Breach has no single player mode, it is simply about the online wars. There are five modes, five classes and five maps (although one map is simply a night time version of another map, so technically there are four). There is a lot on offer, when you take into consideration that this is a download only game, costing around £10.
The modes are all team based, and are infiltration, convoy, retrieval, sole survivor and team deathmatch. Infiltration is a basic territories gametype. Five bases are scattered on the map, and the more your team controls, the more points you get. This mode can be both frantic and quiet. The start of these games is particularly fast, as both teams rush to score as many areas as they can before the bullets start to fly. The game soon takes a change of pace as the attack turns to defence. Find some cover and the game switches to third person view, allowing you to see both the surroundings and approaching enemies. The switch is seamless and not at all distracting, and will often save your life. This mode is really fun, particularly with two full teams, and will no doubt be one of the more popular aspects of the game.
Convoy sees you protecting a group of vehicles, as it makes it's way through the map. Obviously, the other team attacks. Depending on which side you are on, the game must be played in very different ways. The defence must be slow and precise, sticking with the convoy, trying to survive and also defeat the enemy. The attacking team can play all guns blazing, bringing the bullets and bombs like they're going out of fashion. These matches are also really fun as both teams gather around the convoy, instead of wandering around for minutes at a time without seeing a single enemy. These happen mainly in sole survivor.
Sole survivor sees you with one life for the whole round. No respawns. If you die, you wait and watch. This type forces the players to move cautiously and cleverly, as nobody wants to get killed, but everyone wants to win. This game is great fun when played with hardcore mode active, and is the most realistic mode. No respawns, only a few bullets kill you and there is no HUD. The combination of hardcore and sole survivor is brilliant, and is by far the most intense and exhilarating mode.
The tactical destruction in action
Retrieval is the usual capture the flag mode. Go to a random area of the map to try and capture the Bioweapon canister, and deliver it to the drop off point. Pretty standard stuff. This mode has fast gameplay, and is especially tense when chasing the opposition, who is trying to get the canister back to base. It's fun for a while but doesn't bring anything new to the genre.
Finally, there is team deathmatch, which needs no introduction. This mode gives the most opportunities to play with the destruction, and offers some nice senseless fun without objectives. The scoring on all modes is basic. Kills and captures get you experience points, there are no bonuses such as the ones present in Call of Duty. Whilst some will enjoy the back to basics, many have grown accustomed to the crazy bonuses, which can be very satisfying.
There are four classes to start with, and a fifth is available to higher level players. These are: Riflemen, who use assault rifles and pistols; Gunners, who have stronger weapons and defence but less speed; Support, who utilise shotguns for close encounters; Snipers, who deal heavy damage from long range and finally, the Recon class is trained in mid to long range weaponry. Obviously how they are used depends on the player and gametype. Snipers are amazing on sole survivor but not so much on Convoy, as the objective and skirmishes are always moving.
Overall, Breach is a decent game. It can be great fun if played how it is supposed to be played. Use the destruction, use the cover. Playing this as a normal FPS doesn't show the innovation and dramatically reduces the fun factor. Some lag issues and dodgy physics can be distracting, but can also be fixed. If they are, Breach will be a great addition to the FPS genre, and one of the best shooters available on XBLA.
by Louis Gardner