Breaching onto the Xbox Live Arcade is 'Atomic Games' online FPS, Breach. It's not the flashiest shooter on the market, but when it comes to the goods, Breach is locked and loaded to deliver. So if you have an extra 1200 MS Points kicking around, stick around for our thoughts on this Live enabled shooter.

What makes Breach so addictive is the level design and tough as nails progression system that really makes you work for those achievements, both in-game and Xbox Live achievements. Having such as strong leveling curve weeds out a good amount of twitch shooters who can simply get their fix in another shooter. Playing the game over the week I have encountered a good batch of gamers (for the majority,) who won't shoot up your entire team just for kicks. This makes me believe that Breach will continue to have a more mature crowd, a good thing for the older, non-verbal abusing gamers.

With or without a tongue lashing from a 13 year old, Breach is a solid shooter that doesn't feel unbalanced in its classes or level design. It's all about the skill and the time you spend playing; another good trait when thinking about playing a shooter over a long period of time. Of course like all online shooters, the more time that goes on, the harder it will be to score the kills, so the sooner you hop online, the better.

Indisputably Breach has a lot of competition, not only from the big dogs, the discs releases like 'Battlefield: Bad Company,' and the 'Call of Duty' series. A number of other Xbox Live Arcade shooters have come out over the last few years, most notably, 'Blacklight: Tango Down' and 'Monday Night Combat.' While Breach "kinda" has its own stamp, it's not really too separable from the rest of the pack and falls into the placeholder of “another modern military shooter.” Depending on what you are looking for this could be a bad or good thing, personally I was looking for “another modern military shooter” to curve my fix. Sometimes a simple, unconvoluted shooter is all you need, and for this, Breach hits the spot.

One thing that instantly works against 'Atomic Games' shooter is that Breach isn't really a looker. This isn't a lofty concern, but it will surely put off graphic centric gamers, you know, those looking to be lured in by some flashy razzle-dazzle. All around the presentation is very bare bones, which could be a size issue to keep everything running smoothly for Xbox Live play. For a one word description, bland would be a good world to use.

Similar to other games, Breach has several different classes to choose from, all which are upgradeable doing their part to even out the online battles. As expected the sniper class is popular, yet, unlike some other shooters, there is a lot of gamers who take on the front-line warfare with the rifleman (assault) and support classification. Upgrading (gear and perks) takes awhile, so this one will require some hours. However, when you get there, you will be dropping your adversaries like fly’s. As advertised, parts of the world is destructible and the character movement speed and weapons kinda of play like you would they expect, but like I touched on early it's not the ultimate “real world” shooter.

You might have noticed the word “perks” from the above paragraph, and it's probably what you expect. Breach perks to attach to your player along with little helpers called gadgets. Using a cash system along with a leveling system, Breach takes some time before you can fully load-up, which really helps the strategic elements to carefully upgrading your classes. In total Breach offers 11 “real-life” spy gadgets like the 'Bionic Ear' unlocked at level 2, or even the M79 Pirate Cannon (Grenade Launcher) for Officer's at level 3. Thump, thump, thump. The Perks (hello, Fallout) total 13 and are quite useful bonuses for your player. While some might question the inclusion of these in a more “grounded” shooter, I liked the idea and when you unlock one, you will probably agree. For a quick look you can unlock "strong arm" the ability to throw grenades father, or even “The Bad Ass” an unique perk that lessons half your health, but doubles the XP you earn. Double edge sword, yes, “Bad Ass” perk? Yes sir, sign me up.

For modes Breach offers several fun ways to shoot up your friends. I really enjoyed each game of mode that are playable in casual or hardcore mode, which is identical to Bad Company 2's separation. Breaking down the modes you have Retrieval, an alternative to the standard capture-the-flag formula. Infiltration, a conquest-like mode were you have to hold specific locations on the map. Convoy, which is like an assault/defend scenario where you have to stop or protect a convoy of moving vehicles. From there Breach gets down to basics with a 'Team Deathmatch' and 'Sole Survivor' (elimination) mode. I had the most fun in the alternative modes like Convoy and Infiltration, finding their unique take on standard modes and level design smartly placed. The only negative point would have be the lack of maps, so like any shooter, things will get familiar quick.

Breach does it's best to climb a hill already filled with solid online FPS titles, and even without being the king of the mountain, Breach has its moments that can match up with some of the bests. Devoting sometime to the online warfare in Breach took some willpower, however once the stale presentation and steep leveling curve is accepted, Breach can be quite the game. So if you're looking for “another modern military shooter,” check out Breach and give it sometime. You might find yourself heading back to the Arcade more often then expected.

  • smart gameplay that requires strategy
  • doesn't a competent job at creating “another modern military shooter”
  • solid perk, upgrade system, if you can handle the wait
  • if all you want is an online FPS, the price is right
  • lots of failed connections, host drops
  • game speed is slower than expected
  • presentation is very, very bare-bones
  • character movement could be more fluid
Quote: "Breach does it's best to climb a hill already filled with solid online FPS titles, and even without being the king of the mountain, Breach has its moments that can match up with some of the bests."
Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy | 01.31.11

Similar Games: Blacklight: Tango Down (7.5) | Monday Night Combat (9.0) | BFBC2: Vietnam (9.0)



Atomic Games

Atomic Games


US Release
January '11


Xbox Live Arcade

Player 1-16
1200 MS Points
1.22 GB