QC Games, a developer hosting the talent of multiple industry veterans (including a fair few from Bioware), is about to release its debut title Breach, a third-person action RPG with a vast array of characters, customisation of those characters, interchangeable and mergeable skills and classes, and a captivating story starring mythological beasts (beasts that have been altered in appearance from the old artwork we've seen in history books to fit the uniqueness of the project) from all over the world.
The game is set on current day Earth with an alternate timeline present. In this alternate timeline, we're told that humans co-existed with creatures of mythology some 70,000 years ago, with humanity being dominated by the sheer power of these glorious beings. To level the playing field an immortal being, who had been watching over the chaos on Earth, created The Veil, separating the two civilisations into two different dimensions so as not to force one away from its home while still keeping the dimensions connected. To keep the door to the entity dimension closed, however, the immortal being had to bestow some power to a fraction of humanity since the other side of the veil had a civilisation consisting of gods and demons, being significantly stronger than their human counterparts.
The doorways to the other dimension were set at important places where cultures were essentially formed (we were told there would be one by the pyramids of Giza and one in Stonehenge, for example). Sadly, as is humanity, the earthlings failed to keep these seals shut and kept leaving openings for otherworldly beings to barge in and wreak havoc upon the world until they could be pushed back by the fraction of humans that had been blessed with the power of magic. Keeping this new breed of human a secret was getting harder and harder until one day, the immortal being got so fed up with humanity messing up their only job that he figured the veil was a mistake and re-opens it. With a breach in the veil now present, the door is wide open, giving humanity all the more reason to unite and work together against the growing threat on the other side.
As the player, you're tasked with eliminating the threat as a player-created character (every player gets to create his or her own character with a heap of customisation options ranging from changes to facial features and skin tone, changes to your hairdo and hair colour, outfits and gender) within one of 18 current classes (even more when counting the merging of some) with two additional classes coming to the game within the time frame of January to March or battling against the humans as one of six current Veil Demons with two additional ones releasing within the time-span of April to September. Depending on what edition of the game you decide to get if you want to buy the game, you'll have a different number of classes to choose from when creating your character, but no matter what edition you get or even if you wait until the game is entirely free-to-play, you will be able to purchase new classes with either the in-game currency called 'gold' (pretty straight forward) or with actual money (also known in-game as QC points).
In our experience, gathering up enough gold to buy a new class wasn't very time consuming and we never once saw the game trying to squeeze us for pennies. It's entirely possible to go through the game without spending any money to boost your roster, however, if you want to do that, it's definitely a quicker way get a fancy arsenal. If you want to try before you buy a class, that can either be done by pressing the 'try' button on the store page or by picking one of the free classes on the free class rotation. Other than buying classes, there's also an option to deck your player-made character out with different cosmetics as well as get one of three XP & gold boost packs, both of which are only available for purchase with QC points.
When brought into the game after an introductory cutscene (that was visually stunning, we'll add) the player is dropped into the Library of Alexandria, the hub in which players can interact with one another, approach others for some sweet co-op party action and take on dungeons from. From here he or she is tasked with completing two tutorials, one for the humans by picking a class, and one for the Veil Demons, which unlocks the different modes in the game (AI, Co-op vs AI, Co-op vs Player, and Custom) and teaches you the basics. From the hub, you can also access the training dojo, where you can test out all the classes and their skills, spawn specific teammates to learn what combination of players is ideal, as well as spawn enemies and elites and even different veil demons to study their moves to prepare for combat in a dungeon later on. We found ourselves using the dojo for all of the above-mentioned reasons and ended up better solo and team players because of it. Once players level up they get awarded with items as well as gold. The items that can be used are in the 'equipment' and 'gems' tabs on the menu and are basically items you can socket to a weapon or a class to boost skills or basic traits.
The game takes the players through a dungeon with multiple levels with differing objectives, such as a timed horde-type mode and a mode where the player needs to guide drones from one part of the map to the other, leading up to a boss battle. When entering a dungeon, alone with AI pals or a full squad, you're instantly attacked by enemies from different mythologies and a Veil Demon, which can be controlled by another player trying desperately to kill you and your friends with one of his or her abilities, be it putting a trap cage, trapping you with an elite enemy, conjuring spikes from beneath the ground to impale your team, or even taking control over a minion or elite enemy, gaining their powers in the process.The layout of combat is handled through a hotbar controlled by the numbers on your keyboard, not unlike the ones used in MOBAs like League of Legends or classic MMOs such as World of Warcraft, while other actions such as moving around and aiming your skills is controlled with the W, A, S and D keys as well as the mouse.
If your team is struggling, it could be a good idea for one of you to switch your class, which is available in the hub through the menu - and what a difference it makes to switch one's class up every now and then. From the through-and-through elemental mage Elementalist class, playing much like the class plays in other fantasy RPGs, through to the full-on, aerial combat focused hack 'n' slash class Nighthawk and the Necromancer class, which conjures forth undead minions onto the battlefield, Breach truly is a game for every RPG fan looking to venture online. This system, and the fact that the game lets you change it for every character whenever you feel like it, makes Breach an ever-changing experience in which all players can create their own game in a sense.
Breach is an action-RPG that ends up being a different game for each player thanks to its vast character and class building system, the seamless PvP integration, and the possibility to pick a side in the war between man and demonic, mythological forces. So far we can wholeheartedly recommend it for all the RPG fans out there willing to experience an early access online game and all that comes with it.
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