Breached is a single player story-driven game from developer Drama Drifters. While the premise was initially fascinating, repetitive and uninteresting gameplay ultimately took away from the intriguing story the game attempts to tell.
The vast majority of gameplay in Breached consists of you maneuvering a remote control drone in first person around different zones in order to gather materials to help fix your oxygen generator and synthesize fuel to get off of the island you are stranded on within eight days. However, there are anomalies scattered around each environment taking the form of glowing spheres that, if touched, will destroy the connection between the drone and the main character returning you to the ship. If you make it back safely, however, some things aren’t clear. The synthesizing of fuel felt somewhat obtuse and never clicked which, as one of your two main objectives, was problematic.
What stops you from diving back in over and over is basically a fatigue meter on the right side of your screen before you deploy your drone. Each day it begins at 100% and performing actions such as setting out for a new zone or hacking capsules reduces that until you have to end the day and move on to the next one.
Unfortunately, going back to these zones over and over becomes tedious quickly and the anomalies almost feel as if they are there simply to “gamify” the experience. Sure they provide some sort of obstacle to prevent you from getting whatever you want, but at the same time, when they are constantly hovering around materials to the point where you can’t get to them, it’s frustrating. It doesn’t help that the drone is very floaty to control lacking precision to try and dodge around the enemies.
Story and Modes:
Breached has you waking up four years into a nine year hibernation. You don’t know much, but you do know that you have gone through this before as journal entries will attest. At the beginning of each day, your character will write a journal entry in front of you adding some personality to this somewhat sterile game. The journal entries were the highlight of the experience by far with some great writing. The main story mode is the only mode in the game which, for this type of story-driven game, is pretty much understood going in.
Visuals and Sound:
Visually, the game looks great. The desert landscapes coupled with mysterious monoliths and crumbling structures protruding from the sands add a great sense of curiosity as to what has happened here. There are also some intense screen glitching effects if you get too close to anomalies that look fantastic and more varied than you might think.
The sound in the game is mostly ambient and atmospheric besides the terrifying sound of losing connection to your drone if an anomaly gets to you. There is no voice acting.
The short, story-driven game trend that Journey seemed to kick off back in 2012 is a trend that I love. Being able to sit down and have a complete experience in a couple hours is great as there are never enough hours in the day to play games. I admire the angle that Drama Drifters took with this as an atmospheric first-person game.
The game will take about one and a half to two hours to play through all eight days. However, this is a game meant to be played through multiple times as you learn the systems. Unfortunately, returning to the same few zones over and over to scavenge becomes tedious incredibly quickly. No new gameplay elements are added throughout the course of the adventure and while the journal entries are solid, they can’t save the rest of the game.