Breach, from developer QC Games, is a third person, action RPG with an emphasis on quick combat, extensive class selection, and co-op fun. In a world where the modern and mythological clash, players create a hero to take up the charge of saving the world from demonic invasions. With a heavy emphasis on the co-op experience, dungeon runs and all of the loot Breach offers a lot for its early access status. Throw in a quick swapping class system that allows players the ability to switch classes in between missions and you have a game that promises a pretty good time.
With just under a week of hacking, shooting and healing my way through the three available levels, 4 game modes and 6 classes (18 in total), its time to put into words my experience with this title. So grab that coffee, kick back and enjoy this first impressions piece of Breach from QC Games.
As an early access title, not a whole lot of the story has been revealed. Essentially you take on the role of a hero who has been tasked with combatting demons that keep pouring in through dimensional rifts in the hopes of getting to the root cause of the invasion. Much of the story thus far has been told through character dialogue via radio during the missions. Personally, this is my preferred way to take in the narrative as it allows me to continue hacking and slashing while listening. According to the games Steam page, a much deeper narrative that delves deeper into the motives and reasons for the current state of affairs is planned for final release. At present all that’s really important is is the following; you = good. Demon = bad.
Gameplay centers around a series of missions that will see players traverse a wide array of locations. Even with only three maps currently available, the games diverse settings is already visible. Each has a unique aesthetic and layout ranging from desert to inner city and even after multiple playthroughs still offer fun little nooks and crannies to explore. While not killing demons and taking numbers, players spend their time in a hub area known as the Library of Alexandria and yes I mean ‘that’ Alexandria. Here players can socialize, prepare for missions, and look for people to group up with. Not interested in socializing? No problem. The game also has a built-in looking for group function that allows you to quickly queue up for missions.
Combat in Breach is a pretty straight forward but fun affair. Each class has a primary and secondary ability along with three specials and an ultimate. The game utilizes a cooldown system on the secondary and specials and a charge up mechanic on the ultimate. As you pour damage on enemies or support a group member the ultimate charges. Once filled up you are free to devastate the enemy or heal a friend depending on your class selection.
The whole system plays really well with each class offering a vastly different play style. In regards to classes each of the 18 available falls into one of four categories; Tank, Heals, DPS or Control. Of the six I have had access to I can honestly say that each plays dramatically different and offers its own unique take on their respective category. With the added bonus of being able to try before you by via the games training room, there is a lot of freedom to really get comfortable with a class before investing your hard-earned currency or real money.
In regards to classes its also worth discussing briefly the other side of combat in Breach. Not only do you have the opportunity to play as a hero but for those so inclined you can also choose to play as a Demon. These demon classes (6 in total) offer a whole different take on the combat experience, relying more on well-planned attacks, traps and minion summons that straight up twitch gameplay.
As a Demon you will are given a whole array of traps to layout ahead of the players. Along with this, your ultimate is replaced with the ability to summon elite demons to challenge the heroes. Finally, your primary attack allows you to possess any demon on the map giving you direct control over their attack and movement. Its a unique take on the 4v1 system and can provide a fresh perspective on the combat of Breach. Don’t fret though if you tend to lean more towards the PVE as opposed to the PVP, this is an optional mode and if you prefer you can queue up for a strictly PVE experience.
Progression in Breach is handled on two levels. As a hero, you will gain levels for every activity you take part in. Any experienced game during your mission runs goes towards your hero level. Additionally, the experience is gained on a class level, which unlocks access to better gear and more powerful abilities. Each class has its own set of gear and gems that can be augmented allowing players the freedom to spec their favorite class to their heart’s content.
From my time with the game, each of these systems works well. My only real issue at present is actually in relation to gear drops. At present gear, drops don’t seem to be connected to your currently selected class. This means that even though I may be running missions as an Arcane Mender there is a good chance that the gear dropping won’t be for that class. This may be intentional and designed to encourage class selection diversity but its frustrating when you are trying to focus in on a specific class.
At present, the game has a great foundation. The combat is solid, map builds are diverse, and the mechanics feel fun and engaging. The game is still pretty fresh in Early Access and as a result does still feel a bit buggy. From server lag to weird glitches that saw my demon manage to get outside the map there is still a lot of bug smashing to be done. Even with these issues, QC Games is on the right track to building a solid offering to the Co-op ARPG genre. With a solid foundation and some pretty sweet roadmap goals laid out, Breach is looking to offer something new for players. Whether or not it will be able to deliver on all that it promises is something only time will reveal.