Try-It Tuesday: Breach

“It’s like The Secret World and Global Agenda combined.”

Usually, I’m not one for early access. I mean, I’m *really* not. I think that there’s a lot of issues that this push to sell barely developed games is causing in the industry, and when we support it financially, we’re only contributing to the problem. But once in a blue moon I have dipped into this well, mostly out of curiosity, and some positive word-of-mouth and the above phrase tempted me into snagging Breach this month. Figured that, if nothing else, it might make for an interesting Try-It Tuesday title.

Turns out that might be all it was good for. Really wish I had that money back. Stupid impulse purchases.

In a nutshell, Breach is a third-person action-RPG where a team of four players attempts to win a map (dungeon) while a single opposing player takes on the role of a Void Demon (dungeon master) who can lay down traps and possess mobs to pilot them manually. This 4v1 idea has been poked at before in the genre — most notably back in 2015 with BioWare’s now-abandoned Shadow Realms — and I think it holds a lot of promise. It’s a fascinating blend of PvE and PvP, and I love the idea of giving players the tools to add variety and challenge into a dungeon run.

To go back to the opening phrase, Breach is a little like TSW and GA, but mostly in a pseudo-contemporary/horror setting and combat. Really, if you were to borrow one element from TSW and put into your game, I wouldn’t have chosen its combat system — old or new. So to have a game that’s pretty much Secret World Legends: Fight Hard without much in the way of story or world building or open world exploration is not much of an endorsement.

A few points in Breach’s favor that should be said. There is a lot of potential here and a very motivated dev team that wants to get a lot more content in before launch. The character creation offers some truly tempting class options and pretty well-done visual options (I wish that there was more mix-and-matching with outfits, but generally there’s more here than in a lot of early access titles I’ve seen). And the combat was… fine. Serviceable.

But serviceable isn’t enough for a game that’s pretty much all about combat. I ran the tutorials. I did the Veil Demon tutorial (which offered a slightly more interesting side of the game). I did a couple of runs with others. During all of this, I kept thinking, “It’s just not enough to have decent combat. There has to be more. There has to be a hook.” Said hook wasn’t appearing or reeling me in.

So for now, I’m putting this one on the shelf to perhaps check out again when it actually launches later this year.