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Breach Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Breach is not a bad game; it's just not on the same level as the competition. It's a fifteen dollar shooter with three boring levels and expensive upgrades. Even with destructible environments and a cover system, Atomic Games' newest shooter just doesn't measure up. There are some good ideas in Breach; I can't wait to see them incorporated into a better game! Rating: 50%
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  • Review Score:

  • C
To say that Breach made a disastrous first impression would be an understatement. When I first loaded up Atomic Games' newest first-person shooter, I discovered that it was a broken mess of a game. It was hard to start a match, server problems prevented successful matches and don't even get me started on the lag. It was enough to make me write off the game completely. Now a few weeks later, I've decided to give the game a second chance. I'm glad I did, because there's more to this game than frustrating server issues.

Breach is an online-only first-person shooter for the Xbox Live Arcade, sort of a mini-Call of Duty for lack of a better description. There are three different levels (four if you consider one has a night version), competitive 16-player action and five different classes to level up (rifleman, gunner, sniper, support and recon). At fifteen dollars, Breach isn't a bad deal if you don't want to spend the full $60 on a full-sized first-person shooter.

Breach (XBLA)

Beyond lifting the control layout directly from Call of Duty, Breach also does a good job of incorporating a perks systems. Much like other recent shooters, each kill, assist or completed objective is worth points. Earn enough points and the player will rank up, unlocking new guns for each class. Players can also use these points to buy upgrades for their guns and armor. It won't take long before you have a super powered sight, better head protection and the ability to run for long stretches. But beware; there are only so many slots open for these perks, so choose wisely.

Don't let all of these comparisons to Call of Duty give you the wrong impression; Breach does bring a number of original ideas to the table. For starters, this is one of the few online shooters that allows for destructible environments. Want to kill the guy on the second story but don't want to go through the hassle of walking up stairs? You can avoid this problem by blowing up the floor from under his feet. Players are able to destroy bridges, tear down walls and cause irreversible damage to the level. This is one of the few first-person shooters where the level actually gets more interesting as the time runs out.

Breach (XBLA)

Breach also employs a somewhat awkward cover system. In theory this is supposed to slow the matches down, allowing for more strategic play as each person does their best not to be noticed. Sadly, that's not how it was executed. For one thing, it's not always clear what you can use for cover. Objects that look right won't work; making it a chore to figure out which areas you can and cannot hug. And even if you figure all this out, you're still left with sluggish controls that seem to fight you every step of the way. Perhaps that's why many of the players online have abandoned the cover mechanic for the traditional run and gun approach.

The game's five modes aren't bad, though there's nothing revolutionary here. There's the standard team death match mode (an eight-on-eight free for all) and a land grab-style game where each time tries to hold on five zones for the longest time. Sole survivor is a variant of team death match, only without the ability to respawn until the round ends. Breach also includes something called Convoy, where players protect slow-moving trucks as they pass through enemy rich ambush sites. Finally there's Retrieval mode, a capture the flag-style game where players collect (and return) canister of bioweapons.
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