If you’ve been paying attention to the indie game scene in the past week, you’ve likely heard of FTL developer Subset Games new tactical role-playing game, Into the Breach. After the initial announcement of the game in February, it released last Tuesday on PC to universal critical acclaim. Into the Breach is also nominated for two IGF awards, the Seumas Mcnally Grand Prize and the Excellence in Design award.
Into the Breach shows humanity’s last stand against giant insect kaiju known as Vek, and takes place on several islands which unlock as players progress. The sole objective of the game is for the three person mech pilot team — which can include tanks, jets, artillery, giant robots, and more — to defend the surrounding civilian filled buildings and eliminate the Vek infestation, while clearing optional bonus objectives. The buildings support a power grid which powers the three units, and is used as a health bar separate from the three individual units. If any of those three units fall in battle, the pilot will die and be replaced with a playable AI unit in the following mission. If the power grid is depleted or all units are destroyed, then the timeline will be lost to the Vek infestation and the player will have to start over in another timeline, losing the equipment they’ve gained, but bringing one of their surviving pilots along with them. There is only one team to start out with, but other teams can be unlocked through achievements and can be upgraded over time in each playthrough. Players can also mix and match their teams to find out what their preferred units and strategic methods are.
I’ve never been one to play strategy games, but I was slightly interested when I learned Into the Breach would soon be released. Due to my love of giant robots and kaiju, I decided to finally take a chance with this game after seeing a few gameplay videos, and I was far from disappointed once I played the game myself. Although it’s not the easiest genre to adapt to, I find the mechanics of Into the Breach to be understandable enough. It can be frustrating at times, but the addictive gameplay and short turn limit makes you think “Just one more mission,” and then before you know it you’re progressing to the next island or starting from another timeline.
Into the Breach is an enjoyable and relatively accessible strategy game truly deserving of its positive reception. Although the game is exclusive to PC right now, it would be a shame if it doesn’t release on other consoles at some point in the future.