A famous TV series once said, “Space the final frontier” and “Where no man has gone before”. I’m not quite sure how these phrases would apply to a story-driven, first-person space survival game. But for Breathedge 1.0 at least the “Where no man has gone before” quote makes sense when applied to the game’s humorous take on surviving a space wreck. We actually reviewed RedRuins Softworks and HypeTrain Digital‘s Breathedge when it was in beta/early access way back in 2019. The development team asked us to take a fresh look at the game as this week the team officially went to released status with their “1.0” version. Welcome to our review of Breathedge 1.0 on Steam PC!
“Take Your Protein Pills And Put Your Helmet On”
Nowadays there seem to be plenty of survival games to choose from. But when I first booted up Breathedge I knew something fun and special was about to happen. Watching the game’s opening credits I was reminded of the first time I saw the first Deadpool movie. In fact, it’s a strange coincidence that I find myself writing this review on the same night after attending a paid virtual event for Marvel’s Deadpool thirty-year anniversary. Breathedge is humorous for the most part in the same ways.
In Breathedge you play the role of a simple middle-aged guy called “Man” who is space shuttling his Grandfather’s ashes to a galactic funeral. Well, all hell breaks loose when your ship violently crashes and suddenly you find yourself in the middle of a universal conspiracy. There’s space debris, coffins, dead passengers, and all sorts of things thrown askew by this galactic nightmare wreck. You have to survive long enough to figure out what happened, why and reach the evacuation point.
“Now It’s Time To Leave The Capsule If You Dare”
Needless to say, Breathedge is a first-person space survival game. It’s task-driven and involves plenty of crafting, collecting, unlocking achievements, and being thoroughly entertained by the slapstick humor. To the game’s credit, there are four modes of play; Standard, Story, Impossible & Free. I chose to play in Standard mode.
Right away you’re given tasks to complete to advance the story. Early on you’ll need to craft a lot of the basic tools and resources you need to survive. But to do this you’ll need to leave the coziness of your dilapidated wreck to acquire materials, think “gathering” in other games. Early on venturing outside your capsule take some patience as you’re not equipped with a lot of oxygen and it’s easy to get turned around in space. Also, your default acceleration is such that as you chase after things to collect you could bump into them and propel them in another direction. After researching the controls screen I found a “stabilize” key which helped tremendously.
Like a good adventure game, there are a lot of things to “click on” and learn about. Somethings some items seem useless, while others provide future clues. The game also has documented forty-five achievements. Given that 1.0 clocks in at roughly twenty hours of gameplay that seems like a hefty achievement.
The game’s free space physics is a bit bouncy, I can see how some people might get motion sickness especially if you get “lost in space”. There’s a lot of accelerating, deaccelerating, and then stabilize. All of which takes some practice to perfect.
Your typical survival elements are here. You need to maintain food and drink supplies, via crafting. And if you run low on oxygen your health will decline to require you to “rest” to recuperate. One complaint early on is that even though you can craft food, drink, and oxygen tanks and slot these on a four-digit action bar, these don’t appear to be stackable on the action bar. This lead to moments of panic in deep space once I used one oxygen tank I’d have to bring up my inventory and send another to the hotkey bar.
For most of your journey, your suit’s AI is your pal. “Suit” delivers a ton of hilarious, fast-paced prattle that sometimes just comes and goes too fast for you to fully comprehend. Other attempts at humor can sometimes fall flat quick like the contact “Babe”.
Babe’s icon is a close-up of a busty woman’s chest and the dialogue is in broken English that is obviously a Russian astronaut trying to get your attention. The occurrences of these are sometimes too much but at the same time deserve a chuckle. Luckily, for all this dialogue thrown at you, the system maintains a log that you can revisit anytime you’d like.
There’s plenty to love about this light-hearted space survival game. Many have compared this to Subnatica but for space. The 1.0 version brings content out to about the twenty-hour mark to complete.
No matter the comparisons there’s just something in the game that made me want to keep on working on the next task. This urge to keep going also pushes you into venturing out into space deeper and deeper looking for the next “find”. At the end of the day, could you ask any more from a great game?
Compare To: Subnatica
This review was accomplished using a Steam PC code provided by PR.