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Breach busts into early access, for a price

The not-so-secret world

Breach will eventually be free-to-play, but those brave enough to put money down on QC Games's early access asymmetric 'dungeon brawl' can jump in today. It's effectively a second try at BioWare's sadly cancelled Shadow Realms, from a team led by ex-BioWare folks. Breach can be played solo or in co-op with up to four players, but is intended to be played with a fifth controlling a 'veil demon'. The demon acts as a restricted dungeon master, summoning monsters, placing traps and occasionally possessing a mini-boss to get in a few sneaky attacks. Take a peek at the launch trailer below.

Despite the mostly cheerful tone of the trailer below, from what I've seen of the game in action so far, it mostly takes itself seriously. While missions are meant to be bounced between and replayed, there's a core story arc, full of self-serious lore and grim radio chatter. That's not a complaint, by the way - so long as the story holds together, I'm a sucker for some over-the-top of comic-book adventuring that's willing to commit to itself. Players control a squad of modern-day mages as they fight a magical apocalypse, as all the monsters of legend pour out of the titular breaches.

While the trailers make the game look very action-oriented, it moves a lot like Dragon Age: Inquisition's co-op mode, albeit slightly more mobile. Enemies come in waves, and even grunt monsters take a couple hits to bring down. Ranged and support characters spend their time on the sidelines, carefully picking and choosing from their generously stocked hotbar of spells and powers, while melee brawlers attempt to hold aggro and pin down bigger targets. It's familiar stuff, but I always thought Inquisition's multiplayer could be spun off into something capable of standing on its own.

The current early access build has all the main modes and features (including 18 hero classes and six veil demon types), but only a handful of missions. QC Games reckon it won't be too long until launch, aiming to hopefully release the full game and go free-to-play sometime this summer. They claim there's a lot of stuff receiving its final touches now, so updates over the next few months should hopefully be beefy. There's a rough release road-map here, with another nine hero classes and more veil demon types on the way, along with new maps, story quests and monsters.

Breach will eventually be free to play, but those willing to dive in early can find it here on Steam for £19.49/€20.99/$24.99 or more if you want one of the fancier supporters packs, each one unlocking more hero classes and veil demons early.

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Dominic Tarason