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Sly Reflex

Into the Breach

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Into the Breach is a game that came from the FTL; Faster than Light guys. Instead of being a grid based real time strategy you can pause and plan out your course of attack, here we're in 3D isometric land where everything is turn based. Also I don't think this is a rogue like, or from what little I've experienced it's not show that hand yet, if it does happen to have some randomness to it.

 

The game plays a little bit like the old turn based war games, if you've played Advance Wars or Fire Emblem you'll feel right at home here. However there are a few differences that sort of make this game unique.

 

The first one is that you only get 3 units. You get a big walking tank that can punch things. You get a standard tank that can fire on anything as long as it has line of sight on the target and you get an artillery that can do indirect fire, helping it arc shots over terrain, but also making it so that it can't attack things directly next to it. So far, so vanilla.

 

The biggest difference is that the way these pieces move and interact with the bad guys that pop up on the map. For instance all the units you have at your disposal can push back enemies a square. This comes in very useful, because if something happens to be in the tile where they would be knocked into, that tiles occupant takes damage as well. Remember this.

 

Another difference is that after each turn the enemies show you directly what they're going to attack. This is where the pushing mobs about the tile set comes important. Sure you could use a tank shell to hit that big enemy up the arse, but that's going to push him right onto the city and give him what he wants anyway. The idea is you read what attack are coming and use this pushing system to save objectives and your own armour. Placing your guys in positions that leads the enemies into grouping up so that you can push them into each other and mountains to hurt them or even get them to attack each other is part of the strategy here. You can also instakill any ground based enemies by pushing them into the water.

 

The final big difference is that the fight you are taking place in only lasts a set number of turns, usually enemies burst from the ground each turn, you are thoroughly outnumbered and the general gist of the game is to survive. You have limited resources and it looks like you're just meant to cling onto the objective before moving onto the next mission. There are sub objectives, some of which say you can kill all of the enemies, but for the most it looks like you'll be keeping the wolves from the door before being whisked off to deal with the next insect eruption.

 

Because of the nature of the skirmishes taking a few minutes before you're moved on it makes an ideal game to play when you've not got much time, I can imagine this being a really good phone game for that reason. Not to say it's without depth because of that, there's going to be plenty of head scratching trying to work out how to smash the fuck out of the attackers without them destroying your buildings and setting everything on fire. It's going to be one of those games that's deceptively simple to grasp but really difficult to master.

 

It's left a good first impressions, maybe not quite as captivating as FTL was when that originally hit, but I think most people will really enjoy it if they're into turn based strategy.

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4 hours ago, Sly Reflex said:

Another difference is that after each turn the enemies show you directly what they're going to attack.

I was speaking to DC about this mechanic because Slay the Spire does the same. I was trying to think if this was a new thing or if it had been done before. (Possibly Braverly Default, i can't remember.) 

 

It's such a simple idea and it sounds like you're cheating a bit because you know what people are doing but i fucking love it because it's adding a defensive layer to the tactics. 

 

@Sly ReflexWhat's the time travel like in this? Sounds like a pretty interesting idea in a rogue-like. 

 

I'm excited to play this at the weekend. 

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It mentions time travel when you start the game up as a story thing, but I've not actually seen it, it might be a mechanic that kicks in once you fail or something. I'll have to report back when I see it.

 

I think in the bitesized nature of the conflicts in this game that the whole "You know what their intentions are" fit since it's all about mitigating damage or even pushing it so they hit each other. There were as few instances where I had to purposely do actions that hurt my cities simply because there was nothing I could do better at the time. It's kind of clever as well since when they start smothering you the whole chain reaction thing means that although you're at the whim of the game, the stuff in the back is getting hit just as much as you are, when you fire arty into them it smashes whatever is on the tile you hit and then pushes everything surrounding that tile outwards, which can cause a fair bit of chaos, both for and against your cause.

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I've had this on my wishlist for a little while. I played about 45 minutes tonight and I'm glad to say it's quality so far. The 2D graphics are really nice, and I'm enjoying the music a lot too.

 

Advance Wars is an apt comparison, it's on the very approachable end of turn-based tactics, just like those GBA games were. The combat is very different though. In these early stages, using your attack abilities to move enemies around is pretty key to success. Protecting the buildings is very important, as damage to buildings decreases a power level which persists across the game. Once that goes down to zero it's game over, so a lot of the decision making is about can you prevent the bugs damaging buildings by killing/manoeuvring them. If not, do you allow the hit this time, or let one of your mechs take it.

 

As for the 'time travel': It seems a bit Edge of Tomorrow'. You can re-start a turn once per battle, and there's also the option to restart the timeline (i.e start a new game), choosing one of your pilots who persists with all their experience and abilities, while everything else re-sets.

