The Riftbreaker

The Riftbreaker

We've invaded an alien planet, murdered the locals and stolen their resources, and then settled the human race on the planet.

Subscribe to our newsletter here!

* Required field

I stood there in the middle of the jungle, detonating mines while raining napalm on the enemy. Machine gunfire sounded through the jungle's thick vegetation (unfortunately, Guns N 'Roses' signature song was not played). Despite this, thousands of enemies continued to storm my position. A fog settles over the lush landscape and my defences stop working. The disaster reaches its pinnacle when I get eaten and have to re-plan my approach. The enemies are not gracious in this adventure and it tests you as a player in many ways. If you have the ability to adapt, plan, and keep several things in the air at the same time and focus under stress, you will appreciate this game.

The Riftbreaker is an indie game that explores resource management, technology trees, base building and the "Twin Stick Shooter" concept. It's a blissful mix of genres but it works well for the most part. You take on the role of a scout and researcher in the hunt for resources and possible settlements for the human race. You are sent via a teleporter from Earth in a mech suit to an alien planet to begin work. Once there, you will discover that the planet is not deserted. Something your armour that also has a built-in AI points out to you.

The Riftbreaker

When you arrive at this inhospitable planet, you start by setting up a headquarters and then have tasks to complete. The goal is to create conditions for people to live in the world and use its resources. The planet you encounter is initially covered by tropical jungle and tall grass. That will change as you travel the world. The first impression offers an inviting planet to visit. It looks really good for an indie game developed by a smaller studio. Even small details such as moving vegetation, extensive destruction and more are included.

This is an ad:

The enemies of this world are reminiscent of Zerg from Starcraft and they do not like you. They appear to be controlled as a single organism and attack you periodically. This means that you are constantly exploring, and building out your base with power, walls, buildings and towers. In addition to this, you can research new technologies in a lab, and equip your mechanised robot with new weapons. Although the towers that protect your base are powerful, you are a one-man army. You are significantly stronger, which means that you have to prioritise where you are on the map to secure your bases. Some situations mean that you may have to drop a smaller base to save your primary base from the monsters. If you die, you will return after a short time, but you will lose if your most important buildings are destroyed.

The Riftbreaker

I personally had no hopes or thoughts about the game but was pleasantly surprised. It is a competent game that tries to punch a little above its weight. They alternate several genres and game mechanical concepts that work well. The strength is that you always do something and do not wait for things to happen. Your AI helps to comment on when the weather is changing and when different things are happening. The weather system like meteor showers, tornadoes, earthquakes are all fantastic features, they have a concrete impact on the gaming world and can destroy entire bases. It helps the world feel alive and dynamic. You also know when you will be attacked and always have missions to perform. It creates a loop where you attack the nest, extract resources, explore and defend bases.

Not everything is positive and going into the menus pauses the game and pulls you out of the experience. I also find it a bit slow to use. On the other hand, there are plenty of options to customise your robotic suit. Weapons are classic items such as mines, grenade launchers, flamethrowers, swords and automatic weapons. You constantly switch between these in combat. You can also install health items, modifiers and change the colour of your suit. The basic construction is also extensive with many alternatives, many of which are unlocked via technologies. It's a bit like a real-time strategy game and Factorio even if you're not building a logistical transport route. You can extract resources in your suit, but the easiest way is to place buildings that generate resources. It allows you to set up defences and continue exploring the world. Some resources are harder to find and some you need to create with the help of others. However, you need to think through which technologies you explore first. At some levels, you need to prioritise individuals over all others in order to survive. The location of buildings, variation in energy recovery and much more also need to be planned to succeed.

This is an ad:
The Riftbreaker

However, it is not completely flawless with long loading times and performance problems in menus. However, I am convinced that this can be patched away over time. I have had a few crashes to the desktop and experienced some minor lag when a lot is happening on the screen. The sound is great and the music does its job. Above all, I am surprised that both the graphics and the voice acting are of acceptable quality. Their previous game X-Morph: Defense was also nice to watch with a lot of effects. I would venture to say that The Riftbreaker builds a bit of its appearance from that game without copying too much game mechanics. One big difference is how much more reactive this is. The enemies are not waiting for you to start a new attacking wave, but it happens without your consent.

The Riftbreaker

There is also a story that permeates the adventure. In X-Morph: Defense, you were the aliens who invaded planet Earth for its resources. In The Riftbreaker, you are the alien who invades the planet Galata-37 and kills the locals to gain access to their natural resources. Thematically, Exor Studios is consistent with the theme and who defends themselves and who attacks. The difference from the previous adventure is that the protagonist, who in this title is called Ashley, is more concerned with studying the locals than eradicating all life. As you may understand, the story is not the focus of the game but it is ok. It's fun to hear Mr Riggs, who's the AI ​​in the suit, argue with the protagonist about different things. Although the narrative itself and the script are something from a B-movie quality-wise.

Juggling all game mechanical aspects towards the end is a test. I got stressed in a way I had not been in a long time thanks to this game. Handling technology, building, attacks, different biomes with different challenges, natural disasters all contribute to you always having something to do. When the attacks get big, they get insanely big. It is stressful, challenging and rewarding. In terms of game mechanics, this is a good example of an indie game that constantly engages me as a player. Even if it gets a little repetitive and the survival mode does not surprise, you get a lot for your money. You can easily get between 18-40 hours off the campaign alone. Therefore, I can recommend you to try this if the concept interests you. Despite its shortcomings, I think this is Exor Studio's best title.

The Riftbreaker
07 Gamereactor UK
7 / 10
Good graphics. Deep. Constantly something to do. Long campaign. Robust survival mode. Interesting concept.
Some bugs. Long charging times. Weak narrative. Somewhat repetitive towards the end.
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

Related texts

The RiftbreakerScore

The Riftbreaker

REVIEW. Written by Patrik Severin

We've invaded an alien planet, murdered the locals and stolen their resources, and then settled the human race on the planet.

Loading next content