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Featured: Gamescom 2022 Coverage

In Moonbreaker "every unit's position affects basically every other unit"

We talk with Charlie Cleveland about tactical and slightly randomised combat in one of the most unique and convincing games at Gamescom.

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We chatted with Charlie Cleveland in the middle of lockdown at an interesting point in his career: he could talk about his previous creation Subnautica, but had left its sequel in the hands of another team to focus on a super-secret project he was biting his tongue to not spoil to us. It was Moonbreaker, one of Gamescom's most pleasant surprises.

And it was at the German show where we finally met face-to-face and where he could relieve his desire to tell everyone about the new game in this video:


"It's a real blend, I would say", Cleveland starts off describing about their take on tactical combat. "It kind of started as maybe more like Hearthstone, I guess I would call that more strategic, about deck building and just timing, you play the right card at the right time. You know, you have a certain preference, a certain playstyle and you put these characters together and yes, they tie into a meta of some kind".

"And then of course once you play your units into battle there is positioning", he then corrects from the original idea. "So this is not a CCG, this is all about positioning on the map, and every unit's position affects basically every other unit. So, if I move one unit, it now affects the movement of all my other units, because I can block them, I don't want to, but I may block my own units, and I also block all my opponent's movements and then of course it also changes the line of sight for that unit and it can change the accuracy for other units. So, every single move changes everything else for all my units and all their units, and the order of doing that is super important. So, yeah, in the beginning it started more strategic and now we are really into the miniatures and the real juiciness of the game is all about unit positioning and tactics".

During our playtime we spotted a few randomised elements, including the miniatures you can deploy at first or the potential ship assists you can use. On that:

"Most miniatures games, like Warhammer for instance, the tabletop version, you build your roster on a piece of paper, you design your crew, your army, and then you get all those units immediately at the start of the game. And then you just play, they smash against each other, you get every unit and then whoever is left that's the winner. For me that just felt really stale because it's just not very exciting because you start with the most power and then you lose power over time."

Moonbreaker just had its second free trial weekend and then will release in Early Access on September 29, the same day Brandon Sanderson's story will start being aired as a podcast.


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