 

I haven't gotten far into seeing what the upgrade system is all about, but on surface level it has similarities to FTL. Upgrades are earned, found or bought, but need sufficient power in order to activate. There also seem to be different teams of mechs you can unlock, with different weapons and abilities.

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What difficulty have you guys been playing on? I’m going to stick with Normal for the time being which seems like a robust challenge. I can’t remember the difficulty I beat FTL on (I’d like to think it was Normal but it was probably Easy) but I’ll always remember it as one of my most satisfying gaming achievements.

 

I played for 45 minutes before dying, I think it was fourth mission on the first island. I carried my punching guy forward because he gotten a movement bonus in my first “timeline”. 

 

The race is on to be the first to complete it! ;)

 

 

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2 hours ago, Sambob said:

This is on PC right?

That thing you were posting about in the shout thread, this seems like a good suggestion for a game to play? 

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Got quite far today, died on my second last mission on the second island. I got caught out by not paying attention to the range of a new enemy's ability until it was too late...

 

Once you unlock an island you can tackle them in any order.

 

Like others have said, once you play the game you realise a few things very quickly. The primary goal is not taking any damage to your power grid, everything else is a distant second. So the main thing is to pay attention to any buildings that will be attacked in the next turn, and doing everything you can to prevent that. That could be pushing enemies, blocking enemies, moving enemies out of their attack range, or killing enemies. Putting this goal first and foremost is the key to surviving for a long time in the game (i.e. making it through missions without any real negative consequences).

 

But of course, then there is the layer beyond that, which is preventing building damage in the next turn while also thinking further ahead...

 

Love this game so far. :)

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Up to 6 hours now. I think I played this game for four hours today. Once you start it's hard to stop...

 

I think I have the knack of general survival worked out pretty well. On this playthrough I didn't lose a bar of health until the boss fight on the second island, which got pretty hairy. I really had to think to survive the last turn. That unlocked the third island. The game gives you the option of taking on the final battle at this stage (the difficulty scales according to how many islands you have completed). I should have remembered how long and drawn out the final battle in FTL was...anyway I foolishly took it on, survived the first stage, but suffered a pretty overwhelming annihilation in the second stage. No pilots survived to fight another day.

 

Some of the upgrades really helped me on that playthrough, especially the grapple hook and the one where you can jump over an enemy and drop smoke on them.

 

Anyway, I used the coins I had earned to unlock a new squad. I haven't played as them yet but they have totally different weapon types, so it should present a new challenge... I feel like I've gotten my money's worth already out of this game! 

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I've beaten the game on easy, haven't managed on normal yet, but got totally demolished on the final battle a couple of times.

 

I've unlocked 3 or 4 new squads. I really like the Rusting Hulks who use smoke clouds a lot to cancel enemy attacks, but also have a passive ability that electrifies smoke to cause damage each turn. They're a lot of fun.

 

There's another group who revolve around chain lightning attacks, but I haven't really managed to get my head around them yet. It's too easy to do collateral damage to friendly units.

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Played a bit more today. Played the fourth island for the first time which is hilariously difficult if you take it on last (as I found out), but of course everything in Into the Breach gets easier with experience... I was playing as the Rusting Hulks who like Craymen said are a cool squad, they have a good mix of abilities.

 

After that I unlocked the third squad (I've forgotten their name) but again they have almost completely different abilities which changes the game dramatically. There's an amazing amount of content and fun to be had playing this game.

 

 

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Picked this up on the Switch last night as i've fancied something I can just lay in bed and play. Only an hour and a half or so in but loving it so far, though it seems pretty punishing. Deceptively simple yet a lot of depth and i've barely scratched the surface. Tempted to pick it up on Steam as well.

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Yeah, this game is very, very good.  The nice bite sized element means it moves along at a fast pace which is nice. 

 

I was struggling quite a bit at first but once I unlocked Rusty Hulks the game started making sense.  I still mess up as I keep thinking I can cancel movement but it doesn't let you.  It would probably be too easy if you could. 

It means a few dumb mistakes but it's all part of learning your squads abilities. 

 

Just waiting for my Switch to charge so I can get back to it and tackle the fourth island I've just unlocked. 

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Bought this as it was on sale. Don’t know when I get to it but both looking forward to it and pretty intimidated by it the way people talk about the difficulty

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I played it quite a lot over a couple of weeks, but it gets pretty tricky to complete some of the challenges, with the different squads, which you need to do to get the last few coins to unlock the final squads.

 

An enjoyable game though nonetheless.

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