March 25, 2010 -
Remember last year when Konami announced it was publishing Atomic Games' Six Days in Fallujah, and then promptly announced it was dropping the game after some controversy? The game was to recreate the conflict that unfolded in the real Fallujah and hit a little too close to home for some. Shortly after Konami backed out of the deal we heard rumors that developer Atomic Games would close its doors. The reports of its death were apparently exaggerated, though, as Atomic just announced an all-new downloadable shooter called Breach. We got to play a few rounds the other day and came away impressed.
Breach is a multiplayer-only shooter for up to 16 people. The focus here is on destructible environments -- think Battlefield 1943, but with even more devastating opportunities. This is a very fast-paced game and it'll only take one or two bullets to put you down. There are five classes total with four available right away: Rifleman, Gunner, Sniper, and Support. After you've mastered a couple of these classes you'll unlock Recon, which is meant for advanced players. You'll earn experience points as you play that can be used to purchase weapon upgrades and fancy gadgets. One such gadget is the Bionic Ear, which amplifies and isolates the sound of your enemy with an audio and visual effect to help you locate the jerk.
Breach is about using and destroying cover.
Most everything on a map can be leveled -- most everything, because certain structures have intentionally been made indestructible. While testing Six Days in Fallujah, Atomic learned that when every last thing on a map can be destroyed, players will destroy every last thing on a map. That leaves you playing on a giant, wide-open pancake – which apparently isn't very exciting. In Breach, important objects like stairs that lead to another area of the map will be impervious.
Three maps will be included with the game along with a nighttime version of one of them. After players have collectively caused a certain amount of destruction, Atomic will unlock a fourth map for the community.
Breach will include four game modes: Infiltration requires your team to claim certain areas of the map; Operations has you searching for randomly placed bioweapons canisters; Convoy finds one team escorting a truck to an exit point while the other team tries to stop them; and then there is the ever popular Team Deathmatch.
Atomic wants to give gamers the feature set of a retail title at the price of an XBLA game. It does look great for a downloadable title with highly detailed environments and an advanced physics engine. You can probably expect Breach to be priced at $15, which is what Microsoft usually charges for its "premium" XBLA games.
Breach is still a little rough around the edges and isn't running as smoothly as we'd like, yet, but it does offer many tantalizing destructive opportunities. It's set for release this summer and could repeat the success Battlefield 1943 had last year. Check out our developer walkthrough videos for an explanation of the cover and destruction mechanics right from the developer's mouth.