.

    In the team’s own words, Deadline is a “strategic tactical action RPG in a modern day setting, featuring Special Forces weapons, tactics, and equipment vs. horrific monsters.”

    From what I saw during my time with it, I’d say it could be described as having a combination of elements from Rainbow Six, Left 4 Dead, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and a pinch of Diablo‘s loot grinding for good measure. 

    The game can either be played in real time — which the team calls Action Mode, where the AI controls your three squadmates and you control the fourth — as well as in Command Mode, a turn-based twist on the formula. In Command Mode, you can pause the action and individually assign commands to each of your squad members, allowing you to take your time, setting up more advanced tactical maneuvers

    Although at first glance the title looks like your everyday top-down shooter, the team describes Deadline as an RPG at its core. You’ll be able to create your own unique squad and over the course of the game earn experience from encounters which can then be used to purchase new abilities for your squad’s respective skill trees, customizing characters as you see fit.

    There’s gun porn, too: weapons are upgradable as well as modifiable. Your squad will use crafting benches that utilize the game’s currency, Scrap, to increase your favorite weapons’ stats as well as to add on reusable upgrades, such as sound suppressors and foregrips.

    The studio doesn’t want its game to be pigeonholed as just another zombie game or seen as an arcade shooter, like Housemarque’s Dead Nation.

    Yes, the Infested are zombie-like, but they aren’t the only threat to face. You’ll be squaring off against human foes as well, such as Raiders and Mercenaries, designed to test your tactical skills. Beyond the common Infested, mutated variants of the monsters were also discussed, but not shown. The team referred to the hulking Tank-like creature in the concept art as an example.

    After having this time to sit down and check out Deadline in person, Devolver’s involvement with the title makes a lot more sense to me. The “play how you want to play” aspect of Command Mode vs. Active Mode coupled with the RPG elements they’ve included really make it look like it’s going to be a lot of fun. 

    As things progress, I’ll be sure to keep you updated. Shortly before launch, I plan to visit the studio again for a hands-on with the shippable Steam Early Access build of Deadline.

    Rob Morrow