Breach Hands-On

The studio behind Six Days in Fallujah is back with another military shooter, and we've got a hands-on look.


Picking up the pieces left from the announcement and subsequent dropping of its last game--Six Days in Fallujah--by Konami, North Carolina-based developer Atomic Games has thrown its talent for creating military-themed games into the recently announced Breach. Based on the clandestine and utterly deniable operations of the CIA's Special Activities Division, Breach is a download-only online multiplayer shooter for the Xbox 360 and PC that uses much of the same technology that Atomic showed off with Six Days in Fallujah.

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You'll be able to choose from several classes in Breach (you can switch classes in between respawns), and each class has a different weapon and gear loadout. The gunner, for example, is equipped with a powerful and inaccurate M60 machine gun, while the recon class sacrifices raw firepower for a more accurate rifle. Of course, there are more ways to get a kill in recon than with an accurate headshot from 100 meters away. Thanks to an enhanced version of the engine that runs Six Days in Fallujah, nearly everything in Breach--from standard concrete cover to entire buildings--is entirely destructible.

"Nearly everything" means just that: you can bring down buildings on top of enemies by shooting out their support columns; you can take out the floor underneath a player and watch as he falls to the floor below him (which may or may not injure him in the process). That said, Atomic developers realized early on that when players are given the opportunity to destroy everything, they'll do just that: destroy every single thing on the map. Because of that, Atomic made the design choice to make some objects of tactical importance impervious to damage. So, while you might be able to punch holes in a building, you won't be able to take out a staircase that will lead you to the second floor and a great perch for sniping.

Breach's comprehensive destruction opens up some interesting tactical options when you're fighting for your virtual life. For example, you can shoot out an individual brick from a wall and use that small opening as a sniping window. Or you can plow through walls with abandon using a rocket launcher as you chase down an enemy operative.

Though Breach is a first-person shooter, it does have a cover system, similar to that found in Gears of War. To initiate cover, you move to a wall or obstacle and click the right stick (on the Xbox 360 controller); the camera pulls back to third-person view, and your character will take the appropriate cover position (which may differ depending on the type of object you're hiding behind as well as its particular state of degradation). From cover you can peek around corners, blind fire, and, of course, line up shots from relative safety, short-lived as that safety may be thanks to Breach's ever-present destruction.

Cover systems and rampant structural chaos aside, one other aspect of Breach's gameplay brings another element of fun: gadgets. This is the CIA we're talking about, and the gear SAD operatives roll with is the ultimate in high tech. According to producers, all of the gadgets in Breach are based on real-life equipment, and we got a chance to see a couple of examples in action. The first was a bionic ear, which amplifies and localizes sound; when it's in use, an onscreen meter will appear that will give you a visual indication of where enemies are around you, even if you can't see them. Even more useful is the sniper locator, which will help you pinpoint sniper locations from the light glares emanating off their scopes.

With eight-on-eight gameplay, Breach isn't going to compete with a game like MAG in terms of sheer numbers. Where it will compete, however, is with its pricing. This download-only game for Xbox Live and PC will come in at a low price--Atomic producers told us they are aiming for a $15 price tag (though the final price will be set by Microsoft). It's an aggressive pricing strategy that could prove successful if Breach's content does more than simply justify its budget price. We'll find out when the game is released this summer.

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Avatar image for Sticker704

26th of January folks. Imma getting it :)

Avatar image for rug_attraction

Their website mentions January 2011 as its release date.

Avatar image for kwanzudood

Where is this game? Thought it was supposed to be released summer 2010, haven't seen a peep about it.

Avatar image for tommynooky

This looks worth checking out during the summer, the destructibility is cool and it is a team shooter, I hope the grahics turn out a little bit better though, the price sounds like it will be good too.

Avatar image for halloran95

Hmm... this game doesn't look amazing but considering the other things that are availible on xbox live for fifteen dollars *cough*stimulus package*cough* it seems like a pretty good deal

Avatar image for realguitarhero5

looks like it has better destruction, clunkier controls.

Avatar image for cloud_kai

wait, did he just say that this is the only game with most destruction?... has he not heard of Red Faction Guerrilla or BC2?

Avatar image for cloud_kai

here we go, another (very similar) FPS....

Avatar image for SwitchBlade4474

My one worry is it's going to be like every other "game by microsoft"/game for xbox 360. The PC version will just be another crappy port.

Avatar image for ChiefFreeman

this looks like a good shooter. My only complaints are that the frame rate looked a bit choppy; especially during the explosions, and i wasn't too impressed with the way the walls and stuff blew up. The holes are too small, and I don;t think it will add to the tactics of the game. Still looks like it will be fun. I'll keep my eye on it.

Avatar image for TheReaper180

The destruction system looks cool, considering you can knock out specific bricks and such but other than that visuals are unimpressive.

Avatar image for RizziSmoov

damn the shooting mechanics look worse than mag's imo

Avatar image for askforgreg

smoke effects are all looks half assed..

Avatar image for AloeVera4

F*CK this online multi-player bulsh*t!!!

Avatar image for jtN

looks aweful

Avatar image for Blargsman

Looking very, very nice. I feel this game has plenty of potential - so long as it is executed properly.

Avatar image for BrickTamland314

if the game gets pushed back and becomes more polished it has a chance, i always wondered what would happen if you took rainbow six's cover system and combined it with battlefield

Avatar image for DustMan2704

whats the point of releasing something like this short after bad company 2? of course it will fail miserably...

