Occasionally here at Player2.net.au, we will play something that deserves your attention but probably doesn’t need a full review written for it. Be it DLC for the latest AAA title, a little indie game or even an Android/iOS title. We play these titles for a blockbusting amount of time (2 – 5 hours) and report back to you the reader on what we found. So grab your popcorn and settle in for the latest episode of Blockbuster Gaming.
Blockbuster Gaming – Breached
Breached is a little futuristic sci-fi exploration game available on STEAM. The premise sounds interesting. You have woken up from cryo-sleep, crash landed on some strange planet, and will only survive a little over a week unless you manage to repair your generator from scavenged parts and synthesize fuel from materials on the planet.
The game has three main parts to it. Usually at the start of a day you get a diary entry and can select particular words in the entry to write down more of your thoughts and expand on the story. It’s an interesting little bit of psycho-analysis, but I have to admit I didn’t really follow it. Your character talks about his (I think his) situation and ponders on the meaning of life, relationships etc. It’s a small part of the gameplay, though. There’s the scavenging, which I’ll get to in a bit; the third part is the lab section where you can synthesize fuel, hack modules to get parts for your generator and attempt repair or refuel. The fuel synthesis is a little mini-game where you try to balance 3 elements to get the most efficient mixture. I did not find it that much fun.
The bulk of the game consists of choosing a location on your map and connecting your consciousness to a probe. You then pilot the probe across the landscape looking for modules or minerals. This takes the form of first person view where you control a probe that handles like hamster ball in the ocean. At least, that’s what it felt like to me. The controls are simple, but I really struggled. Press the left mouse button to move forward, and right to stop, while looking and steering using the mouse. The probe has momentum, which is realistic, but makes it difficult to handle. Apart from navigating environmental features like hills, mountains, ravines and canyons, there are also moving anomalies (which appear as glowing spheres) that can interfere with your probe signal and disconnect if you get too close.
I spent a lot of time wandering round, fighting nausea, hoping that I would get near enough some resource so that my probe would detect it, start beeping and show a range finder. I found the best bet was to head for interesting looking structures in the hope that some technology would be lying around. It worked sometimes. However, there were large stretches of, well, not much in between. My least favourite area was huge canyon that confounded my sense of direction and had me going in circles until I disconnected my probe myself.
The graphics are decent enough, and I really did feel a bit lonely while exploring the expansive landscapes. You get the feel that some civilization used to live on the planet, but died out or left long ago. The also music suited the atmosphere, but it did get repetitive after a while.
Breached may appeal to those who like slow exploration, chemistry, bleak landscapes and don’t get sea or car sick. For the rest of you, maybe watch some YouTube clips before spending your money. The story may well have got more interesting once I had fixed and refuelled the generator, but my patience wore out before that.
Anyhow, my crash survivor is on day 6 of his ordeal and has 3 days before his oxygen runs out. I fear that his fate will be to die on that strange anomaly-ridden world, I certainly don’t have the patience to save him.