Introduction: “Into the Breach” is a turn-based strategy game developed by Subset Games, the creators of the critically acclaimed “FTL: Faster Than Light.” Released in 2018, “Into the Breach” quickly garnered praise for its deep tactical gameplay, pixel art style, and the way it innovatively blends traditional strategy elements with time-traveling sci-fi narratives. In this article, we will delve into the pros and cons of “Into the Breach,” offer a detailed gameplay guide, and present five top alternatives for those looking to explore similar games.
Pros of Into the Breach:
Cons of Into the Breach:
- Steep Learning Curve: The game’s deep strategic mechanics can be intimidating for newcomers to the turn-based strategy genre. Learning the intricacies of mech abilities, Vek behavior, and environmental interactions may take some time and patience.
- Limited Storytelling: While the time-traveling narrative is a unique and engaging aspect of the game, the overall storytelling is minimal. “Into the Breach” focuses more on the tactical aspects, leaving some players craving a deeper and more immersive storyline.
- Repetitive Objectives: Despite the procedural generation of levels, the game can become repetitive in terms of objectives. While the core gameplay remains engaging, some players may find the repetition of city defense missions a bit monotonous.
- Lack of Visual Variety: The pixel art style, while charming, may not appeal to players who prefer more detailed and visually rich graphics. Some may find the simplistic visuals less immersive compared to other games with more elaborate designs.
- Limited Multiplayer: “Into the Breach” is primarily a single-player game, which might disappoint those who enjoy multiplayer experiences. The lack of a robust multiplayer mode means that the game is largely a solo endeavor.
How to Play Into the Breach:
- Select Your Squad: At the beginning of each campaign, you’ll choose a squad of three mechs from a list of available options. Each mech has unique abilities and weapons, so consider how their skills complement each other. Experimentation is key to finding the most effective squad for your playstyle.
- Protect Cities: Your primary objective is to protect cities from the Vek, alien creatures that threaten humanity. When a city is damaged, it loses power. If a city loses all its power, it’s destroyed, and the game’s timeline is altered. Your goal is to prevent this by eliminating or redirecting Vek attacks.
- Plan Your Moves: The game offers perfect information by showing you the Vek’s intentions before they act. Use this knowledge to your advantage. Position your mechs to block or eliminate the Vek, save cities, and avoid collateral damage. Be mindful of the environmental hazards and try to use them to your advantage.
- Upgrade Your Mechs: After each island is completed, you receive rewards that can be used to upgrade your mechs. Choose upgrades that complement your squad’s abilities and fill gaps in your strategy. Pilots can also gain experience and acquire new skills.
- Time Travel: If a campaign ends in failure, you can send one of your pilots back in time, retaining their experience and skills. This unique mechanic encourages experimentation and learning from mistakes.
- Complete Bonus Objectives: Each island has optional bonus objectives that can earn you additional rewards. Completing these objectives can make your squad more powerful and better equipped to tackle tougher challenges in later islands.
- Balance Defense and Offense: It’s essential to find a balance between defending cities and dealing damage to the Vek. Sometimes, the best offense is a good defense, while other situations call for aggressive tactics. Adapt your strategy to the specific challenges of each mission.
- Environmental Interactions: The game features various environmental elements, such as mountains, forests, and ice. These can be used to your advantage, as they can block Vek movement, redirect attacks, or even damage the Vek. Learn to manipulate the environment to your benefit.
- Pay Attention to Pilot Abilities: Each pilot comes with unique abilities. Some can repair damage, others can move mechs, and some can even pilot enemy units. Utilize these abilities effectively to gain an edge in battles.
Top 5 Alternatives to Into the Breach:
- XCOM 2: “XCOM 2” is a turn-based strategy game that places you in command of a global resistance force fighting against an alien occupation. It features deep strategic gameplay, base management, and character progression, making it a challenging and rewarding experience.
- Fire Emblem: Three Houses: This tactical RPG offers an engaging story, deep character relationships, and grid-based battles. “Fire Emblem: Three Houses” provides a compelling mix of turn-based combat and role-playing elements.
- Advance Wars: “Advance Wars” is a classic turn-based strategy series that combines military tactics with colorful graphics. Players command armies, manage resources, and engage in strategic battles on a grid-based map.
- Darkest Dungeon: If you enjoy the challenge of managing a team of characters in a grim and gothic setting, “Darkest Dungeon” is an excellent choice. It combines turn-based combat with resource management and a unique stress system that affects your heroes’ mental well-being.
- Battle Brothers: “Battle Brothers” is a challenging, mercenary-themed turn-based strategy game. You lead a group of mercenaries in a medieval, open-world setting, engaging in tactical battles, managing your company, and making tough moral decisions.
Conclusion: “Into the Breach” is a standout title in the turn-based strategy genre, offering deep and challenging gameplay with a unique focus on perfect information and time-traveling mechanics. While it may have a steep learning curve for some and limited storytelling, its strategic depth and replayability make it a must-play for strategy enthusiasts. If you’re looking for alternatives, games like “XCOM 2,” “Fire Emblem: Three Houses,” “Advance Wars,” “Darkest Dungeon,” and “Battle Brothers” provide a diverse range of experiences that should satisfy your tactical cravings. Whether you’re a fan of pixel art aesthetics or not, “Into the Breach” has something to offer for anyone seeking a satisfying and cerebral gaming experience.