Into the Breach
Into the Breach leaves nothing to chance, nothing to luck. It tells you exactly what it’s going to do, all the while daring you to stop it. And most of the time you can’t. How frustrating yet fair.
Into the Breach is Subset Games’ FTL followup, and it’s every bit the hallmark of excellence as its predecessor. It’s deceptively simple. Three mechs need to stop aliens from destroying a power grid. Easy enough, this is the exact sort of fight video games have always trained us for. There’s an 8×8 grid and just five turns in the mission. This can’t possibly be tough.
Oh, but it is. Into the Breach is a roguelike strategy game in the style of Fire Emblem or Advance Wars. But there’s a more cerebral chess-like quality to it. The enemies telegraph their moves one turn in advance. Coming out unscathed is nigh impossible. Most maneuvers are nothing more than mental concessions. “Something bad happened but it’s okay because something irreparably bad didn’t happen.” Into the Breach turns simple survival into a success story worth celebrating.
It’s all so smart. Agonizing over all the possible outcomes, weighing strategic tactics, feeling good about exactly none of it — there’s a lot of thoughtful design packed into this small-seeming game. Well, we feel good about one thing: Naming Into the Breach as Destructoid’s Best PC Game of 2018.