Avatar image for StraiN-ShifTeD

The destruction is really cool, but this game looks buggy with extremely bad AI. :|

Avatar image for GamerLegend10

lol 'nube tube'

Avatar image for GamerLegend10

i would pay 2 or 3 times as much if: the graphics were better, it could have more than 16 players(at least 18 but 24+ would be better) if there were more weapons, maps and if u could upgrade and customize.

Avatar image for GamerLegend10

at first look i thought it would be terrible, but the graphics are not that bad(try watching in HD), the destructibility of the environment is awesome(much better than BFBC2) and finally it only costs $15 (or £10) which is not much for this game.

Avatar image for spongebob53186

cover systems in fps games are stupid. if im hiding behind a wall then i should not be able to see what is happening on the other side, the whole points of first person view is immersion....and how is it blind firing if i can clearly see what im shooting at. that being said even if the graphics arent stellar the fact that most stuff is destructable is a HUGE plus since that is how the military operates in real life.

Avatar image for xboxkane

this is pathetic

Avatar image for andy1992uk

Well the destruction in BC2 isnt that good. The explosions are covered with loads of dust to ensure that you never actually see the wall disappear which is what really happens It just disapeaers like a big jigsaw puzzle. The destruction on this game you see each individual brick move etc and it seems more dynamic. This game is more like Lego type destruction system which is better that Dices Jigsaw type destruction. This destruction syetm is there alot more advanced than Bc2s, although the visuals are somwehat lacking. And dont be so spoiled, these developers work very hard to make these, the least you could do is show some respect. Btw you can also destruct floors which is awsome, in BC2 the floors are indestructible. Apart from when the building falls downs. To me it looks quite good, seems like the team fortress 2 of destructible games.

Avatar image for Thanows

Nice song! which song is it?

Avatar image for bodylotion

@ thenephariouson : I would say Brothers In Arms was the first one using that wall cover thing.

Avatar image for wwwaltekwww

one thing is missing... when buying the game you should be able to actually discuss the price with the sales man. -Well i say it worths 9$! - no no i give you 5$ or no deal - all right 7$! - 6$ - deal! here you go... need a plastic bag? | this is a nice idea for a game it worths at least respect because only good graphics dont make a good game. Gameplay is much more important.

Avatar image for X-7

Cool. For $15 it looks really good. :D I love destruction!

Avatar image for ekultus

8vs8 ahahaha fail!!

Avatar image for metalkid9

why is gamespot promoting indie games these days.

Avatar image for -Origin-

They use the same sound bite of the grenade launcher from the Arma 2 in this game.. classy...

Avatar image for Exia2004

gfx are outdated

Avatar image for siddarthshetty

Well graphics is not really bad at all

Avatar image for priboy15

maybe it will be fun to play like co 1.6

Avatar image for thenephariouson

To be honest, i think the cover system alone will give this game a whole new dynamic, as people will be less likely to simply run-n-gun COD style due to the fact that you can hide behind walls and other structures, meaning that you can see them, but they cant see you. As i have previously stated, R6:Vegas 1 was the first game to use this system, and it works really well, in addition to completely changing the dynamics of what would otherwise be yet another generic FPS. More devs should use this system, and im really glad to see it not only in a £15 game, but with the addition of destructible envioroments. Personally, although it may not be graphically the most amazing shooter, i reckon it will be great fun nonetheless.

Avatar image for parrot_of_adun

@bodylotion I'm not saying BC2 has a bad destruction system (best around right now really), I'm just saying this looks like it's making a good effort to improve upon something. It actually seems nearly identical, but a little more dynamic (i.e. being able to shoot away individual bricks and so on).

Avatar image for gaptor

the graphics are outdated, but i like the destruction system

Avatar image for LeMarfanz

eh might be worth 15 bucks...does look a lil dated though

Avatar image for Karrotjuce

It looks quite good actually.

Avatar image for Aletunda

the graphics are pretty good considering its very low budget. i dont see why people are going to extremes by saying graphics on the atari in the 1980's are better, this is down right impressive especially for its destructive side. people shouldnt expect so much from a game worth 15 dollars.

Avatar image for etchcorp

I think it is better forget about this game: 10 years old graphic engine, will not work now a days... sorry

Avatar image for Doomsong83

Looks pretty decent but has a very "budget" look to it.

Avatar image for GT_APE

$15? Why not make it $1 and just use Atari 2600 graphics? Sons, daddy wants MODERN GRAPHICS at MODERN PRICES. Not 1980's graphics at 1980's prices. :O)

Avatar image for rrcp1us

The graphics look a bit outdated. But it sounds like an ambitious project and for 15 dollars it might be worth checking out.

Avatar image for michaelnation

Yawn...I'm gonna go play Bad Company 2

Avatar image for bodylotion

@parrot_of_Adun : Some people just keep on whining about everything. For a Battlefield game BFBC2 has good destruction. Some buildings can't be destroyed but that would make the game a lot slower. On Topic: For 15 dollar it seems like a nice shooter.

Avatar image for DuaMn

Sounds fair enough.

Avatar image for AdamWriter

I'm glad to see that even the budget games are starting to dig into the destructible environment technology.

Avatar image for klavve

looks ok for a budget shooter... destruction seems nice, hope the buildings can collapse.

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