Breach PC Review

By on February 4, 2011

As a fan of the indie community, I really admire the ideas and the work of most of the indie teams. However, there are studios that push the gaming boundaries and offer some astonishing games and there are those that can’t implement their ideas to a proper video game. In this case, it is wiser to stop development and start over again. One of those studios is Atomic Games which offered us their latest game, Breach.

My first reaction to Breach’s media was positive. The debut trailer looked good and its big ace was undoubtedly the environmental destruction, as it seemed you could destroy almost everything. With the PC version supporting both PhysX and dedicated servers, things seemed to be ideally… well until the game’s release.

We won’t discuss the technical aspects of Breach. After all, this is a downloadable game so we didn’t expect it to look and sound as good as Crysis or Bad Company 2. I have to admit though that I was expecting something a little bit better. Seriously, what can I say about its graphics, when I consider Warface’s (the latest free-to-play FPS from Crytek that will be available throughout Korea) pretty average? Only one word comes to my mind. Outdated. The same applies to its sound. Breach is one of the most ‘silent’ war games out there. Well, if you can call it a war game to begin with. Furthermore, the sampling of the effects is pretty low and even the explosions don’t offer that ‘wow’ effect of, let’s say, Bad Company 2.

Get used to this screen!

Of course, if its gameplay is extraordinary then who cares about the outdated tech, right? The problem is that we’ve already seen what Breach has to offer in almost every other FPS game. Except from the covering system that seems identical to the one of Rainbow Six: Vegas. With the press of a button, our character takes cover and the camera zooms out to a third person perspective. This is cool and helpful, as you can examine the stage safer and can set traps to your enemies easier. Or you can just stay there and be the camper of the day. Pay attention though, as you can’t rotate the camera at will.

And this is the best feature that Breach has to offer. Although the destruction is pretty good, it doesn’t give the feeling of total destruction that Bad Company 2 does. Given the fact that Atomic Games advertised the PhysX support of the PC version, I was expecting better destruction with more debris. Yes, you can completely destroy some houses but there are only three-four in each map. And I would really appreciate it, if there were heavy weapons from the start. Due to the game’s perk system and the available team roles, you can’t find any heavy weapon. Damn, you don’t even have a grenade. It would be fine, if the leveling up system was better. Chances are though that you will uninstall the game, before you even get your first perk. Thankfully, some maps have a rocket launcher so I consider myself lucky to have witnessing house destructions. And as always, there is a limit to the destructibility, as most caves and construction sites can’t be destroyed.

Things get even worse, as there isn’t any Campaign mode. There are only four multiplayer maps available right now and their level design is bad. There are games with outdated game engines that were saved by their art direction, their clever level design or the outstanding use of lighting. Breach is clearly not one of them. There are four multiplayer modes: Infiltration, Convoy, Retrieval and Team Deathmatch. Infiltration is similar to the Conquest mode of Bad Company 2. You simply have to capture some places for as long as you can. In Convoy, one team advances the convoy to safety while the opposing team tries to stop it. Team Deathmatch, well you already know what this is and Retrieval is a capture the flag clone. Instead of carrying flags, you carry a bioweapon canister.

And I really need to mention all those bugs and problems that Breach faces right now. For starters, SLI is not working. You will have to run the game in single GPU mode. The game crashes sometimes at the Loading screen and you will often encounter CTD. Most of the times, the host will be leaving (especially if he’s a noob) and the game will return you to the main screen, dedicated servers are crashing for no apparent reason, there are no penalties for the disconnects of the host, navigating the browser list is a pain in the ass as you can’t use your mouse wheel and there is a lot of lag, even to servers where your latency is low. And last but not least, it may be tough to find a server but it is way tougher to actually stay in that server and play the game.

Unfortunately, Breach didn’t deliver. There are some good ideas but then again there are a lot of bugs, average gameplay with mediocre gunplay, an outdated game engine and some bad ideas from the devs that literally destroy it. If you thought that Black Ops was in beta phase when it was released, think again. Don’t bother with it until Atomic Games address those issues. But then again, even without those bugs and problems, Breach doesn’t have anything new to offer. Sad but true!

Rating: 5.0 / 10.0

+ Destructibility
+ Nice covering system

– It’s tough to find a server, it’s tougher to actually stay in that server
– Outdated game engine
– Average gameplay and only four available maps
– No campaign
– Lag and bugs

About David Scarpitta

I am a critical guy, and love to review and give my professional opinion on just about anything. Though have a love for tech/gaming and music alongside the cinema. You can catch me consulting and developing the net any day of the week.