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Into the Breach Review (PC)

Subset Games is back with a new title! A followup to FTL: Faster Than Light, this mech-based tactical battler tasks players with managing all kinds of resources from fight to fight as they work to save the world from destruction in various timelines. Players can unlock all kinds of new mechs and pilots as they complete achievements, leading to new options - mostly “sidegrades” - as they work through each playthrough.

Into the Breach is a difficult game, but luckily there are different game modes to play on. If you’re learning the ropes, easy mode is the best way. While the game seems very simple on the surface - kill the enemies, protect your buildings, advance to the next level - it’s actually quite deep in terms of strategy. As it becomes apparent after a few levels, making critical choices like sacrificing your mechs to save cities, using abilities to reposition enemies to force them to attack each other, and even sitting on enemy spawn points to prevent them from ever coming above ground are all ways to give yourself a fighting chance against the endless invasion.

You are constantly attempting to maintain a balance, juggling resources and your grid power - essentially the most important thing to watch, if you run out it’s game over and back to the start screen - and finding new upgrades and weapons. New pilots are unlocked forever and can be used on any subsequent run, but most of the time you will have to make use of the random weapons and upgrades you find on the fly, getting creative with your squad composition and potential powers.

It’s a formula that works. The game itself can take very little time to play through if you know what you’re doing, but every run is different and you can find yourself painstakingly planning turns for what feels like an eternity before putting your mechs into action. It’s a deep, snack-sized little strategy winner that’s a lot less random than FTL, and more focused on making you think for your victories. While the thrill of getting new unlocks does dissipate after the first 10 or so hours, there’s plenty of interesting challenges and options to keep you coming back for more. Into the Breach is available on Steam.

Score: 9 out of 10

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