Subset Games nearly single-handedly launched a golden age of indie strategy games with their sci-fi smash hit, FTL: Faster Than Light. While not quite reaching the same heights as their seminal debut piece, Into the Breach has the same stamp of quality and excellence as its predecessor.
Years after its initial release, Subset Games revitalized FTL even further with a free content update that added a whole range of new ships and weapons, increasing the game’s already incredible longevity to even greater levels. The developers have followed suit and recently released a similar free content expansion for Into the Breach.
The Advanced Edition introduces new pilots, items and upgrades, Vek kaiju types, new scenarios, and a whole new masochistic Unfair difficulty mode for those who thought Into the Breach was already a breeze on Hard mode. However, the real stars of the update are the new mech squads that do wonders to expand upon Into the Breach’s already solid replayability.
Five new mech squads make their debut appearance in Into the Breach, with their standout elements being the gripping and mind-bending tactical options they introduce. They may be brand new to the already outstanding cast of mechs, but, despite their new gameplay mechanics, they fit right in with the rest, as if they’ve always been there.
A good example of the overall style of the new squads is the Cataclysm team, made up of mechs all designed for manipulating and changing the terrain as each scenario progresses. The desert island of the RST Corporation has some of the most terrain-related scenarios and the Cataclysm squad basically miniaturizes the power of shifting tectonic plates for its own brand of tactical gameplay. The mechs in this team may be on average weaker in terms of direct damage, but they can easily create pits to the abyss and throw hapless Vek into said chasms for instant pest removal.
The Bombermech and Arachnophile squads deserve special mention as they’re especially cool-looking and fun to play. The Bombermechs are a particular favorite as they include a tank-like Pierce mech that shoots in a line, pushing two targets, but only damaging the second. The other two are what truly make the squad special: the Bombling mech and the Exchange mech.
The former deploys cute dog-like walking bombs at a distance that act independently from their carrier and can be used to block emerging Vek or cause area-of-effect damage. The Exchange mech can swap positions of two units, be it friendlies or enemies, which opens up a whole new level of control over the battlefield.
The Arachnophile squad has its own spin on the minion deployment mechanic. Instead of directly placing a whole new unit, the centerpiece Arachnoid mech spawns a spider bot with its projectile if it happens to eliminate a Vek. That spider bot can then, just like the bombling from the previous squad, act independently of its host. In addition to the Arachnoid, this squad includes a slide mech that force moves all units around in a chosen direction, as well as a mech that shoots a ricochet rocket, letting you target around corners and chain damage and pushes with effective setup and careful placement.
Altogether, Subset Games doesn’t try to revolutionize or break the dynamics of their game, but the new squads interact nicely and cleverly with the already established rules and lore, while adding their own style of quirkiness. These new mechs further enhance replayability by adding extra options for customizing your own mech squad or taking a randomized roster. Replayability goes up even further with the new achievements that are a whole challenge in themselves to complete.
Right now is the perfect time to return to Into the Breach and an even better time for beginners to pick it up, as the game’s content has expanded by about 30% without extra cost. The developers have also added a handy customization menu where you can pick and choose what new content you want to play with for every run, so that you can ease yourself into the update’s offering. Subset Games have once again proven that they’re one of the leading indie strategy game developers by powering up their game with new life and new mechs.
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