Breach Xbox 360 review
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While it's neither free of shortcomings nor likely to impede Call of Duty's FPS supremacy, Breach certainly offers a nice alternative...
Breach is the latest shooter developed by Atomic Games - the studio behind the Close Combat series - but is the company's first release on Microsoft's ever-expanding Xbox 360 range. Breach itself is an online-only blend of both first and third person action which takes gameplay influence from the likes of Rainbow Six: Vegas; and is primarily a first person shooter, switching to third person perspective when in cover. The game is a good online experience, but suffers from some clunky gameplay and uninspiring mechanics that simply seem inferior to its contemporaries.
In Breach you take on the role of a Black Ops operative, playing through multiple game modes ranging from standard deathmatch to objective-based game types. While the available game modes are certainly enjoyable, they offer no form of originality to distinguish Breach from its rivals; instead combining the standard, run-of-the-mill game modes which we have grown accustomed to in modern online shooters. In regards to weapons, Breach stumbles once more, offering a relatively small selection which, again, is reminiscent of a very standard shooter affair. Worse still is the way the guns handle, regularly feeling slow, unresponsive and somewhat clunky - especially when compared against the finesse of titles such as Halo or the Call of Duty franchise. As well as the gunplay mishaps, the cover system - which Breach has prided itself on and used to laud over its competitors - suffers from a number of bugs throughout. Too regularly will your character dive for cover only to become lodged within it, unable to get out; or ignore your requests completely, choosing instead to stand in the open taking heavy fire. As you can imagine, such incidents are incredibly tedious, and particularly frustrating considering that Breach markets itself as a 'fast-paced' game. However, a saving grace of Breach is its XP levelling system, one which allows you to earn experience and purchase a number of new gadgets and upgrades throughout. This feature adds a great level of depth to the game - giving you a lot of customisable options for your persistent character profile - and does at least draw you away from Breach's numerous weaknesses.
As well as suffering from some pretty detrimental gameplay issues, Breach has quite a few problems in the overall presentation of the package. The graphics are both bland and poorly detailed, and the destructible environments - another key area that Breach's developers have been keen to highlight - add little to the overall gameplay. Instead, these environments end up feeling stale and poorly displayed, with debris simply fading away when destroyed, resulting in rather mediocre animation overall. The game's audio is equally average, with very little in terms of a soundtrack and just the usual set of habitual gun sounds. Even worse are the character voice overs. Every now and again a character will execute such lines as “There you go bitch!” without the slightest warning, leaving you feeling somewhat confused. Now, whether Atomic Games were attempting to draw upon the humourous wit with which Duke Nukem made its name remains to be seen; but what we can conclude is that it fails... terribly. On a positive note, the guns are nicely detailed - as is your character when viewed from a third person perspective; but these plus points can’t excuse the otherwise poor production values.
Breach is by no means a terrible game - it plays well and many will undoubtedly have a good time with the various game types and XP levelling system. However, when compared with its contemporaries, it becomes clear that Breach falls flat across the board, with none of its offerings particularly shining in any aspect. Besides this, the opportunity for a cheap downloadable shooter may be very welcome for some, and, if you are willing to accept its many shortcomings, Breach may just pull through and surprise you; providing you accept it for what it is and don't compare it to its superiors.
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