I’m funny when it comes to strategy games. I love turn-based games like XCOM, and the 4X titles like Civilization. When it comes to Real Time Strategy games, I fall apart. I’ve tried many of them in my day, and aside from maybe Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, I don’t think I could really get into them. Now, there seems to be a new trend in strategy games where it is a combination of turn-based and real time. These hybrids can either work really well or really bad for me. Luckily, Breach and Clear: Deadline mixes it well, and had me enjoying my time with it.
Breach and Clear: Deadline is a strategy game that mixes real time movement along with turn-based battles, both of which can be interchanged. Players take on the role of a squadron of special ops soldiers that have been sent on a rescue mission that goes wrong, and flesh eating zombies have basically taken on a major metropolitan city. Now they must escape using their abilities and quick thinking from both them and, of course, the player.
Platforms: PS4, XB1, PC
Price I’d pay: $14.99
The best comparison I can give this is a mixture of Dawn of War II and maybe XCOM, with a little bit of Dragon Age: Inquisition thrown in. Sounds like a strange combination, but hear me out. When moving around the areas, players can control the entire team, a select number of members, or just a leader. The other members will follow along if commanded to, and players can set them up to fire on enemies when they see them, or can even control them and manually have them shoot. When in combat, time is stopped automatically, and will only progress by holding down the right trigger. Depending on how hard players pull on the trigger, they can see actions play out normally or in slow motion. If they see that the orders they gave their squad isn’t going to work out, they can easily stop time by letting go of the trigger and reissuing orders. That’s where the Dragon Age: Inquisition feeling comes into play. See? I can make sense of what I said.
The RPG elements come into play when characters level up after gaining enough experience points. This will allow them to upgrade and learn new abilities that can really help out in a pinch against the undead. Each squad member has a class of sorts, each offering different abilities for different situations. Pinning down enemies with suppression fire then lobbing a satchel charge on a group is both fun and satisfying.
There are a few issues I’ve had with the gameplay, the first being the ally AI can have some pretty costly dumb moments. There were times I had them sit back and shoot whatever they came into contact with, and they would just sit there while zombies tore them up. Also, there seems to be a larger dice roll mechanic going on in the background, and I either have been cursed with bad rolls or I’m missing something, because I’ve seen times where zombies would be in my line of site with nothing obstructing me and my teammates wouldn’t hit a thing. Maybe my soldiers are just bad shots.
The story is there and it’s pretty forgettable. I was more concerned with the progression of my characters rather then what they were saying, and I’m totally fine with that. The visuals are a bit bland at times, while the lighting effects actually look really nice at times. Still, from looking at it, many would immediately say “budget title.”
All in all, I enjoyed my time with Breach and Clear: Deadline. The combination of both real time movement and turn-based combat really made things fun and interesting, even if the game pulled an XCOM and had me miss when I really shouldn’t have, and while this is a game that feels like it should be played with a mouse and keyboard, it works really well with a controller. There’s a lot of fun to be had here for fans of strategy games, all for $15. I say give it a shot, you may be surprised.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.